Interesting Piece about Holy Saturday

It was to the Limbo of the Fathers that Christ descended, a place of the dead that was emptied through His Passion, Resurrection and Ascension, and no longer exists. By this “Harrowing of Hell,” as His Descent is sometimes called, the doors to Heaven were swung open so that those who die in a state of grace may enter in, alleluia! Adam, Eve, Noe, Abraham, Moses, the good thief on the cross — all the righteous were illuminated by the Presence of Christ in the place of death, making Sheol itself a paradise. They remained there with Him until His Bodily Resurrection when the the “bars of Hell” were broken down and they were later able to enter into Heaven itself with His glorious Ascension.

Today a great silence reigns on earth, a great silence and a great stillness. A great silence because the King is asleep. The earth trembled and is still because God has fallen asleep in the flesh and he has raised up all who have slept ever since the world began… ..He has gone to search for Adam, our first father, as for a lost sheep. Greatly desiring to visit those who live in darkness and in the shadow of death, he has gone to free from sorrow Adam in his bonds and Eve, captive with him — He who is both their God and the son of Eve.. “I am your God, who for your sake have become your son… …I order you, O sleeper, to awake. I did not create you to be a prisoner in hell. Rise from the dead, for I am the life of the dead.” [Ancient Homily for Holy Saturday: PG 43, 440A, 452C; LH, Holy Saturday, OR]
Because of this great silence, today there will be no Mass (until the Vigil Mass tonight, which technically is Easter); instead, there is a solemn service. Today is traditionally a day of abstinence in addition to being a day of fasting, until the Vigil Mass, when the Lenten Fast ends. Though this fasting requirement was abolished in the new Code of Canon Law, traditional Catholics follow the traditional practice. In some churches today, priests will bless Easter baskets containing the foods eaten tomorrow (in other places, the baskets will be blessed after the liturgy tomorrow). Baskets bearing Easter bread, Easter eggs, meats, butter, horseradish, and salt are brought to church, blessed, and taken home to await the great feast tomorrow (see the Easter Day page for more information).

As said, in the evening — very late in the evening — there will be a true Mass, the Vigil Mass that begins Easter — a most joyous Mass during which Catechumens are baptized into the Church (neither the Creed nor Offertory are said) and the alleluia returns. This is a Mass that must be experienced! It is a very long service, but so beautiful, and when it is finished, Easter is here and the somberness that began on Good Friday is over; candles may be relit at home, music can be restored to the house, etc. The Vigil Mass starts in darkness; the lights of the church are extinguished. Then comes the Blessing of the New Fire and Blessing of the Paschal Candle: outdoors, if possible, the priest, wearing an amice, alb, stole and purple cope, blesses the new fire with Holy Water and prayer. This new fire is a symbol of Christ Who enlightens us. Back in the day, the people would extinguish the fires they kept burning in their homes, and would re-light it using the New Fire. Thnk of it! All year long, the fire that would light their nights, keep them warm, and cook their food was, they knew, from the Church and a symbol of Christ.

The acolyte will then fill the thurible with some of the coals from the fire, and the priest will fill it with incense and incense the new fire. The priest then carves into the wax of the Paschal candle the following: a Cross, the Alpha and Omega signs, and the year. 5 grains of incense symbolizing the 5 wounds of Christ are fixed into the candle, which is lit from the new fire. These incisions in the wax will follow the pattern below (see the page on Easter Sunday for more information on the Paschal candle itself):

Visit the site for pictures and more in-depth info on the different types of Hell and the Holy Saturday mass
Taken from :

About cknaija
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