Holy Saturday (Latin: Sabbatum Sanctum), the Saturday of Holy Week, also known as Holy and Great Saturday, the Great Sabbath, Black Saturday, Joyous Saturday, Hallelujah Saturday (in Portugal) or Easter Eve, and called "Joyous Saturday" or "the Saturday of Light" among Coptic Christians, is the day after Good Friday. It is the day before Easter and the last day of Holy Week in which Christians prepare for Easter. It commemorates the day that Jesus' body lay in the tomb and the Harrowing of Hell.
|Official name||Holy Saturday|
|Also called||Easter Eve, Black Saturday|
|Significance||Marks the day Jesus' body lay in the tomb and the Harrowing of Hell|
|Date||Day before Easter|
In Eastern Orthodoxy this day, known as Holy and Great Saturday, is also called The Great Sabbath since it is on this day that Christ "rested" physically in the tomb. But it is also believed that it was on this day he performed in spirit the Harrowing of Hell and raised up to Paradise, having liberated those who had been held captive. In the Coptic, Ethiopian and Eritrean Orthodox Churches, this day is known as Joyous Saturday, otherwise known as the night of light and joy.
In Western traditions, the day is usually called Holy Saturday, although in the Anglican Communion, the Book of Common Prayer refers to the day as Easter Even. Although the term Easter Saturday is usually applied to the Saturday in Easter week, in English-speaking countries it is sometimes applied to Holy Saturday, including in legislation in the Australian states of New South Wales and Queensland, and by Australian government agencies. In the Catholic tradition, the Blessed Virgin Mary as Our Lady of Sorrows is on this day assigned the title Our Lady of Solitude, referring to her solace and grief at the death of her son Jesus. However, nowhere in Catholic liturgical documents is this day referred to as the feast of Our Lady of Solitude.
Matins of Holy and Great Saturday (in parishes usually held on Friday evening) takes the form of a funeral service for Christ. The entire service takes place around the Epitaphios, an icon in the form of a cloth embroidered with the image of Christ prepared for burial. The first part of the service consists of chanting Psalm 118, as usual at both Saturday matins and at funerals, but interspersed with hymns (enkomia or lamentations) between the verses. The predominant theme of the service is not so much one of mourning, but of watchful expectation:
Today Thou dost keep holy the seventh day,
Which Thou has blessed of old by resting from Thy works.
Thou bringest all things into being and Thou makest all things new,
Observing the Sabbath rest, my Saviour, and restoring strength.
Near the end of matins, at the end of the Great Doxology, the Epitaphios is taken up and carried in procession around the outside of the church, while the Trisagion is sung, as is done when carrying the body to the cemetery in an Orthodox burial.
On Saturday, a vesperal Divine Liturgy of Saint Basil the Great is celebrated, called the First Resurrection Service (Greek: Ἡ Πρώτη Ἀνάστασις), named so because chronologically it was composed earlier than the Paschal Canon by St John Damascene, rather than because it occurs earlier liturgically. This is the longest Divine Liturgy of the entire year and the latest. After the Little Entrance there are 15 Old Testament readings which recall the history of salvation. In the Russian tradition, just before the Gospel reading (Matthew 28:1–20) the hangings, altar cloths and vestments are changed from dark to bright and the deacon performs a censing of the church. In the Greek tradition, the clergy strew laurel leaves and flower petals all over the church to symbolize the shattered gates and broken chains of hell and Jesus' victory over death. While the liturgical atmosphere changes from sorrow to joy at this service, the faithful continue to fast and the Paschal greeting, "Christ is risen!", is not exchanged until after midnight during the Paschal Vigil since this service represents the proclamation of Jesus' victory over death to those in Hades, but the Resurrection has not yet been announced to those on earth which takes place during the Paschal Vigil.
Great Lent was originally the period of catechesis for new converts in order to prepare them for baptism and chrismation and when there are converts received, that occurs during the Old testament readings during the vesperal divine liturgy. Before the midnight service, the faithful gather in church for the reading of the Acts of the Apostles in its entirety. Preceding midnight the Paschal Vigil begins with the Midnight Office, during which the Canon of Holy Saturday is repeated, toward the end of which the epitaphios is removed from the center of the church and placed on the altar table where it remains until the Ascension. Then, all of the candles and lights in the church are extinguished, and all wait in darkness and silence for the proclamation of the Resurrection of Christ.
In the Roman Catholic Church, the chancel remains stripped completely bare (following the Mass on Maundy Thursday). All Masses are severely limited; no Mass at all appears in the normal liturgy for this day, although Mass can be said on Good Friday and on Holy Saturday for an extremely grave or solemn situation with a dispensation from the Vatican or the local bishop. The celebration of the Sacraments is extremely limited: Holy Communion is given only as Viaticum to the dying; while Penance, and Anointing of the Sick may be administered because they, like Viaticum, are helpful to ensuring salvation for the dying. The day is the second day of the Paschal fast as outlined in Sacrosanctum Concilium, Article 110, although fasting may not be as stringent as on Good Friday.
Many of the churches of the Anglican Communion as well as Lutheran, Methodist, and some other Churches observe most of the same customs of the Catholic Church; however, their altars may be covered in black instead of being stripped. In some Anglican churches, including the Episcopal Church in the United States, provision is made for a simple Liturgy of the Word on this day, with readings commemorating the burial of Christ. Daily Offices are still observed. In the Moravian churches in North America, the day is known as Great Sabbath. The Anglican Book of Common Prayer uses Easter Even to designate the day.
In the Roman Catholic and some Anglican and Lutheran traditions, Holy Saturday lasts until nightfall, after which the Easter Vigil is celebrated, marking the official start of the Easter season. The rubrics  state that the Easter Vigil must take place in the night; it must begin after nightfall and end before dawn. The service may start with a fire and the lighting of the new Paschal candle. In Roman Catholic and some Anglican observance, the Mass is the first Mass since that of Maundy Thursday, and during it, the "Gloria" — which has been absent during Lent — is used as the statues and icons, covered with purple veils during Passiontide, are dramatically unveiled. Some Anglican churches prefer to celebrate Easter and the lighting of the new Paschal candle at dawn on Easter Day. Baptisms may take place in this service and Baptismal vows are often renewed.
In the predominantly Roman Catholic Philippines, the day is legally and colloquially known in English as Black Saturday, given the colour's role in mourning. Traditional taboos from the previous day are carried over and are sometimes broken; swimming is allowed in the afternoon. Most commercial establishments resume operations, with smaller enterprises remaining closed until Easter. Television and radio stations broadcast on shorter hours with special programming or remain off-air. After the liturgical changes of the Second Vatican Council, the term Sábado de Gloria (Spanish for Gloria Saturday) became widely used, referring to the return of chanting the Gloria in Excelsis Deo during the Easter Vigil. In predominantly Roman Catholic Poland, Święconka (Polish pronunciation: [ɕvʲɛnˈtsɔnka]), meaning "the blessing of the Easter baskets", on Holy Saturday, is one of the most enduring and beloved traditions.
Easter Vigil, also called the Paschal Vigil or the Great Vigil of Easter, is a service held in traditional Christian churches as the first official celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus. Historically, it is during this service that people are baptized and that adult catechumens are received into full communion with the Church. It is held in the hours of darkness between sunset on Holy Saturday and sunrise on Easter Day – most commonly in the evening of Holy Saturday or midnight – and is the first celebration of Easter, days traditionally being considered to begin at sunset.
Among liturgical western churches including the Roman Catholic Church, the Anglican Communion, and Lutheran churches, the Easter Vigil is the most important service of public worship and Masses of the liturgical year, marked by the first use since the beginning of Lent of the exclamatory "Alleluia", a distinctive feature of the Easter season.
In Eastern Orthodox churches, Oriental Orthodox churches, and other traditions of Eastern Christianity, the extremely festive ceremonies and Divine Liturgy which are celebrated during the Easter Vigil are unique to that night and are the most elaborate and important of the liturgical year.Easter basket
An Easter basket is a special basket used in Easter celebrations. Easter baskets are typically filled with Easter eggs, food, toys, or other gifts depending on one's culture.Epitaphios (liturgical)
The Epitaphios (Greek: Ἐπιτάφιος, epitáphios, or Ἐπιτάφιον, epitáphion; Slavonic: Плащаница, plashchanitsa; Arabic: نعش, naash) is a Christian religious icon, typically consisting of a large, embroidered and often richly adorned cloth, bearing an image of the dead body of Christ, often accompanied by his mother and other figures, following the Gospel account. It is used during the liturgical services of Good Friday and Holy Saturday in the Eastern Orthodox Churches, as well as those Eastern Catholic Churches, which follow the Byzantine Rite. It also exists in painted or mosaic form, on wall or panel.
The Epitaphios is also a common short form of the Epitáphios Thrēnos, the "Lamentation upon the Grave" in Greek, which is the main part of the service of the Matins of Holy Saturday, served in Good Friday evening.
Armenian Orthodox have also the tradition of the epitaphios. Their celebration on this day is called T'aghman Kark (Rite of the Burial).Gefilte fish
Gefilte fish (; from Yiddish: געפֿילטע פֿיש, "stuffed fish") is a dish made from a poached mixture of ground deboned fish, such as carp, whitefish, or pike. It is traditionally served as an appetizer by Ashkenazi Jewish households. Although it historically consisted of a minced-fish forcemeat stuffed inside the fish skin, by the 16th century, cooks had started omitting this step and the seasoned fish is most commonly formed into patties similar to quenelles or fish balls. These are popular on Shabbat and Jewish Holidays such as Passover, although they may be consumed throughout the year.
In Poland, gefilte fish, referred to as karp po żydowsku ("carp Jewish-style"), is a traditional dish in some Polish homes (more commonly in the northern regions near the Baltic Sea), served on Christmas Eve (for Twelve-dish supper) and on Holy Saturday.Greece in the Eurovision Song Contest 1985
Greece was represented by Takis Biniaris with the song "Miazoume", at the 1985 Eurovision Song Contest, which took place on 4 May in Gothenburg, Sweden. The song was chosen internally by broadcaster ERT. Greece withdrew, having been drawn eighteenth in order of presentation. The reason behind the withdrawal, was that the Eurovision contest coincided with Holy Saturday. Their entry would have been "Wagon-lit" (βάγκον λι) performed by Polina.Holy Week
Holy Week (Latin: Hebdomas Sancta or Hebdomas Maior, "Greater Week"; Greek: Ἁγία καὶ Μεγάλη Ἑβδομάς, Hagia kai Megale Hebdomas, "Holy and Great Week") in Christianity is the week just before Easter. It is also the last week of Lent, in the West, – Palm Sunday, Holy Wednesday (Spy Wednesday), Maundy Thursday (Holy Thursday), Good Friday (Holy Friday), and Holy Saturday – are all included. However, Easter Day, which begins the season of Eastertide, is not. However, traditions observing the Easter Triduum may overlap or displace part of Holy Week or Easter itself within that additional liturgical period.
Holy Week and Easter Day liturgies attract the biggest crowds of the year. Many cultures have different traditions like Easter eggs, floats, sculptures of Christ's life, arrest and burial and contributing to the Great Feasts, to echo the theme of resurrection.Koulourakia
Koulourakia (Greek: κουλουράκια, IPA: [kuluˈraca]; singular: κουλουράκι) are a traditional Greek dessert, typically made around Easter to be eaten after Holy Saturday.
They are a butter-based pastry, traditionally hand-shaped, with egg glaze on top. They have a sweet delicate flavor with a hint of vanilla.
Koulourakia are well known for their sprinkle of sesame seeds and distinctive ring shape. In fact, the word is the diminutive form for a ring-shaped loaf or lifebelt.The pastries can be shaped into braided circles, hairpin twists, figure eights, twisted wreaths, horseshoes or Greek letters, although they are still often shaped into a snake style. Often, a clove is added atop the center of the pastry for added flavor. They are commonly eaten with morning coffee or afternoon tea. Like all pastries, they are normally kept in dry conditions in a jar with a lockable lid.Lent
Lent (Latin: Quadragesima, 'Fortieth') is a solemn religious observance in the Christian liturgical calendar that begins on Ash Wednesday and ends approximately six weeks later on Holy Saturday, the day before Easter Sunday. The purpose of Lent is the preparation of the believer for Easter through prayer, doing penance, mortifying the flesh, repentance of sins, almsgiving, and denial of ego. This event is observed in the Anglican, Eastern Orthodox, Lutheran, Methodist, Moravian, Oriental Orthodox, Reformed, and Roman Catholic Churches. Some Anabaptist and evangelical churches also observe the Lenten season.The last week of Lent is Holy Week, starting with Palm Sunday. Following the New Testament story, Jesus' crucifixion is commemorated on Good Friday, and at the beginning of the next week the joyful celebration of Easter Sunday recalls the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.
In Lent, many Christians commit to fasting, as well as giving up certain luxuries in order to replicate the account of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ's journey into the desert for 40 days; this is known as one's Lenten sacrifice. Many Christians also add a Lenten spiritual discipline, such as reading a daily devotional or praying through a Lenten calendar, to draw themselves near to God. The Stations of the Cross, a devotional commemoration of Christ's carrying the Cross and of his execution, are often observed. Many Roman Catholic and some Protestant churches remove flowers from their altars, while crucifixes, religious statues, and other elaborate religious symbols are often veiled in violet fabrics in solemn observance of the event. Throughout Christendom, some adherents mark the season with the traditional abstention from the consumption of meat, most notably among Lutherans, Roman Catholics and Anglicans.Lent is traditionally described as lasting for 40 days, in commemoration of the 40 days Jesus spent fasting in the desert, according to the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke, before beginning his public ministry, during which he endured temptation by Satan. Depending on the Christian denomination and local custom, Lent ends either on the evening of Maundy Thursday, or at sundown on Holy Saturday, when the Easter Vigil is celebrated. Regardless, Lenten practices are properly maintained until the evening of Holy Saturday.Lumen Christi
Lumen Christi (Latin: Light of Christ) is a Versicle sung in Catholic, Lutheran and some Anglican churches as part of the Easter Vigil. In Lutheran and Anglican services, it is sung in the local language. It is chanted by the deacon on Holy Saturday as he lights the triple candle. In the English Sarum Rite, one candle is lit.Maundy Thursday
Maundy Thursday (also known as Holy Thursday, Covenant Thursday, Great and Holy Thursday, Sheer Thursday, and Thursday of Mysteries, among other names) is the Christian holy day falling on the Thursday before Easter. It commemorates the Washing of the Feet (Maundy) and Last Supper of Jesus Christ with the Apostles, as described in the canonical gospels.It is the fifth day of Holy Week, preceded by Holy Wednesday (Spy Wednesday) and followed by Good Friday. "Maundy" comes from the Latin word mandatum, or commandment, reflecting Jesus' words "I give you a new commandment."
The day comes always between March 19 and April 22, inclusive, and will vary according to whether the Gregorian calendar or the Julian calendar is used. Eastern churches generally use the Julian system.
Maundy Thursday initiates the Easter Triduum, the period which commemorates the passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus; this period includes Good Friday and Holy Saturday, and ends on the evening of Easter. The Mass of the Lord's Supper or service of worship is normally celebrated in the evening, when Friday begins according to Jewish tradition, as the Last Supper was held on the feast of Passover, according to the three Synoptic Gospels.Nashville 300
The Nashville 300 is a discontinued NASCAR Nationwide Series race that took place at Nashville Superspeedway on Holy Saturday.Paschal Triduum
Easter Triduum (Latin: Triduum Paschale), Holy Triduum (Latin: Triduum Sacrum), or Paschal Triduum, or The Three Days, is the period of three days that begins with the liturgy on the evening of Maundy Thursday, reaches its high point in the Easter Vigil, and closes with evening prayer on Easter Sunday. It recalls the passion, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus, as portrayed in the canonical Gospels.In the Anglican, Lutheran, Methodist, and Reformed traditions, the Paschal Triduum straddles the two liturgical seasons of Lent and Easter in the Church calendar; however, in the Roman Catholic tradition, since the 1955 reform by Pope Pius XII, the Easter Triduum has been more clearly distinguished as a separate liturgical period. Previously, all these celebrations were advanced by more than twelve hours. The Mass of the Lord's Supper and the Easter Vigil were celebrated in the morning of Thursday and Saturday respectively, and Holy Week and Lent were seen as ending only on the approach of Easter.
After the Gloria in Excelsis Deo at the Mass of the Lord's Supper all church bells are silenced and the organ is not used. The period that lasted from Thursday morning to before Easter Sunday began was once, in Anglo-Saxon times, referred to as "the still days".In the Catholic Church, weddings, which were once prohibited throughout the entire season of Lent and during certain other periods as well, are prohibited during the Triduum. Lutherans still discourage weddings during the entirety of Holy Week and the Easter Triduum.Passiontide
Passiontide (in the Christian liturgical year) is a name for the last two weeks of Lent, beginning on the Fifth Sunday of Lent, long celebrated as Passion Sunday, and ending on Holy Saturday.Public holidays in Cyprus
New Year's Day – 1 January
Epiphany – 6 January
Clean Monday – date variable
Greek Independence Day – 25 March
Cyprus National Day – 1 April
Good Friday – date variable
Holy Saturday – date variable
Easter Sunday – date variable
Easter Monday – date variable
Easter Tuesday – date variable
Labour Day – 1 May
Pentecost Monday – date variable
Dormition of the Theotokos – 15 August
Cyprus Independence Day – 1 October
Greek National Day – 28 October
Christmas Eve – 24 December
Christmas Day – 25 December
Boxing Day – 26 DecemberPublic holidays in Seychelles
This is a list of holidays in Seychelles. January 1: New Year's Day
January 2: New Year Holiday
April 6: Good Friday
April 7: Holy Saturday
April 9: Easter Monday
May 1: Labour Day
June 7: Corpus Christi
June 18: Constitution Day
June 29: National Day
August 15: Assumption
November 1: All Saints Day
December 8: Immaculate Conception
December 25: Christmas DayResponsories for Holy Week
Responsories for Holy Week (Latin: Responsoria pro hebdomada sancta) are polyphonic settings for the matins responsories, not of the whole of Holy Week, but only of the last three days: Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday.
Until the 1955 reform of the Holy Week ceremonies by Pope Pius XII, matins and lauds of these days were normally anticipated on the evening of the preceding day and were celebrated with the special ceremonies of Tenebrae. As a result, the readings and the responsories are sometimes associated respectively with Holy Wednesday, Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, rather than with Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday.
Also before 1955 the term Triduum Sacrum, which now includes Easter Sunday and takes in only the close of Maundy Thursday, was applied to the whole of Maundy Thursday, including its matins, and excluded Easter Sunday.Composers who produced polyphonic settings for the responsories in question, which are known also as the Tenebrae responsories, include Carlo Gesualdo (Responsoria et alia ad Officium Hebdomadae Sanctae spectantia, 1611) and Jan Dismas Zelenka (ZWV 55). Composers generally set to music only some of the 27 responsories.Tenebrae
Tenebrae (—Latin for "darkness") is a religious service of Western Christianity held during the three days preceding Easter, and characterized by gradual extinguishing of candles, and by a "strepitus" or "loud noise" taking place in total darkness near the end of the service.
Tenebrae originally was a celebration of matins and lauds of the last three days of Holy Week (Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday) in the evening of the previous day (Spy Wednesday, Holy Thursday and Good Friday) to the accompaniment of special ceremonies that included the display of lighted candles on a special triangular candelabra.Today, celebrations of Tenebrae usually are adaptations that include holding, only once during the three days, especially on Spy Wednesday (Holy Wednesday), a service other than matins and lauds, such as the Seven Last Words or readings of the Passion of Jesus, and varying the number of candles, or holding it in concert form with extracts from the original form of Tenebrae.
Tenebrae liturgical celebrations of this kind now exist in the Latin Catholic Church, Lutheran Churches, Anglican Churches, Methodist Churches, Reformed Churches and Western Rite Orthodoxy.Triodion
The Triodion (Greek: Τριῴδιον, Triōdion; Slavonic: Постнаѧ Трїωдь, Postnaya Triod; Romanian: Triodul, Albanian: Triod/Triodi), also called the Lenten Triodion (Τριῴδιον κατανυκτικόν, Triodion katanyktikon), is the liturgical book used by the Eastern Orthodox Church. The book contains the propers for the fasting period preceding Easter and for the weeks leading up to the fast.
The canons for weekday Matins in the Triodion contain only three odes and so are known as "triodes" after which the Triodion takes its name. The period which the book covers extends from the Sunday of the Publican and Pharisee (the tenth week before Pascha (Easter): twenty-two days before the beginning of Great Lent), and concludes with the Midnight Office of Holy Saturday.
The Triodion contains the propers for:
the Pre-Lenten period, begins with a week in which there is no fasting, including on Wednesdays and Fridays, which are normally kept as fast days throughout the year (with few exceptions).
The following week is called the Apókreō (literally: the "Leave-taking from Meat") in Greek. It coincides with the Carnival celebrations which, although officially discouraged by the Church as pagan remnants, are very popular. The Apokreo marks the change of diet to the fasting practice of Lent: meat is no longer eaten after the "First Apokreo Sunday" (i.e. the 8th Sunday before Easter), while for the following week, the Tyrinĕ, that culminates on Tyrinē Sunday (literally: "Cheese Sunday" or "Second Apokreo Sunday") just before Clean Monday, milk and dairy products, but not meat or eggs, may be eaten.
the Forty Days of Great Lent itself, which begin on Clean Monday and for which a vegan type diet, with the addition that on many days the use of oil is excluded as well ("the Lenten Fast"). On two specific feasts during Lent (the Annunciation and Palm Sunday), fish is allowed. The fast is prescribed until Easter. This period coincides with the springtime birth of new lambs.
Lazarus Saturday and Palm Sunday
Great and Holy Week (up to and including the Midnight Office of Great and Holy Saturday)In the edition of the Lenten Triodion used by the Old Believers and those who follow the Ruthenian recension, the contents of the Triodion end with the service of Lazarus Saturday and do not contain the services of Holy Week, which are to be found in the Pentecostarion.Święconka
Święconka (Polish pronunciation: [ɕfʲɛnˈtsɔnka]), meaning "the blessing of the Easter baskets," is one of the most enduring and beloved Polish traditions on Holy Saturday. With roots dating back to the early history of Poland, it is also observed by expatriate and their descendants Poles in the U.S., Canada, the UK, and other Polish Parish communities.
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