In the Catholic Church, Holy Saturday, or the Saturday of Holy Week, is the final day of the Lent and the day between Good Friday and Easter Sunday.
Holy Saturday is the final day of the Triduum, the three days during which we commemorate Christ’s Passion.
It is the day when Jesus lay in his tomb after his death, according to Christian belief.
Holy Saturday (from Sabbatum Sanctum, its official liturgical name) is sacred as the day of the Lord’s rest; it has been called the “Second Sabbath” after creation. The day is and should be the most calm and quiet day of the entire Church year, a day broken by no liturgical function.
On Holy Saturday the Church waits 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. 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.
Candles that are lit during Holy Saturday church liturgies symbolize Jesus Christ’s victory over death, as well as the Christian belief in his resurrection. It can also mean spiritual hope and victory.
Activities on Holy Saturday:
- Today we remember Christ in the tomb. It is not Easter yet, so it’s not time for celebration. The day is usually spent working on the final preparations for the biggest feast of the Church year. The list of suggested activities is long, but highlights are decorating Easter eggs and attending a special Easter food blessing.
- For families with smaller children, you could create a miniature Easter garden, with a tomb. The figure of the risen Christ will be placed in the garden on Easter morning.
- Another activity for families is creation of a paschal candle to use at home. [youtube SuW5l0Nn4Ic 650]
Pope Francis has begun leading the traditional Via Crucis (Way of the Cross) at the Colosseum in Rome at 9.15 pm local time (3.15pm EDT) on Good Friday.
The meditations for the 14 Stations of the Cross have been written this year by Monsenior Renato Corti, Bishop Emeritus of Novara in Italy.
Pope Francis has repeatedly lamented Christian suffering in the Middle East, Africa and elsewhere. Reflecting this concern, among those chosen to take turns carrying the cross in the Way of the Cross procession in the ancient arena were faithful from Iraq, Syria, Nigeria, Egypt and China. Several Italian families also carried the lightweight cross for a few steps.
Standing under a red canopy on the warm evening, Pope Francis listened to prayers affirming the right of religious freedom. Tens of thousands of tourists, pilgrims and Romans held candles as they watched.
Good Friday recalls Jesus’ death by crucifixion.
Earlier this afternoon, Pope Francis presided at the liturgy of the Passion of Our Lord in St. Peter’s basilica. As is customary, the homily was given by the preacher of the papal household, Father Raniero Cantalamessa, OFMCap.
After several Holy Week ceremonies, Pope Francis will celebrate Easter Mass in St. Peter’s Square Sunday, April 5.
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Easter’s Way of the Cross procession in Rome has been led by Pope Francis, with prayers for the poor and the abandoned.
Via Crucis ceremony marks Christians’ commemoration of Christ’s crucifixion on Good Friday. Tens of thousands of people lined the route near the 2,000-year-old Colosseum.
Pope Francis heard the Vatican’s official preacher deliver a sermon denouncing greed and the love of money.
The procession is part of the Church’s Easter triduum festival.
Pope Francis urged the crowd to “remember all the abandoned people” and spoke of the “monstrosity of man” when he lets evil guide him.
Easter’s Way of the Cross procession in Rome has been led by Pope Francis, with prayers for the poor and the abandoned
“Evil won’t have the last word, but love, mercy and pardon will” he added at the end of the Way of the Cross.
The sermon, by Father Raniero Cantalamessa, spoke of the injustice of human trafficking and suffering caused by environmental damage.
“Money is behind every evil in our society” the preacher declared.
The procession route included 14 stages, known as Stations of the Cross, at which specially written meditations were recited.
One meditation touched on the plight of child soldiers, while another recalled the deaths of migrants trying to reach more prosperous countries.
Other meditations criticized overcrowding in prisons and the treatment of the elderly.
Immigrants, prisoners, former drug addicts and elderly people were among those who helped carry a large cross between the different stations.
On Saturday night, Pope Francis will celebrate an Easter vigil Mass in St Peter’s Basilica.
Easter services will then conclude on Sunday with a Mass celebrating Jesus’s resurrection.
Pope Francis will deliver his twice-yearly “Urbi et Orbi” (to the city and the world) message.
On Thursday, the Pope washed the feet of 12 disabled people in Rome as part of the Maundy Thursday service commemorating Christ’s Last Supper.
Pope Francis broke with tradition by washing the feet of several women and a Muslim man in a ceremony traditionally restricted to men only.
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Every year, on Good Friday, thousands of pilgrims go to the Colosseum to take part in the “Via Crucis” (the Way of the Cross) to honor and remember the Passion of Jesus.
As Pope Francis overlooked the crowds of faithful, the 14 stations of the Cross were carried out by priests, friars, sisters and laypeople from different parts of the world.
The ceremony included a series of prayers to reflect on Jesus’ Passion and his message.
Leading his first Way of the Cross as Pontiff, Pope Francis said only a few words are necessary to understand God’s message
“Lord, we too carry a cross of suffering and illnesses, but we accept it because You are with us.”
Leading his first Way of the Cross as Pontiff, Pope Francis said only a few words are necessary to understand God’s message.
“Sometimes it may seem as though God does not react to evil, as if he is silent. And yet, God has spoken, he has replied, and his answer is the Cross of Christ: a word which is love, mercy, forgiveness.”
The Cross was carried by families from India and another from Italy. There was an ill person on a wheelchair and also people from countries were Christians are often persecuted.
A group of Catholics from Lebanon helped organize the reflections and meditations that were read during the ceremony. They made reference to the daily challenges Christians face in some regions, especially in the Middle East, for practicing their faith.
Brazilian actor Tiago Klimeck has died after accidentally hanging himself while playing Judas in an Easter Passion play.
Tiago Klimeck, 27, was enacting the suicide of Judas during the performance on Good Friday in the city of Itarare.
The actor was hanging for four minutes before fellow performers realized something was wrong.
Tiago Klimeck was taken to hospital suffering from cerebral hypoxia but died on Sunday.
Tiago Klimeck, 27, was enacting the suicide of Judas during the performance on Good Friday in the city of Itarare
The Passion play was being performed in Itarare, 345 km (214 miles) west of Sao Paulo.
Tiago Klimeck was re-enacting the scene in which Judas commits suicide in repentance for his betrayal of Jesus Christ.
Police are investigating the apparatus that was meant to support Tiago Klimeck. It appears the knot may have been wrongly tied.
When the actors realized something was wrong, Tiago Klimeck was taken down and found to be unconscious.
The Santa Casa de Itapeva hospital has confirmed the death and a post-mortem examination took place yesterday.