Holy Saturday: The Day of the Resurrection



resurrection

Holy Saturday is the last day of Holy Week and Lent. On Saturday, the chief priests and Pharisees asked Pontius Pilate to secure Jesus Christ’s tomb for three days because they had suspicions that his disciples would try to steal his buried body during the night and then preach to the people that he had been resurrected. This, they believed, would be his greatest deception.

On the morning of Holy Saturday, the Greek Orthodox Church commemorates Jesus’ burial and his descent into hell where he preached to all the dead.

In Greece, the Resurrection Mass takes place on the night of Holy Saturday. A few minutes before midnight, all the lights are turned off and the priest exits the altar holding candles lit by the Holy Light, which is distributed to everyone inside and outside the church. At midnight, the priest exits the church and announces the resurrection of Jesus.

Fireworks and crackers go off and the dark night is filled with light and colorful explosions.

After the Resurrection Mass, people return home, bringing the Holy Light along, and use it to draw a cross on the door sill with the candle’s smoke. They also light a candle inside the house that remains lit for thirty to forty days.

They sit around the table to eat mageiritsa, a soup made from lamb or beef offal. Everyone chooses an Easter egg and try to crack each other’s. The egg that does not crack is expected to bring good luck to its owner.