Holy Saturday is the final day of Holy Week, the final day of the traditional 40 day Lenten Fast, and a part of the Triduum, and commemorates Jesus lying in the tomb until his resurrection on Easter Sunday. In 2017, Holy Saturday falls on the morning and afternoon of April 15th. Prayer.
Holy Saturday, Sabbatum Sanctum in Latin, is the last day of Holy Week, and the 40th day of the traditional Lenten fast, although Lent has ended liturgically on the evening of Holy Thursday. The evening of Holy Saturday begins the third and final day of the Paschal Triduum according to Church Year.
In the Western Church, no Masses are celebrated on Holy Saturday; the day is ultimately a sparse time of reflection on Christ’s death and burial in anticipation of the Vigil of Easter (Paschal Vigil). The vigil begins the night of Holy Saturday, lasting until Easter morning. Very little happens on Holy Saturday, that is until the beginning of the Great Paschal Vigil.
There is deep symbolism for Christian reflection on Holy Saturday. On this day, the Church waits at the Lord’s tomb, and meditates on his passion and death, and descent to the dead. With prayer and fasting we await His glorious Easter resurrection. Mary is also a Holy Saturday symbol. According to Catholic tradition, Mary represents the entire body of the Church. As she waited in faith for the victorious triumph of Her Son over death on the first Holy Saturday, so we too wait with Mary on the present Holy Saturday. This faithful and prayerful symbolic waiting has been called the Ora della Madre or Hour of the Mother.
In the earliest days, there was no special celebration on Holy Saturday, except perhaps anticipation of the all-night Paschal Vigil. Eventually, this emphasis on preparation for the Great Vigil became more emphasized.
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