Saturday, April 4, 2015

Holy Saturday


On Holy Saturday the Church identifies with Mary as she sat at the Lord's tomb, meditating on his suffering and death. The altar is left bare, and the sacrifice of the Mass is not celebrated during the day.  It is a day of silence and waiting. 

The Easter Vigil signifies Christ’s passage from death to new life.  The Vigil begins in darkness and is enlightened by the Easter fire and the Paschal Candle.  The Paschal candle represents Christ, the Light of the World and is lit with the new fire.  The candle is blessed by the celebrant and the Exultet is sung.  During the liturgy we recall God’s sparing of the Hebrews, renew our Baptismal promises and renounce sin.  The Easter Vigil includes a blessing of water.  Water is a sign of purification and baptism.  In some Churches the Catechumens will be welcomed into the Church with the reception of the sacraments.   We rejoice at Jesus’ resurrection from the darkness of the tomb.

Only after the solemn vigil during the night, held in anticipation of the resurrection, does the Easter celebration begin, with a spirit of joy that overflows into the following period of fifty days.

Resurrexit sicut dixit, Alleluia!
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He is risen as He said, Alleluia!

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