Holy Saturday

Saturday, April 11

Holy Saturday

Holy Saturday has an a-liturgical character. The Church abstains from the Sacrifice of Mass, with the sacred table left bare, until after the solemn Vigil, that is, the anticipation of the night of Resurrection, when the time comes for paschal joys, the abundance of which overflows to occupy fifty years.

On Holy Saturday the Church waits at the Lord’s tomb in prayer and fasting, meditating on his Passion and Death and on his Descent into Hell, and awaiting his resurrection.

Holy Communion may only be given on this day as Viaticum.

HISTORY OF THE CELEBRATION

As in the Middle Ages the celebration of the Easter Vigil started to be pushed earlier (anticipation), Holy Saturday lost its original character. The renewal of the Easter liturgy (1951) and of the Holy Week (1955/56) restored its ancient form and thus nowadays Holy Saturday is to be kept as a day of meditation on the tomb of Jesus. No liturgy is celebrated and silence is to be preserved in the church.