Holy Saturday

Morning

The Vesperal Liturgy of Saint Basil the Great

Scriptural References:

Genesis: 1:1-13

Jonah 1:1-16, 2:1-11, 3:1-10, 4:1-11

Daniel 3:1-57

Romans 6:3-11

Matthew 28:1-20

On Great and Holy Saturday morning, the Orthodox Church commemorates Christ"s decent into Hades and the releasing of the souls of all who were held captive by death. It is important for us to remember that humankind had been removed from Paradise, since the time of Adam and Eve, and that man was subject to death. Upon the death of all from the time of Adam and Eve to the moment of Christ"s voluntary death on the cross, all the souls of those who lived were "held captive by death" in a place called Hades. Hades, not to be confused with hell, was a jail of sorts for souls – a place where they were held prisoner.

When Jesus died on the Cross, Hades accepted His soul thinking that it was accepting the soul of a man – only to find out that it had accepted God, the uncontainable, into her midst.

Immediately, an explosion takes place, the Hymns tell us that "Hades lets out a groan" as the doors to Hades are blown open the "locks and chains" used to imprison the souls tossed aside and rendered useless as Christ raises all the dead and resurrects them all.

The following Hymns show us the magnitude of this event:

Today Hades lets out a groan: "Would that I had not received the son of Mary: for when He came upon me He dissolved my power; He shattered the gates of bronze; the souls I had held captive, as God He raised up." Glory, Lord, to Your Cross and Your Resurrection.

Today Hades lets out a groan: "My sovereignty is destroyed. I received Him as a mortal, one among the dead; but this One I am powerless to contain; instead with Him I lose all I had governed. I had held the dead for ages, but behold, He resurrects all." Glory, Lord, to Your Cross and Your Resurrection.

Today Hades lets out a groan: "My might is swallowed up: the shepherd was crucified but raised up Adam. All I ruled over I have lost; all I was able in my power to consume, I have disgorged. The crucified One has emptied the graves. The sway of death is no more." Glory, Lord, to Your Cross and Your Resurrection.

This event is commemorated in spectacular fashion, with the priest chanting the following verses from Psalm 81/82 while scattering bay leaves (the symbol of victory) throughout the church.

Arise, O God, and be judge of the earth, for You shall inherit all nations.

God has taken His place in the assembly of the gods, and in their midst He judges gods.

Arise, O God, and be judge of the earth, for You shall inherit all nations.

How long will you judge unjustly, and be partial to sinners?

Arise, O God, and be judge of the earth, for You shall inherit all nations.

Defend the orphan and the needy, do justice to the lowly and the poor.

Arise, O God, and be judge of the earth, for You shall inherit all nations.

Rescue the needy and deliver the poor out of the hands of sinners.

Arise, O God, and be judge of the earth, for You shall inherit all nations.

They neither know nor understand, they walk about in darkness: the foundations of the earth are shaken.

Arise, O God, and be judge of the earth, for You shall inherit all nations.

I said: you are gods and sons of the Most High, all of you. Yet you will die like all human beings, and fall like any princes.

Arise, O God, and be judge of the earth, for You shall inherit all nations.

Hymns of the Day:
Praise the Lord and exalt him to all ages.

Praise the Lord, all the works of the Lord; Praise the Lord and exalt him to all ages.

Bless the Lord, you angels of the Lord, heavenly powers of the Lord;

Bless the Lord, all you waters above the heavens and all powers of the Lord;

Bless the Lord, sun and moon, the stars of heaven;

Bless the Lord, light and darkness, night and day;

Bless the Lord, showers and dew and all winds;

Bless the Lord, fire and warmth, cold and heat;

Bless the Lord, dew and snow, ice and cold;

Bless the Lord, frost and snow, lightning and clouds;

Bless the Lord, earth, mountains and hills, and all things that grow in it;

Bless the Lord, fountains, seas, rivers, whales and everything that moves in the water;

Bless the Lord, fowl of the sky, beasts and all animals;

Bless the Lord, sons of men, bless him and let Israel bless;

Bless the Lord, priests of the Lord, servants of the Lord;

Bless the Lord, spirits and souls of the righteous, holy and humble men of heart;

Bless the Lord, Ananias, Azarias, and Misael;

Bless the Lord, apostles, prophets and martyrs of the Lord;

We bless the Lord, Father, Son and Holy Spirit;

We praise, bless and worship the Lord;

We praise the Lord and glorify him to all the ages.

 

 

Schedule of Services

Sundays: Orthros (Matins): 8:45 AM | Divine Liturgy: 9:45 AM

Weekdays: Orthros (Matins): 9:00 AM | Divine Liturgy: 10:00 AM

For information on our Lenten and Holy Week services please contact the Church office at (203) 795-1347 between the hours of 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM, Monday through Friday.

 

2014 Stewardship:


Parish Resource Guide:

Ministry Resource Guide 2013-2014: Part 1

Ministry Resource Guide 2013-2014: Part 2

Ministry Resource Guide 2013-2014: Part 3


Parish Publication:

The Winter 2014 Edition


Upcoming Events and Services

Sts. Cosmas & Damianos

November 1, 2014

Orthros

Holy Trinity Chapel
November 1, 2014 9 am

Divine Liturgy

Holy Trinity Chapel
November 1, 2014 10 am

JOY Hayride

Saint Barbara Greek Orthodox Church, 480 Racebrook Road, Orange, CT, United States
November 1, 2014 5:30 pm

5th Sunday of Luke

November 2, 2014

Orthros

November 2, 2014 8:30 am

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