Saturday, April 12, 2014

Lazarus Saturday

Today is Lazarus Saturday or Saturday of Lazarus for the Orthodox Church and Eastern Catholic Churches.
  • It is a paschal celebration day before Palm Sunday.
  • It connects the celebration of Great Lent and Holy Week.
  • It celebrates the resurrection of Lazarus of Bethany glorifying Jesus Christ as the Resurrection and the Life which confirms the universal resurrection of mankind even before His own suffering and death.
  • The story of Lazarus' resurrection from the dead by Jesus Christ is found in the Gospel of John 11:1-45.
  • It is a fact that the Feast is celebrated the Saturday before the Entry of the Lord into Jerusalem because it actually did occur just before Palm Sunday.
  • After the giving of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, St. Lazarus eventually became bishop of Crete.
  • The Saturday of Lazarus is celebrated with the Divine Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom, which is preceded by the Matins service in the Orthodox Church.
  • Lazarus Saturday and Palm Sunday are joyous festivals in the Orthodox Church and bright colors are used for vestments and the Holy Table.
  • No Gospel reading is done.
  • Spice breads called Lazarakia are made and eaten on this day in the Greek Orthodox Church.
  • In the Church Calendar of the Armenian Apostolic Church, the Raising of Lazarus is also commemorated on this same Saturday.
  • Lazarus Saturday is also Vrbica (Врбица) or Lazareva Subota is also commemorated by Serbian Orthodox Christians which has its own features and it is also to commemorate Tsar Lazar who died symbolically for Serbia at the Battle of Kosovo. In Serbian, Лазарева субота, Lazarus Saturday and in Bulgarian, Лазаровден).

References:

Saturday of the Holy and Righteous Friend of Christ, Lazarus - See more at: http://lent.goarch.org/saturday_of_lazarus/learn/#sthash.1gALBhQf.dpuf

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