Holy Saturday at St. Constantine and Helen

by Mary Papoulias-Platis

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Holy Saturday is a day of expectation. The bread is baked with red eggs which symbolizes the blood of Christ as well as new life. The magesrista, a lamb soup is prepared for the midnight dinner often made from the lamb’s entrails. On Holy Saturday the Resurrection mass takes place. At 11:40 all lights are put out and candles extinguished as the priests appears at the royal door of the sanctuary with the new Easter flame, a triple candle. From this candle the congregation’s candle are lit. Many churches start a procession outside as midnight approaches, singing ” Christos Anesti” Christ has risen, and the response ” Alithos Anesti“, Truly He is Risen. Once midnight has approached everyone enters the church again for the remaining service. The church is draped in white. The priest has his white vespers on, the Easter lilies are welcoming Spring, and the red-dyed eggs are ready to be passed out and eaten, breaking the lenten fast. Many people stay for communion late into the evening, looking forward to the late night meal. The ceremony of lighting the candles is the most significant moment of the year. The congregation carefully take their lighted candles with the holy light of the Resurrection home with them. Before entering their homes they make a cross with the smoke of the candle on top of the door, they light their icon, and try to keep the light burning all year long.

© 2011 – 2015, Mary Papoulias-Platis. All rights reserved.

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1 Denise

Xristos Anesti!

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