Monthly Archives: April 2010

Alex gets to grips with Zbrush for his final major project.

One of the things that irritated me during the CSF Bill fight was the number of anti-HE people who sneered at art as a subject.  With their attitudes it is hardly any wonder how little art gets taught in schools these days.

Alex is in college now and is embarking on his final major project for his Btec in Art and Design. Over the past couple of years he has taught himself how to use 3D modelling software like Blender and now for his final project he is branching out into industry standard software like Maya and Zbrush. One of his friends has lent him some tuition DVDs and he has been busy melting his brain cells getting to grips with it all.

This is a screen shot from one day’s work on Zbrush. He is building a figure of Belopheron the first person to ride Pegasus.

A lot of work goes into this kind of thing. He hopes to work in the game industry at some point and is busy building his portfolio.

I have to say I don’t believe Alex would be able to work the way he does, or even to have the drawing talent he has if he hadn’t been home educated.

This picture is a screen grab of his work in Maya. It’s a long process.

The not so Catholic Education Service really show whose side they’re on.

Fr Ray Blake reports on how the CES have taken on Greg Pope as a deputy to Oona Stannard. He is an ex-Labour MP who thinks it’s fine to vote to ensure people who look like the one in the picture here can be legally murdered.

How that makes him even remotely suitable to work for an organisation that tries to claim to be Catholic is beyond me.

If he thinks he can turn his back on basic Christian teaching about the right of life to every human person regardless of age, ability or gender, then how is he trustworthy to decide what is good education for the ones that escape the knife?

I really want to know.

So Catholic home ed parents are left wondering if it means our fight must start up again. Meanwhile I wonder how many Catholic parents whose children are schooled will join us.

By what authority can I home educate my children?

One of the things that became very clear during the battle over our right and duty to educate our children was that there are very different views on what constitutes legitimate authority.

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I have Fibromyalgia

I had a rheumatologist  appt on Wed. It was my first one after asking the GP for a referral after our last little talk about WHY am I like this?

After some poking around on some very tender parts of my anatomy I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia.

So finally, after seven long years, I now know why I am like this.

I am much relieved to have a diagnosis and will continue to get on with my life. I am already dealing with the pain and have found that the amitrip is working well.

Talking about the symptoms was interesting because the doc took a very different history than other docs have taken. She asked about lung problems and I said asthma-which other docs have either never asked about or not bothered with. She then asked me about the stuff that goes with it; such as my repetitive chest infections and even the fact that I had so many boughts of bronchitis and chest infections as a child. I hadn’t realised that this is a common part of Fibro.

I am very fortunate in that I don’t get the severe depression side of things; I get fed up of constant pain of course but I don’t nose dive into depression. I think I’m pretty lucky there.

I know that good patches don’t mean it’ll all be fine but I also know that bad patches or flares as those in the know call’em are the end of the world. The doc did say some people completely recover so I can live in hope. On the other hand, as things stand it is incurable.

The doc had a lot of blood taken just to make sure it was not something else and to check general health. But that was routine.

Now that I know, I’m going to inform myself a lot but not spend too much time fretting about it. Nothing has changed. I just know what is going on. And that’s good.

Two days in the life; Foxton Locks and a Home Education Friday

Yesterday we went to Foxton Locks where the children got to learn a bit about locks, canals, an inclined plane and some of the old trade that went through the locks over the years.

In the little museum was a small living end of a boat which the children absolutely loved. It was interesting to see how they automatically took on ‘traditional’ roles. Ronan was in charge of the tiller and he chose the goods the boat would carry. From the museum samples of wool, wood, stone, coal and pottery, he chose coal. Avila meanwhile was the redoubtable boatwife taking care of home and family. She even put Heleyna to bed and kissed her goodnight. AAAh.

There was a little puzzle for the children to work out how to make an inclined plane.

It was a simple way of explaining how it could work.

There was plenty of wildlife to see and Ronan had his little tree id set thing which was useful.

There was plenty of history about how the locks and inclined plane worked and the children could see traditional canal art which we need to follow up on I think.

Then today was the usual Friday when we do Art (Minoan today) and then history (Story of the World Vol 1) followed by the Musical Troy Story.

We make sure the children have plenty of time to play and the mums get to discuss where we are and what we are doing in our HE lives.

On Wednesday Ronan and Avila had gone to the Midlands Art Centre (MAC) for a special pre-re-opening session in which the children got an up close look at the Staffordshire gold. Apparently they were in a couple of the papers.

While there a conversation was overheard between a couple of women.

“I don’t object to home education,” one woman said, “If that’s what they want to do. But I would rather send my children to school  to make sure they get a proper education wouldn’t you?”

“oh yeah.” replied the other.

The person who overheard them is a qualified teacher. She felt like going over and educating these two ignorant ladies. She’s had a lot to do with us HE people and like a lot of teachers who get up close with the HE children in their area have found that they are receiving an education far superior to that offered in school.

The boys have made up their own moves to go in the musical and I have to say they are very funny.

We’re hoping to have it ready for a Summer showing and filming day.

Let’s see what happens!

Making Volcanoes and other such home education things

Yesterday we had a lot of fun in our geography session. I had printed up a map of the active volcanoes of Iceland and had to draw in the one causing all the trouble at the moment as it is considered a nice quiet one.

The children found Iceland on the atlas map and then we looked at the line of volcanoes on the map of Iceland I’d printed.

They remembered a whole lot of stuff from way before Easter about the core, mantle and crust of the earth and tectonic plates and fault lines. I was impressed. So, they DO learn and remember!

Then it was time to make our own volcanoes. It’s easy to do.

You need some smallish jars and lots of clay or play doh. The children stick the clay/play doh to the jars to make a volcano like shape.

Then you need some hotish water and a few drops of food colouring; we used red as that’s a good lava colour-but I don’t see why you couldn’t just make it up.

In went a couple of generous teaspoons of bicarb and a splash of vinegar and up bubbled our line of volcanoes. More bicarb and vinegar and a bit of lemon juice kept it going for quite a while.

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On 153 fish and the nakedness of Peter

I love the story of the bbq on the beach where after His resurrection Jesus goes out to meet some of the apostles as they are fishing. They have returned to the old life, it seems, taken up their nets again. But as dawn comes they haven’t had much luck. Jesus tells them to try again and they do making a huge catch.

The things we are always told to not about this bit is the number of fish; 153 and the fact that the net didn’t break.

I think most of us have heard how 153 fish was to represent the nations of the world and the net, that doesn’t break is the Church. Father, this morning, gently reminded us that no matter how difficult it might seem sometimes, hauling in those smelly fish, that the net hasn’t broken and it never will.

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Home Educators escaped from the clutches of Ofsted-thank God!

Having just read THIS PIECE on the arbitrariness of Ofsted inspectors I can only say, thank God we aren’t going to be inspected by them!

A LA near here, where one of the HE families we know well lives were under the Badman-Balls pilot idea of getting Ofsted involved with “inspecting” home education. No one co-operated though so it didn’t do too well. Part of the reason no one co-operated was the standard of questionnaire sent out by Ofsted that assumed, ignorantly, that HE is school at home and therefore could be judged as a small school.

If these people had been given unwelcome access to our homes there would have been a great deal of damage done to families. In some ways damage to schools can be mitigated by the institutional set up so that children aren’t too effected by silly outcomes, but a family has no such safety net.

The fact that schools could be downgraded because children were deemed to be bringing the wrong kind of lunches to school is the very scenario some HE parents were afraid would happen to our home life!

A narrow escape methinks.

Books n Stuff my spare blog

I have set up a spare blog which you can use by clicking on the library picture in the sidebar.

It will be where all the free online books and other stuff will be linked and all the blog entries will simply be on accessing freebies for educational purposes around the net.

I want to try and reduce the side bar of this blog a bit as it’s betting a bit hard to navigate.

Eventually I hope to have written out on pages of that blog a sort of Charlotte Mason curriculum that at least suggests books that we have found worth reading here.

Hope some of you find it useful.

Josh is 21. He still bangs on the door rather than use a key though.

Twenty one years ago I came home with a little orange baby.

Yesterday he had his birthday and we will be going out for a meal to celebrate-when the girlfriends are both well enough.

Iona made a cake with a bike on it and Rach bought him a little Eeyore  cake-which was a good job as it was going to be difficult to get all the candles on one cake.

Here’s a photo of the six amigo’s the Heleyna’s personal princess Rachel.

A lot can happen in 21 years!

And finally there is always time to see how our very own Hairy Biker measures up to Iona’s heroes Si and Dave.

Umm pretty good. Now if our Hairy Biker could only learn to cook…

Happy Birthday Josh!

Heleyna turns 3 and has a somewhat odd birthday.

Yesterday was Heleyna’s 3rd birthday. She had a lovely day and enjoyed herself no end, especially as her godmother popped over before work and gave her a music box which she absolutely adores.

We were having a fairly quiet day as her party is on Friday when the HE families are coming over.

The biggies had gone out, Josh with his girlfriend and the others with friends to the cinema.

They all returned at about the same time; Josh with his birthday pressie (he is 21 tomorrow!) from Rach, which he is trying to forget he has seen until she presents it properly tomorrow, and Alex and Iona with their friends plus an extra one they had kidnapped along the way. Finally MC arrived after her work placement and the house was duly full of young people.

We had take away pizza for tea for all the gang and us (Avila had chips as the only gluten free thing we could find) and this was followed by birthday cake (Avila had a decorated gluten free cookie).

I have to say a little tea party for a 3 yr old with

a gang of young people is most unusual and the fact that Josh had bought her a firework for her cake gave an added touch of oddness.

And yes Alex IS wearing a pink shirt. You can blame his beloved for that. She bought it for him in Italy and although she also bought him one in black and one in white we all voted that he had to wear the pink one-proudly and in public.

He struggle with this-but a man must do many a strange thing for love.

After tea Heleyna showed her sheep from Granddad and auntie Shirley and her much loved music box to everyone and played the music…a lot. Alex is pained by this as you can see.

The other pressie from Granddad and Auntie Shirley was a story book called The Scary Adventure.

Al decided he should read this as a pre-bedtime story, but the three little ones had other things to play with and vanished from the room. This i no way prevented story time from taking place.

The audience for the story aged from 16 to nearly 21, sat back and relaxed.

You are never too old for a kids story.

Especially one with a happy ending.

side bar updates

I’m updating the side bar. It’s getting a bit crowded and I am wondering if it’s getting a bit difficult to navigate.

Anyway I have decided I need to purge a few links as well as adding even more.

But as there is so much stuff I want to add I’ve decided to start a new blog that will just be for free online books and magazines and possibly other resources. The sidebar of that will be organised much the same as this with posts offering pdfs etc for downloads.

It will rely heavily on books from Internet Archive but there are other places offering really good out of copyright or public domain books. So I’m building that up and will link it shortly.

While I’m on about new sites:

Poisson Rouge is a positive gold mine of stuff to do and learn. Heleyna has made friends with the snail in the rain (on the red TV) and has a whole story she has made up about him. There’s quite a good foreign language area where my lot have been doing a bit more Chinese and there’s a Greek alphabet with some modern Greek to learn too. And that’s just a small part of this huge site. Go and have a look.

Where the Catholic Church went wrong.

I haven’t read the MSMs attacks on Catholics and the Church. I don’t see the point as hacks never will understand anything. But fortunately in a techy world there are bloggers, unpaid and unashamed to write the truth. Many Catholic bloggers have looked hard at the abuse scandals that are being regurgitated across the papers and made some excellent analysis.

There’s the abuse in schools and residential children’s homes in Ireland, the sexual abuse scandals across America, UK, Ireland and other places and the, not interesting to the press, abuse of the liturgy to the detriment of the Faith of people struggling to find God in their lives. Lots of people have come up with lots of very good analysis on this; but I have been wondering what is the root of it?

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Can I teach discernment?

I am busy putting together the curricula for the next term and trying to get ahead of myself and plan the whole Summer term. A girl can have her dreams.

One of the things I am wondering about is whether I can teach discernment. I have been planning that when the children are old enough that I would introduce Logic and Rhetoric to their learning which I am hoping with build on the Building Thinking Skills and other stuff they are already doing from the Critical Thinking Co but there is more to discernment than learning to spot a fallacy and doing mazes.

I want my children to be fully armed against the toxicity of the culture they have to live in; to be innocent as the dove and wise as the serpent-and I am not sure how much I can teach them and how much I need to leave to the work of Grace.

I was listening to Dr Ray yesterday. He was talking (7th April archive show) about that very famous experiment done by Milgram back in 1963. Now Milgram was trying to find out how coercive authority effects behaviour and whether the defence at Nuremberg “We were following orders” really could be considered some kind of defence. Dr Ray mentions some dreadful show in France where essentially the same thing is happening but in the context of a game where the contestants shock other people for wrong answers. Amazingly people went to the wire in this game! (They can’t have read Milgram I guess -or have a basic conscience).

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Feast of Divine Mercy.

Our Church Easter scene with the red and blue of Divine Mercy.

This has got to be one of my favourite feasts. I read the Diary of St Faustina for Lent a few years ago and found it an amazing and deep insight into, not just her life, but the love and mercy Christ wants to pour out on us, if only we would ask Him. Of course He warns that those who refuse mercy will get justice. I think most us recognise we would much rather have mercy-we need it.


Must add here that Sister Mary Martha explains the Plenary Indulgence for Divine Mercy in the way only she can.  Go ask her about it ;)

Online Courses at John Paul the Great Uni.

I have agreed to post the occational news and views thingy from John Paul the Great Uni in San Diego. From what I have read around the net this is a good Uni with a good reputation so I am happy to post things from them here. So here is a chance to check out their SPRINGBOARD PROGRAM

John Paul the Great Catholic University Offers Online Courses to Homeschool Students

SAN DIEGO, CA (March 27, 2010) - John Paul the Great Catholic University is opening it’s doors online. High school students now have the opportunity to take online courses in classical education topics: philosophy, logic, and theology.

In the College Springboard program, juniors and seniors in high school can participate in entry-level JP Catholic courses on the internet to complement their current educational programs. The credits earned through taking these online courses will transfer into any of the university’s undergraduate programs. This not only gives high school students the opportunity to start earning credits for college, but it allows them to learn the material from faithfully Catholic professors. Students living in southern California may even attend the classes with JP Catholic students, depending on classroom availability.

The Springboard program currently consists of three courses: Logic, Classical Philosophy, and Scripture I. Logic, taught by Professor of Philosophy Father Andrew Younan, helps students learn about the basic structures of sound reasoning, focusing largely on Aristotelian logic. Father Younan also teaches Classical Philosophy, which covers the history of philosophy from Plato to Thomas Aquinas. Scripture I is taught by EWTN radio host Michael Barber, who is a professor at JP Catholic and a speaker for St. Joseph’s Communications. The course leads students through the Gospels, showing how Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of God’s plan for the salvation of mankind.

These three courses lay the foundation for the philosophy and theology taught at JP Catholic-the foundation necessary to fulfill the university’s mission to impact culture for Christ. The Springboard program offers high school students all over the country the unique opportunity to get a head start on their college careers.

For more information:
Visit: College Springboard program
Call: Martin Harold - Director of Admissions – 858-653-6740

Considering Greek lessons.

Ages ago we found this little vid by Steve Demme of Math U See and the children had fun learning the Greek Alphabet.

The curricula is pretty full these days but I still have it in mind to introduce the children to Kione Greek for future Scripture studies should they wish.

I did have a look at Greek n Stuff’s course Hey Andrew Teach Me Some Greek which does look quite good. However, I am still not sure how far we want to go with learning Greek so spending money on a course isn’t such a good idea for us right now.

So I pottered around the net to see what simple introductory stuff might be around to try out.

Kid’s Greek is a growing website of lessons and it is free, though you have to register.

THIS SITE looks good offering a course in NT Greek. It looks to have a good set of lessons with worksheets in pdf.

Then The Advanced Training Institute International offers another course that looks pretty good too.

The lessons are available in AUDIO HERE

And the pdf worksheets are AVAILABLE HERE

It also looks like ATII offers a Scripture study resource. Check it out.

Frugal Home Education.

There’s a bit of a myth that home education is for wealthy (mainly white) middle class people. Those who come out with the comment always seem to resent the idea for some reason. This is coupled by the entitlement-dependent notion that the Government should be in charge. The same kind of people live with what Douglas Adams called the SEP field (Somebody Else’s Problem) which means someone else should deal with it.

As it happens I don’t know many wealthy home educators. Every family I know are trying to live on one wage for a start so that’s unlikely to make anyone wealthy around this neck o’the woods.

So what about those of us who aren’t wealthy (relative to the UK). How do we home educate? Do we abide by the principle of subsidiarity that I keep harping on about?

Some do. Some don’t. That’s life. The families I work with do and make massive sacrifices to home educate.  We do without and we get into a bit of debt.

For my frugal home ed I begin with a jar. Into the jar I put some of my weekly housekeeping to save for resources I want to buy. It includes saving up for trips out.

We are very blessed to have a car thanks to someone’s kindness. It has been adapted so I can drive it. (I paid for that out of my DLA) and has enough seats for the whole family or to allow me to give a lifts to another family or other HE children who need it.

I keep an eye on what books and resources we need or are going to need and I price watch. I rarely buy anything a full price and usually get a good discount buying second hand or during “special offer” times. If I buy ahead I lend out to other families whose children are older. They give me books and resources their children have used and finished with.

I wish the local library was good-but on the whole it’s naff. If you are fortunate with your library and it’s book ordering service-go there before buying. But be cautious, even in children’s sections there are dodgy books.

What do I mean by dodgy? Well, to begin with there is a lot of what Miss Mason would call twaddle. Books with poor grammar, story lines that encourage rudeness and disrespect for parents and a shocking number of ‘stupid dad’ stories. That’s before you get to the agenda driven books that are often trying to force a rather dark worldview on children. So, tread carefully. Read ahead if you can or get recommendations from people you trust who have.

As I’ve been a mum for over 20 years I have accrued a lot of books, games and toys that are handed on or handed out. If you are just starting out and facing a lot of home ed bills seek out mums like me that have been parenting and home edding for a while. Ask and you might receive- if we have it and are not using it.

Clothes: we pass children’s clothes around the families. We seem to have children all spaced out just right for this! How convenient!

If I need something I ask other families if they have it first. I make sure they know what I have too. Sometimes people who are more mobile than me (and have time) will check out charity shops. I’ve been given some good stuff that way.

I worked as a seller for Usborne books for a while and got nearly £200 of free books thanks to that.

I have been given books, money, science kits, and other stuff and  have given it out.

An expensive investment (even a cheap one) is a computer.  Shop around, get advice, look at reconditioned ones and don’t buy the fancy sort. A bog standard computer will allow you to do most things you want to for study. Time buying it so you know how long it will take to pay it off. If you have a way of just buying one outright that’s better of course. Look for interest free deals as well. But read the small print!

The other way we save is thanks the the Wholesaler Costco card we have. Costco and I am sure Makro and other such places sell a lot of useful consumerables that home edders need such as computer inks, papers, glues, paints, construction paper etc.

If you can’t get such a card try and do a deal to share with someone who does have one. With our families we just tend to share and share about. So I might supply endless amounts of glue and paint but other mums supply glitter bits, printed sheets and food for the shared lunch.

As far as I can see older children and teens cost more to educate. You’ll have to decide how much you can give up or how much debt you can deal with in making decisions about this.  We are paying for Open Uni at the moment and now that Alex has no work there’s the last of his driving lessons.

Driving lessons are a toughie when you are living as frugally as possible. Youngsters do not automatically need to be able to drive or own their own transport. However you may be in a situation (like Alex) where a driving license will massively enhance his getting work placements and work opportunities. Also he’s got almost to the test so it would be a huge waste of his hard earned money and time if we ditched it all now.

This post follows on from my post on SUBSIDIARITY and taking care of our family and community.

So how does he know when to STOP learning?

One of my all time favourite quotes from an LA officer who went to visit a family I know from an online group is the title of this blog entry. The family are autonomous educators and the LA woman had arrived to ‘assess’ them but she hadn’t a clue about AE and probably had never heard of, let alone read any John Holt. So the mother tried to explain how it worked. The poor old LA officer with her notion of “school” being 9 to 3 was horrified at the explanation and exclaimed “So how does he know when to stop learning?” LOL! As it is the Easter hols for school and college children we tend to follow that as it fits with our family and friends. So, I don’t do “formal” (for want of a better word) education in the holidays. But this doesn’t mean the children stop learning. There is still lots to do and see and ask questions about. I am assuming for families who AE this form of education is pretty much what they do all the time.

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It really looks like WE WON! The fat lady sings for Home Education and Children’s innocence.

I  saw Fr Ray Blake’s blog this morning but as the whole nasty CSF Bill hadn’t properly gone through the wash up at that point I held fire. But now it seems the press are saying the Bill’s full on attacks on the well being of children, and the rights of families have been drowned in the suddy process of the Wash Up.

Fortunately, despite the bizarre support for the Bill from Oona Stannard and her minions, the voice of ordinary people seem to have been heard.

The Home Education clauses are gone and so, thank God are the forced sex ed bits.

Carlotta has the letter Balls sent to Michael Grove which as you would expect is hardly accurate in its formulations. The letter shows that Balls has not read a single piece of research, or if he has he has ignored it all in favour of what his pseudo-charity money making palls tell him.

Research (mainly American that I have seen or listened to) shows that Sex Ed actually makes things worse. Girls who received the usual kind of values free sex ed were three times more likely to experiment and to end up with diseases, psychological problems and of course pregnancies that those who received no sex ed and those who received abstinence education. Abstinence ed came out better than no ed apparently. Please don’t ask me to find the links for all this; google it. (Or listen to Dr Ray who often talks about up to date research).

His letter to Grove is a whine and has nothing practical of sensible to offer an education system that is broken at the roots.

I think now that we have won a reprieve that more families will take stock of what is best for their children and I think we will see more and more families choosing to home educate.

I am a bit of a cynic, but I would truly like to think that the next Government would support this or if not, at least ignore it.

Meanwhile a celebratory glass of Banrock and then back to what I would rather be doing: being a mother who home educates. :)

Fancy a bit of School-homing?

Check this out. :)

Home Education – still waiting for the fat lady to sing.

It’s a lovely Spring day and it’s Easter so there are plenty of better things to do with my time than trawl the MSM and see if they have mentioned anything about the demise of the Children Schools and Families Bill. So I haven’t bothered.

Apparently the General Election has been, or is about to be called; Parliament will be dissolved and the silly posters are going up all over the place. Voting will be May 6th. I wonder what the EHE vote will look like. I wonder how many EHE parents and children with the vote wont bother to vote at all, or will spoil the ballot sheet. I wonder how many, like me, still have no idea who to vote for.

Rumour abounds on what we face; Conservative lead, hung Parliament, even another Labour Government (God forbid).

Carlotta has kept her beady eye on the MSM and spotted a short article in the TES which may or may not be accurate. It says the Bill is off to the Wash up and the Home Ed part of the Bill wont make it. The TES article says the forced sex ed side of things probably will. An approach of lets ditch the whole chabang and start again would seem a better approach, but this is politics.

So did we win?

It looks like we might have won this bit. But like most families I think we will await cautiously until the fat lady sings.

Whatever happens we have a breather now and can go back to concentrating on important things like taking care of my children, ensuring they get a good education and being a family.

O diem praeclarum! Christus Resurrexit!

Lent is over at last and He Is Risen! O what a beautiful day. Christ is Risen.

Lent has been utterly tough this year and last night as the lads went off to serve for the Vigil I was beginning to think I would still find myself in a personal Lent this morning. But no. I feel so much better.

The weight is lifted. I can breathe easier and the pain is less. Whoopee!

We are getting the dinner ready and then we are off to Mass (without the boys who have earned a chilled morning at home as they served last night).

The all display telling the story of the last nine days is still up from the Raising of Lazarus (Saturday before Palm Sunday) to the Resurrection (today).

I had found a picture of Mary weeping at the empty tomb with Jesus and I must admit to begin with Easter Eve felt a bit like that for me.

Mary is looking at the empty tomb, not with joy of the resurrection but in sad bewilderment. Where is He?

But she gets to see Him soon enough and to adore.

So Happy Easter.

Holy Saturday; silence and the harrowing of hell (hades)

After the church and altar are stripped on Good Friday and the Tabernacle, like the Holy of Holies back then, is left open and empty, it’s curtain asunder, there is silence.

The silence for us is the silence of waiting. We know He is Risen and we know that tonight the church will blaze with new light and all the beauty and pageant to welcome the Bridegroom. But there is still a sense of waiting, and sorrow for what He suffered.

On this day over two thousand years ago the people of Jerusalem were celebrating a joint Passover and Sabbath. But the lintel stone of the Temple had broken in a sudden earthquake and the 24ft heavily embroidered curtain over the Holy of Holies had been torn from top to bottom, as God mourned. We know some of this from Scripture and some from Josephus. We might have evidence from others.

Those who had not been frightened out of their wits by the earthquake, the darkness and the sight of dead people wandering the streets would have woken to a new Passover. So they would remember the blood of the lamb and freedom from slavery. They would have drunk the cup of blessing as Christ and His apostles had done on Thursday night and then the cup of remembrance of the ten plagues culminating in the death of the first born sons of Egypt; only now our First Born Son was in a tomb.

With the third cup they can thank God for their freedom from slavery. Christ drank this cup with his disciples-the cup of the New Covenant, in which we are freed by his blood.

He did not drink the forth cup at the Passover-the Cup of Completion/Consummation. He left the meal for the garden where he was betrayed and then tortured to death.

Finally he drank a little vinegar from a hyssop stick and this was the fourth cup, where He said “It is completed.” And He died.

In the silence of Holy Saturday we remember how the completed New Covenant opened the gates of heaven for us all. Christ descends to the place where the dead await and those who can accept new life are taken to heaven. Tradition has it that the entry to this Promised Land began with taking Adam and Eve. the Icons always show Christ the New Adam, son of the New Eve, taking the first Adam and Eve by the hand and lifting them from their graves. He is the God of the living not the dead.

And so we wait. And we wait in silence.

Thank God for Good Friday.