Times Union interview: moving toward the joy of Easter

April 10, 2023 | Uncategorized

On Holy Saturday the Albany Times Union featured an interview with me on the sacred time between Lent and Easter and the joy we await in this 50-day season. Although the emptiness of our waiting time is behind us, I thought maybe you’d enjoy seeing the story and photos here:

Lent is over and Catholics on Holy Saturday await Easter

BETHLEHEM – Holy Saturday is that moment in the spiritual calendar for Roman Catholics that captures the time between despair from the crucifixion of Jesus Christ on Good Friday and the joyfulness of his rising from the dead on Easter Sunday, according to a Catholic author, columnist and retreat leader.

The three days on the church calendar from Holy Thursday through Holy Saturday are known as the Triduum and are the bridge between the 40 days of Lent and the start of the 50-day Easter season, said Mary DeTurris Poust of Delmar.

“There’s no regular Mass on Good Friday. There’s no regular Mass, like morning Mass, on Saturday. We’re almost in this suspended state for that period where we’re in a waiting stage,” Poust said about Easter Mass being celebrated.

“I kind of like Holy Saturday because it’s this spiritual waiting period where we’re almost seeing two sides of emptiness – the emptiness of the kind of despair that comes from Good Friday and Calvary and then the emptiness of the empty tomb which comes with all that hope that’s coming,” Poust said.

The arrival of Easter brings a chance to begin again in the year, Poust explained. People may see their New Year’s resolutions on Jan. 1 as a new beginning and treat Lent the same way. Poust presented workshops and retreats on Lent entitled, “You Can’t Fail Lent” and “Halfway There: Inspiration for the Second Half of Lent,” that address people’s worries about Lent.

“I think sometimes people see it as New Year’s resolutions 2.0 and, like what you didn’t figure out or what you didn’t do right in January, you get a do over during Lent. The point of Lent is not to do those surface things. It’s really about something much deeper,” Poust said.

“It’s really more about the relationship with God than those practical things that we do in our lives. It’s a perfect time to look at Easter as a new beginning no matter what happened during your Lent, Easter is another chance to begin again,” Poust said.

Poust is a columnist for The Evangelist, was a columnist for 22 years for Catholic New York, the newspaper for the Archdiocese of New York before it closed in November, was a spokeswoman for the Albany Roman Catholic Diocese, is a Catholic retreat leader and teaches meditation and yoga.  Information Poust’s writing, retreats and programs is available at her website notstrictlyspiritual.com.

The recent declaration of bankruptcy by the Albany Roman Catholic Diocese and its dealing with the accusations of priest abuse of children, as are other dioceses, has Catholics facing a Lenten period of handling that situation, Poust said.

“We are going through a dark, difficult period as Catholics. In relation to all that’s happening with the abuse crisis, it is felt by the people in the pews. It feels like we are living through a Lent as Catholics and looking toward this hope that this is going to someday be rectified and people will be given the healing they need. And the church will be given the healing it needs and we will come out the other side like on Easter,” Poust said.

Emerging into the Easter season brings rich symbolism with rituals, incense, holy water, bells and smells that are “tactile, tangible things that put us in the mind of something transcendent,” Poust said. But until this phase of the church calendar starts Sunday, Poust said, “Holy Saturday is this really kind of beautiful day where there’s not a lot happening and we’re in this waiting stage just like the early disciples would have been in that period of not being sure of what was really happening.”

Photo by Jim Franco.
Link to story and more photos HERE.



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