Dates and Origins of Holy Saturday

Holy Saturday Vigil
Holy Saturday Vigil (bquad / CC-by)

Holy Saturday Dates in 2017, 2018 and 2019

Holy Saturday is celebrated at the following dates:

  • Saturday, April 15th 2017
  • Saturday, March 31st 2018
  • Saturday, April 20th 2019

Holy Saturday is the day Saturday between good Friday and Easter1. On this day, preparations are made for Easter by those who celebrate.

Origin

According to Christian theology, Jesus's body was in his tomb on this day, while his soul went through the harrowing of hell2. On this day, he is said to have salvaged the righteous from the realm of the dead. Older English calls the place where Jesus descended "hell," though modern theologians call it "limbo" to distinguish from the land of the damned2. Here, he rescued many souls, most notably those of Adam and Eve3. Early Christians, such as St. Mailto of Sardis, Hippolytus and St. Ambrose taught the harrowing of hell as early as the first century2. The raising of Lazarus from the dead is sometimes thought of as a foreshadowing to Christ's descent into hell4.

Celebration

Roman Catholic parishes are stripped bare and many sacraments are given sparingly5. The Eucharist is only administered as a viaticum, or as a last rite5. Masses are highly limited and are only held for extremely grave reasons5. Outside of the Roman Catholic tradition, masses are still sometimes held on this day, though the alter will generally be cloaked in black5.

Religious Holidays

Wednesday 09 August Week 32 | Felim OWaning Gibbous

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