Holy Saturday

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The [[feast]] of '''Holy Saturday''' falls on the day before [[Pascha]].  It is also called ''The Great Sabbath'' since it is said that on this day [[Christ]] "rested" in the tomb, in death. But it is also believed that it was on this day he performed in spirit the Harrowing of Hell and raised up to Paradise those held captive there. Therefore, at the main [[liturgy|liturgical]] celebration, a [[Vesperal Liturgy|vesperal Divine Liturgy]] of St. [[Basil the Great]], the hangings, [[altar]] cloths, and [[vestments]] are changed from black to white prior to the [[epistle]] reading.
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[[Image:pascha.jpg|right|frame|Descent into Hades]]
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The [[feast]] of '''Holy Saturday''' falls on the day before [[Pascha]].  It is also called ''The Great Sabbath'' since it is said that on this day [[Christ]] "rested" in the tomb, in death. But it is also believed that it was on this day he performed in spirit the Harrowing of Hell and raised up to Paradise those held captive there. Therefore, at the main [[liturgy|liturgical]] celebration, a vesperal [[Divine Liturgy]] of St. [[Basil the Great]], the hangings, [[altar]] cloths, and [[vestments]] are changed from black to white prior to the [[epistle]] reading.
  
 
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== Greek tradition ==
 
== Greek tradition ==
Morning Service—The Descent into Hades and Anticipation of the [[Resurrection]]—The [[Divine Liturgy of St. Basil the Great]]
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Morning Service—The Descent into Hades and Anticipation of the [[Resurrection]]—The [[Divine Liturgy]] of St. Basil the Great
  
The first service of Holy Saturday takes place in the morning and breaks the somber spell.  Jesus' descent to Hades where He preached His message to the dead is celebrated.  Those who believed in Him received eternal life and salvation.  The heavy sorrow of [[Good Friday]] begins to lift when the [[priest]], wearing bright vestments, chants, "Arise, O God, to the world," while sprinkling laurel leaves, bay leaves, and flower petals all over the church to symbolize the shattered gates and broken chains of hell.  This is also to celebrate the triumph over death.
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The first service of Holy Saturday takes place in the morning and breaks the somber spell.  Jesus' descent to Hades where He preached His message to the dead is celebrated.  Those who believed in Him received eternal life and salvation.  The heavy sorrow of [[Holy Week|Great Friday]] begins to lift when the [[priest]], wearing bright vestments, chants, "Arise, O God, to the world," while sprinkling laurel leaves, bay leaves, and flower petals all over the church to symbolize the shattered gates and broken chains of hell.  This is also to celebrate the triumph over death.
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==Hymns==
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[[Troparion]] (Tone 2)
  
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:When You did descend to death, O Life Immortal,
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:You did slay hell with the splendor of Your Godhead,
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:And when from the depths You did raise the dead,
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:All the Powers of Heaven cried out,
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:O Giver of Life, Christ our God, glory to You!
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[[Kontakion]] (Tone 6)
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:He who shut in the depths is beheld dead,
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:Wrapped in fine linen and spices.
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:The Immortal One is laid in a tomb as a mortal man.
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:The women have come to anoint Him with myrrh,
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:Weeping bitterly and crying:
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:"This is the most blessed Sabbath
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:On which Christ has fallen asleep to rise on the third day!"
 
==See also==
 
==See also==
 
*[[Great Feasts]]
 
*[[Great Feasts]]

Latest revision as of 19:01, November 14, 2010

Descent into Hades

The feast of Holy Saturday falls on the day before Pascha. It is also called The Great Sabbath since it is said that on this day Christ "rested" in the tomb, in death. But it is also believed that it was on this day he performed in spirit the Harrowing of Hell and raised up to Paradise those held captive there. Therefore, at the main liturgical celebration, a vesperal Divine Liturgy of St. Basil the Great, the hangings, altar cloths, and vestments are changed from black to white prior to the epistle reading.


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Greek tradition

Morning Service—The Descent into Hades and Anticipation of the Resurrection—The Divine Liturgy of St. Basil the Great

The first service of Holy Saturday takes place in the morning and breaks the somber spell. Jesus' descent to Hades where He preached His message to the dead is celebrated. Those who believed in Him received eternal life and salvation. The heavy sorrow of Great Friday begins to lift when the priest, wearing bright vestments, chants, "Arise, O God, to the world," while sprinkling laurel leaves, bay leaves, and flower petals all over the church to symbolize the shattered gates and broken chains of hell. This is also to celebrate the triumph over death.

Hymns

Troparion (Tone 2)

When You did descend to death, O Life Immortal,
You did slay hell with the splendor of Your Godhead,
And when from the depths You did raise the dead,
All the Powers of Heaven cried out,
O Giver of Life, Christ our God, glory to You!

Kontakion (Tone 6)

He who shut in the depths is beheld dead,
Wrapped in fine linen and spices.
The Immortal One is laid in a tomb as a mortal man.
The women have come to anoint Him with myrrh,
Weeping bitterly and crying:
"This is the most blessed Sabbath
On which Christ has fallen asleep to rise on the third day!"

See also

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