Holy Saturday (Latin: Sabbatum Sanctum), sometimes known as Easter Eve or Black Saturday, is the day after Good Friday. It is the day before Easter and the last day of Holy Week in which Christians prepare for Easter. It commemorates the day that Jesus Christ’s body laid in the tomb.
Holy Saturday is sometimes called Easter Saturday though this phrase is more correctly applied to the Saturday in Easter Week.
In Roman Catholic churches, the sanctuary remains stripped completely bare (following the Mass on Holy Thursday) while the administration of the sacraments is severely limited. Holy Communion after the Good Friday service is given only as Viaticum to the dying. Baptism, Penance, and Anointing of the Sick may be administered because they, like Viaticum, are helpful to ensuring salvation for the dying.
All Masses are severely limited. No Mass at all appears in the normal liturgy for this day, although Mass can be said on Good Friday and on Holy Saturday for an extremely grave or solemn situation with a dispensation from the Vatican or the local bishop.
Liturgically speaking, Holy Saturday lasts until 6pm or dusk, after which the Easter Vigil is celebrated, marking the official start of the Easter season. The service will start with a fire and the lighting of the new Paschal candle. In Roman Catholic, during the “Gloria” of the Mass – which has been absent during Lent and (which is the first Mass since that of Holy Thursday), the church statues and icons, in places where they are covered with purple veils during Passiontide, are dramatically unveiled. Baptisms may take place in this service and Baptism vows are often renewed.
Qala Parish Church Easter Vigil starts at 8:30PM:
- Blessing of the fire
- Reading from the Holy Scriptures
- Blessing of the water and renewal of the Baptisim vows