SATURDAY OF HOLY WEEK
"He has been raised up; he is not here." (Mark 16:6)
The cross is the hope of Christians
the cross is the resurrection of the dead
the cross is the way of the lost
the cross is the savior of the lost
the cross is the staff of the lame
the cross is the guide of the blind
the cross is the strength of the weak
the cross is the doctor of the sick
the cross is the aim of the priests
the cross is the hope of the hopeless
the cross is the freedom of the slaves
the cross is the power of the kings
the cross is the water of the seeds
the cross is the consolation of the bondsmen
the cross is the source of those who seek water
the cross is the cloth of the naked.
We thank you, Father, for the cross.
On Holy Saturday the Church is, as it were, at the Lord's tomb, meditating on his passion and death, and on his descent into hell, and awaiting his resurrection with prayer and fasting. It is highly recommended that on this day the Office of Readings and Morning Prayer be celebrated with the participation of the people (cf. n. 40). Where this cannot be done, there should be some celebration of the Word of God, or some act of devotion suited to the mystery celebrated this day. The image of Christ crucified or lying in the tomb, or the descent into hell, which mystery Holy Saturday recalls, as also an image of the sorrowful Virgin Mary can be placed in the church for the veneration of the faithful. On this day the Church abstains strictly from the celebration of the sacrifice of the Mass. Holy Communion may only be given in the form of Viaticum. The celebration of marriages is forbidden, as also the celebration of other sacraments, except those of Penance and the Anointing of the Sick. The faithful are to be instructed on the special character of Holy Saturday. Festive customs and traditions associated with this day on account of the former practice of anticipating the celebration of Easter on Holy Saturday should be reserved for Easter night and the day that follows.
Lord, by the suffering of Christ your Son you have saved us all from the death we inherited from sinful Adam. By the law of nature we have borne the likeness of his manhood. May the sanctifying power of grace help us to put on the likeness of our Lord in heaven, who lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen.