With Easter celebrations around the corner, this week has significance in the lives of many Christians, especially Catholic Church followers. The Holy Week, as it is popularly known, began on April 14 this year and will end on Saturday, April 20, with Easter celebration on Sunday, April 21. This day is also known as Easter Eve, Easter Even, Black Saturday, or the Saturday before Easter.
Holy Saturday, which will be celebrated on April 20, is the day to commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. It is the day in the Christian liturgical calendar when the followers of Jesus Christ held a 40-hour-long vigil after his death outside his tomb. It is a day of both sadness and joy among Christians in many cultures. This day falls between Good Friday and Easter Sunday.
Holy Saturday was also known as Great or Grand Saturday, as well as the Angelic Night. While fasting is not required to celebrate Holy Saturday, also the last day of Lent, here are the few important things about the last day of the Holy Week:
• Holy Saturday always falls between Good Friday and Easter Sunday. According to the Ecumenical Council of Nicea, Easter is celebrated on the first Sunday that follows the first full moon after the spring equinox.
• According to the Holy Bible, Jesus's followers and family held a vigil for him on this day, outside his tomb, awaiting his foretold resurrection.
• In the earlier times, Christians used to observe an absolute fast for the entire 40-hour period, which starts from nightfall on Good Friday and dawn on Easter Sunday.
• The 40-hour vigil starts from the time when Jesus Christ was removed from the cross and buried in the tomb to the time when Jesus Christ was resurrected.
• For Protestants, Holy Saturday is celebrated as a day of contemplation between the Good Friday and Easter services, where no special services are held.
• Celebrating marriages or other sacraments are forbidden on this day, except those of Penance and the Anointing of the Sick.
• Christians light up the Paschal candle to celebrate the Easter vigil. This candle is made of white wax.
• The Paschal candle is marked with a cross, an alpha, and omega, which symbolizes that Jesus Christ has, and always will be with humanity.