Great and Holy Saturday — April 14, 2012

holy saturday iconHoly Saturday, that day between Good Friday and Pascha, is a day in which sorrow is transformed into JOY. In the understanding of the Church, sorrow is not replaced by joy, but it is TRANSFORMED into JOY. This distinction is important, because it tells us that as Christ lies in death, it is an active death which brings about triumph. We can better understand it from the following explanation; Christ’s repose in the tomb is an “active repose”. He comes in search of His fallen friend, Adam, who represents ALL MEN. Not finding him on earth, He descends to the realm of death, known as Hades in the Old Testament. There He finds him and brings him life once again. This is the victory: the dead are given life. The tomb is no longer a forsaken, lifeless place. By His death, Christ tramples death.

At 10:00 a.m. on Great and Holy Saturday, the Vespers with the Divine Liturgy will be celebrated. These Vespers of Holy Saturday begin our Paschal celebration. Following the Vespers, the Divine Liturgy is celebrated and after the Epistle is read, the priest removes the dark vestments of Holy Week and puts on the bright vestments of Pascha, so that when the priest appears with the Gospel, the light of the Resurrection istruly made known to us and our sorrow is transformed into joy.

The Liturgy is one of anticipation as we wait to hear the proclamation at midnight that CHRIST IS RISEN!