Have you heard of Holy Saturday? What is this day all about and what meaning does it have for Christians?
Holy, Holy, Holy
God alone is holy and no day in and of itself is holy. Only God can make something or someone holy and so did God declare a particular Saturday as holy? Why would a day be holy and why a Saturday? I can understand Resurrection Day being considered by Christians as a holy day or a holy convocation or gathering but what is Holy Saturday and why is it called that?
Holy Saturday is sometimes called Sabbath Saturday but goes by the names Black Saturday, Joyous Saturday, and even Saturday of Light. It is the last day of what is called the Holy Week and is the 40th day of the traditional Lenten Fast. This day is when the Catholic Church holds a deep reflection of the death of Christ. It is sometimes observed beginning with sunset and lasts until Sunday morning of the day Jesus was resurrected. The church’s contemplation is believed to have occurred while the church awaited Jesus’ resurrection and Christians mediate on Jesus’ passion, crucifixion, and death. Some believe that this was when Jesus descended into hell to preach to those held captive. In the Catholic tradition, this is frequently a time of fasting and prayer although mass is not typically held on this day. Some Christian calendars even call it Easter Saturday although others strongly argue against calling it that.
Other Traditions of Holy Saturday
There are still some Anglican churches, like in the Episcopal churches, that have scriptural readings on this day that commemorate the burial of Christ. If there is an Easter Vigil, it has to take place at nighttime, typically beginning at or near sunset and ending before dawn the next Sunday. In the early church, this was the day that most Christians were believed to have fasted collectively, although it was not commanded. In Great Britain, it is called Easter Even and even the Great Sabbath. During some Easter Vigils, a wax candle is inscribed with a cross and the Greek letters Alpha and Omega are inscribed at the top and bottom of the cross and four numbers are written that represent the current year in which it is being observed.
For many new believers, this is the time when they are baptized, some even waiting months for this time and this is when the new converts are introduced and educated about Lent. Only then are some of these new converts allowed to take communion for the very first time, on the very next day, that being Easter Sunday. The baptisms and Jesus’ resurrection are seen as being similar. Many disagree vehemently that Holy Saturday is called Easter Saturday, but this greatly depends upon which denomination or church one belongs too.
If you have never repented and trusted in Christ, may I ask you why not? If you have been born again, have you not been baptized? No one is ever saved by baptism but everyone that is saved should be. The ordinance of baptism has great meaning to the believer and it represents the death, burial, and resurrection of the old man and the coming out as a new creature in Christ. Why put this decision off? Today can be your day of salvation, no matter what day of the week it falls on (2 Cor 6:2). To delay this decision and with Christ coming before you decide to be saved, you will have no chance to repent and trust in Him then. I would strongly urge you to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ today and you too will be raised at Christ’s return or be with the Lord at your death if the Lord tarries.
Another Reading on Patheos to Check Out: What Did Jesus Really Look Like: A Look at the Bible Facts
Article by Jack Wellman
Jack Wellman is Pastor of the Mulvane Brethren church in Mulvane Kansas. Jack is also the Senior Writer at What Christians Want To Know whose mission is to equip, encourage, and energize Christians and to address questions about the believer’s daily walk with God and the Bible. You can follow Jack on Google Plus or check out his book Blind Chance or Intelligent Design available on Amazon