Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Thursday 21 October |
Saint of the Day: St. Wendel
Aleteia logo
home iconNews
line break icon

7 Songs for Holy Saturday


Matthew Becklo - published on 03/26/16 - updated on 06/08/17

Music for waiting for the resurrection

Human life, Benedict XVI wrote in his memoirs, is a Holy Saturday. “We are still awaiting Easter,” he reflects. “We are not yet standing in the full light but walking toward it full of trust.”

The remark had a strong personal element — he was born (and baptized) on Holy Saturday and revered the work of Swiss theologian Hans Urs von Balthasar, who expounded on the theological significance of the day — still, it rings with universal truth. Like the existentialism of Ecclesiastes, the theological basis yields something anyone of any background can understand. Some of us see in Easter the culmination of all things, “the joy of man’s desiring” (from the 10th and last movement of the cantata Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben, BWV 147, composed by Johann Sebastian Bach). Others see a paltry pastiche of ancient myths, one more in a long succession of stories constructed out of wishful thinking.

But all of us — each and every one — dwells in the darkness and silence of Holy Saturday, where “no one sees God.” It’s a day of separation, longing and wonder. The words of an ancient Holy Saturday homily might as well be inscribed on the bottom of every ocean and at the peak of every continent: “What is happening? Today, a great silence reigns on Earth, a great silence and a great stillness. A great stillness because the King is asleep …”

Will he awaken? Will we awake with him at “the end of all our exploring”? Saturday we enter into the mystery of these questions — and prepare ourselves, to quote Wendell Berry, to “practice resurrection.”

Gregorian — The Sound of Silence

Matisyahu — Lord Raise Me Up

Dido & AR Rahman — If I Rise 

Johnny Cash — Ain’t No Grave

Bellarive — Lazarus

Eddie Vedder — Rise

Mumford and Sons — Roll Away Your Stone

Matthew Becklo is a husband and father, amateur philosopher and cultural commentator at Aleteia and Word on Fire. His writing has been featured in First Things, The Dish and Real Clear Religion.

Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
saint teresa of Avila
Zelda Caldwell
Now there’s a computer font based on St. Teresa of Avila’s handwr...
Philip Kosloski
A scientist describes the Miracle of the Sun at Fatima
Agnès Pinard Legry
Three brothers ordained priests on the same day in the Philippine...
Philip Kosloski
How the violence in ‘Squid Game’ can impact your soul
Theresa Civantos Barber
12 Catholic Etsy shops to support as the holidays draw closer
Gelsomino Del Guercio
She’s a mom, grandmother, former postmaster — and a cloistered nu...
Kathleen N. Hattrup
A martyr’s last letter to his mother
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.