Now there was a period of waiting, and for those who had seen and heard what had become of Jesus, this was at first a time of mourning. When it was almost time for the mourning to reach the pitch of a great wail, those who called themselves the disciples of the Son of Man did find themselves with a hunger and a thirst welling up inside them. "What for thou mournest, for soon I shall rise and ye shall no longer be waiting around."

--William 13:45-47

It is from this passage from the little known book of William, located somewhere towards the back of some versions of The Holy Bible, that one finds the origins of Waiting Around Saturday, which always falls right between Good Friday and Easter.

Because many branches and denominations of the Christian faith ignore or tear the Book of William out of their copies of The Bible, the stories of Waiting Around Saturday are not often shared. No other book of the New Testament makes anything other than veiled references to Waiting Around Saturday and it has long since been dismissed as a legitimate part of Holy Week, and the day's name has often been reduced to Holy Saturday or in some cases, it becomes Easter itself (generally for the less patient Orthodox Christians).

One of my favorite stories, which I heard told as part of the sermon of a minister who never was, involves the morning of Waiting Around Saturday. In this story we find the disciples huddled in a small dark apartment with the door barred and the windows boarded up, living fearfully in the realization that they may be hunted down as the followers of the blasphemer from Nazareth. Because of how events had transpired in the previous week, none of the disciples had thought to go shopping for food and drink. At one time they could have counted on Jesus to produce these things for them out of nothing but empty boxes and fish bones, but now he's gone and been crucified and they have to fend for themselves.

The fearful disciples decide to draw straws to see who will make a run to the store for liquor and sandwiches. Peter draws the short straw and ventures out into the city. He runs into Mary Magdalene outside (since she had more balls than the lot of them) and tries to convince her to do the shopping for him so he can run back inside and hide some more. She laments his lack of courage and asks him, in William 15: 6, "Would thou askest a woman to carry your courage, your strength and your shopping list for you?" (Many feel this is the origin of the modern concept of having women do the grocery shopping). Peter, full of pride and so forth, grunts at her and marches off in a huff, heading to the local market to gather supplies.

When Peter enters the market, he is approached by an elderly woman who is examining fresh produce that just came in and was being blessed by a rabbi. She looks at him and points a bony finger in his face. With an accusing stare, she says to him, "You are one of them who followed that terrible man they correctly nailed to a cross yesterday!" Peter looks back at her, mutters something about not knowing what she is talking about, and then runs out into the alley to put on a disguise that involves a long white beard and a fur hat. He then goes back into the store and avoids the woman as best he can, but she is relentless.

"You were with him! You prayed with him! You blasphemed with him! I know you! Your disguise is cheap and paltry and does not fool me."

"No, I am sorry, you have me confused with someone else. I am new to the area. I'm a saleman representing a vineyard up in Greece, in the Greater Athens area, to be more precise. We have a fine selection of fruity wines available for sampling and perhaps you'd be interested in purchasing some after you sample the marvelous flavor and drink in the intoxicating odor."

"You are a sinner and a blasphemer! And you ran away when they nailed your master to the cross! Only the women stayed, although some of the older men showed up, but they mostly hid in the back of the crowd. You are a sinner, a blasphemer and a coward! Would I marry my daughter to such a man as you? No! I would sooner wed you to my lame goat!"

"No, like I said, I am new to the area and am not aware of any of the events or blasphemies of which you speak. You may have me confused with my cousin, Mike, who works in the area. Fishing is his trade."

Peter ends up running back to the secret apartment and barring the door again behind him and Mary Magdalene ends up having to buy the supplies anyway. This is probably why the church later destroyed most of the evidence of the Book of William.

The modern traditions that celebrate the events of Waiting Around Saturday are not very well established. Many of them involve having a bunch of men sit inside the house and watch sporting events on television while the women go out and buy them pizza, sandwiches, beer and chips. Few established churches have a Waiting Around Saturday service, as the few that recognized the holiday generally figure everyone was meant to stay home on this day. We know that on Easter the disciples were hung over from their wine drinking, which is understandable given the grief they were feeling. This is why it was the faithful women who came upon the empty tomb and brought the news back to the men. This is generally commemorated today by the women going out and buying newspapers and magazines for the menfolk and sharing local gossip.

"Would thou be so fearful as to stay inside thy apartment without benefit of light because thou hast denied your love for me?" asked the Son of Man. The disciples replied in earnest, "No, master, we were just waiting around. You have come back to us and we were never with doubt."

--William 16: 3-5


Submitted in connection to haze's Everything Quest: the PC Bible and my own personal commitment to heresy.

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