Orthodox Holy Saturday - April 23, 2023

Orthodox Holy Saturday
Last Updated on: 25 Oct 2022

What is Orthodox Holy Saturday

Considering that Jesus Christ was placed on burial grave day immediately following his death, Orthodox Christians traditionally refer to that day as Holy Saturday.

Orthodox Holy Saturday All Quick Overview

  • Time/Date: April 23
  • Category: Religious
  • Where it’s Marked: Globally
  • Why it’s Marked: It honors what the spirit of Jesus did that same day redemption to the grave is a time to celebrate such accomplishment.

History of Orthodox Holy Saturday

Holy Saturday marks this period betwixt God's crucifixion and his ascension. This same enigma of Jesus Christ's entry into Hades, the afterlife, is discussed in several Orthodox parishes. The narrative of God's suffering, mortality, and reincarnation claims that life triumphs over tragedy.

It is the moment of vigilant anticipation where sorrow is changed and becomes ecstasy. Orthodox and eastern denominations equally commemorate Holy Saturday as a component of the Easter vigil, even though the denominations' Easter schedules sometimes vary.

How to celebrate Orthodox Holy Saturday

orthodox holy saturday

Let us now look at the customs and traditions followed by believers to observe this day. 

1. Abstain  

A terrific method for commemorating is to abstain from animals or diet, which usually involves having just a supper every day. To high visitation of Christ's sacrifice and devotion is a sacramental act. 

2. Observe a prayer 

Conducting a vigil ceremony a period following nightfall is a method to honor the holy sabbath. It is a nightly gaze having long foundations in anticipation and rebirth. Some Orthodox customs require congregants to leave the chapel three times until returning. 

3. Get ready for Easter Sunday festivities

Easter Sunday festivities can be prepared on Orthodox Holy Saturday. Different faiths and civilizations observe the holiday in different ways.

Countries that observe Orthodox Holy Saturday

Primarily, it is self-evident that all orthodox countries will observe this occasion. However, look closely at some of the most prominent celebrations worldwide. 

The excitement for Easter Sunday is palpable in Greece on Holy Saturday. Again for celebrations and ceremonies, individuals in specific places start congregating in cathedrals and marketplaces in capitals, counties, and communities around midnight. Giant white lanterns are frequently carried. 

Numerous Russian parishes typically hold an Easter ritual on Saturday night. Worshipers gather in a cathedral that is pitch black. Churches proclaim Christ's rebirth at nightfall as worshipers start lighting fires as the clock is close to midnight.

In Lebanon, which already celebrates Christian Orthodox Easter, it is customary for individuals to attend seven houses of worship in the afternoons of Easter Saturday to get blessings in each one.

On Sunday evening, folks think that if they placed a small amount of bread inside a branch, Jesus would grace that. People put tiny portions of both bread in plenty of food utensils throughout Sunday night to ensure these could be consecrated. 

During Holy Saturday, many pilgrims visit the Holy Sepulcher Church near Jerusalem, which claims to be the location of Jesus Christ's interment. Folks travel here yearly to witness the Holy Fire, a yearly occurrence revered as supernatural.

Interesting Facts about Orthodox Holy Saturday

orthodox holy saturday

It is undeniable that the more we dive into the details of each occasion, it keeps on getting more interesting. At this point, let us point out the facts regarding Orthodox Holy Saturday. 

  • Singing the Easter anthem signifies that Lord Jesus had resurrected from the grave. 
  • In addition to being referenced by the "Night of Light and Joy" in some lineages, the above day is addressed as "Joyous Saturday" throughout the Coptic, Ethiopian, and Eritrean Orthodox institutes. 
  • Slavonic Orthodox Christians bring hampers of goodies to the cathedral every Orthodox Holy Saturday for the sprinkling of a Pascha basket tradition. 
  • Immediately after the alarm goes twelve, the flames of the cathedral are extinguished. 
  • Towards nightfall, people start lighting torches on the flame of the seat closest to theirs and start singing "Christos Anesti," filling the entire sanctuary with illumination.

Unique Orthodox Holy Saturday Celebration Ideas

Here are some quick and impactful methods to become closer to Jesus throughout the crucifixion and final death.

1. Make a timetable

It seems crucial to distinguish a righteous month from other weeks for it to appear unique. Establish a weekly routine. Establish schedules: 

  • Mystical literature and devotion 
  • Ordinary dishes 
  • Relaxation and entertainment, particularly a break from your job

2. Make a place

Create a dedicated location for repentance: 

  • The empty desk should be covered with a blanket. 
  • Bring a seat nearby or spread out many cushions on the ground. 
  • Include items like a Wooden cross, lamps, spiritual postcards, and a Rosary which might help people to think and feel more like Lord. 
  • Place a container with a Scripture along with additional meditation materials. 

3. Worship using the Bible

Listed below are a few straightforward suggestions for meditating Word of god: 

  • Invest five to ten minutes of relaxing. Take note of all worries and anxieties. Mark some emotive phrases. 
  • Allow Christ to come to heart. Recognize existence and embrace it. 
  • The weekly Genesis reading should be done on numerous occasions gradually. 
  • Note any terms or expressions that particularly strike out beyond oneself. 
  • Take note of any ideas, feelings, experiences, aspirations, concerns, or ambitions within the soul. Bring offenders before Lord. 
  • Watch an answer, whether it comes through to the Bible or a yearning in inner spirit. 

4. Keep following Jesus

Think about how lonely Christ felt week, precisely when Jesus began suffering. Take a moment inside the Garden of Gethsemane tonight with Christ. Join yourself alone throughout such exile with solitude.

  • Include some wildflowers or vegetation to make the meditation scene look more like a landscape. 
  • Worship outside if it would be comfortable. 

Orthodox Holy Saturday Quotes 

To celebrate this solemn day, let us look at some of the chosen quotes that could enhance our remembrance. 

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come into him and eat with him, and he with me.” - Jesus Christ

"I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death." Amen. - Jesus Christ

“For God so loved the World that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” - Jesus Christ


1. Is it mandatory to fast on this particular day of the fest?

Yes! As mentioned in the scriptures, Orthodox believers must also be obstinate from all delicacies. 

2. What kinds of activities are prohibited during this day?

To be exact, meat, animal products, and fish items are not allowed to be consumed on Holy Saturday. 

3. What are the other names used to denote this occasion? 

Black Saturday, Great Saturday, and Easter Eve are commonly used. 

4. What color corresponds with Orthodox Holy Saturday? 

Orthodox Christians wear black on Holy Saturday. However, a few parishes might be empty.

Orthodox Holy Saturday Observances

Year Weekday Date Name
2021 Friday 23 April Orthodox Holy Saturday
2022 Saturday 23 April Orthodox Holy Saturday
2023 Sunday 23 April Orthodox Holy Saturday
2024 Tuesday 23 April Orthodox Holy Saturday
2025 Wednesday 23 April Orthodox Holy Saturday
2026 Thursday 23 April Orthodox Holy Saturday

We constantly update the dates of holidays that keep changing every year. However, while we revise and change some dates to be accurate, if you find any errors, kindly inform us . That will mean a lot to us.

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