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Holy Saturday

Saturday, March 31st

Holy Saturday is the final day of Lent, of Holy Week, and of the Easter Triduum (the three days immediately preceding Easter, Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, during which Christians commemorate the Passion and Death of Jesus Christ and prepare for His Resurrection).

As on Good Friday, there is no Mass offered for Holy Saturday. The Easter Vigil Mass, which takes place after sundown on Holy Saturday, properly belongs to Easter Sunday, since liturgically, each day begins at sundown on the previous day. (That is why Saturday vigil Masses can fulfill our Sunday Duty.) Unlike on Good Friday, when Holy Communion is distributed at the afternoon liturgy commemorating Christ's Passion, on Holy Saturday the Eucharist is only given to the faithful as viaticum—that is, only to those in danger of death, to prepare their souls.

(From About.com - Catholicism)

Blesssing of the Baskets

The blessing of the Easter Basket has been a cherished Catholic ritual for centuries among families of Eastern European origin and adopted by people of all ethnic backgrounds who enjoy this richly symbolic custom. On Holy Saturday, families would prepare their Easter Baskets to be later blessed at church. After Easter Sunday’s Resurrection Mass, the family and guests would share this blessed fare and exchange good wishes.

The Christian significance of Easter is symbolized in the foods used for the Holiday feast. Baskets are lined with a white cloth and decorated with ribbons and greenery to symbolize Spring, renewal, and the Resurrection. Traditionally, the baskets would include: decorated hardboiled eggs (representing Christ’s Resurrection), lamb shaped butter or sugar (representing Christ as the “Lamb of God“), bread (symbolic of Jesus as the “Bread of Life“), ham (symbolic of great joy and abundance), sausage (symbolic of God’s favor and generosity), smoked bacon (symbolic of the overabundance of God’s mercy), some prefer lamb (representing Christ as the “Lamb of God”), salt (symbolic of prosperity and justice and to remind us “You are the salt of the earth”), cheese (symbolizes the moderation Christians should have at all times), horseradish & pepper (symbolic of the Passion of Christ and the bitter herbs of the Passover). A white candle is often inserted into the basket to represent Christ as the “Light of the World.” Lastly, the basket is covered with linen symbolizing the covering of Christ’s shroud. 

This deeply rooted tradition is as richly symbolic as it is heart-warming. Children are eager to help prepare and decorate the family basket and later, proudly carry it into church on Holy Saturday for the blessing. Some families with small children, have their “little-ones” carry their very own decorated basket filled with fruits, a chocolate bunny or some other treat to be blessed. The foods included within any basket can
be easily personalized.

Please join us with your unique baskets for a brief 20 minute blessing on Holy Saturday.