The Importance of Holy Saturday

The Easter season and Holy Week are sacred, important times of the year. It’s an opportunity for us to remember the last week that Jesus spent walking on Earth and prepare our hearts for His return. Each day of Holy Week is special, and by understanding the importance of Holy Saturday, we can fully appreciate the sacrifice He made for us.

What Happened on the First Holy Saturday?
Holy Saturday is a day of both joy and sadness as we reminisce on the day that Jesus laid in the tomb. Luke 23:56 mentions that the women returned home “and prepared spices and ointments. On the Sabbath they rested according to the commandment.” Pontius Pilate instructed guards to be posted at the tomb to ensure that the disciples wouldn’t steal His body.

The History
This was the only Saturday on which fasting was permitted in the early days of the Church. In the second century, people fasted for the entirety of the 40-hour period between nightfall on Good Friday and dawn on Easter Sunday. In the reign of Constantine in the fourth century, the tradition of the vigil began.

At dusk, the vigil began with the lighting of the “new fire,” which included a large number of lamps and candles and the Paschal candle. The Paschal candle is made of white wax, marked with a cross and an alpha and omega, and represents leading people out of the darkness and into the celebration of the Easter vigil.

What Happens at the Easter Vigil?
When we celebrate Holy Saturday with the Easter Vigil Mass, we meditate on God’s good works and thank Him for the price Jesus paid. In the early church, Holy Saturday and the vigil of Pentecost were the only days baptism was administered. While we don’t follow that now, the Easter Vigil Mass is still an important night for those who have spent months of preparation to be received through Baptism and Confirmation into the Church.

St. Charles Borromeo, an Orlando Catholic school, is more than just a place to learn; it’s a community. Our staff is committed to proclaiming the Gospel Message of Jesus Christ. We believe in teaching the whole child and want students to love learning, helping them grow into well-rounded, contributing members of society. Learn more about us by contacting us here.