“This is the most blessed sabbath, where Christ sleeps, and will rise in three days” (kontakion of Great Saturday).
Great Saturday is called the Day of Great Rest. The Lord lies in the tomb on the sabbath – the day of rest. The Holy Church especially emphasizes this idea with the words of the prayer: “Let all human flesh be silent, and let it stand with fear and trembling, and let nothing earthly in itself think.”
At Matins, “lamentations” are read; praiseworthy prayers to the Savior. Then the canon is read “By the Wave of the Sea” in which the origin of the greatest sacrament is revealed: “The new creation of man. Renewal of human nature, – explains Hieromonk Philip – decayed by passions, wounded by decay. The transformation of perishable nature into imperishable occurs.” At the end of the service, a procession of the cross is performed around the church with the shroud, symbolizing the Lord’s descent into hell.
In the morning, at Vespers served with the Liturgy, the clergy and the entire church change from black to light vestments. After the service, bread and wine are blessed to strengthen the believers before the Easter service.
The head of the Mission, Archimandrite Roman (Krassovsky), Hieromonk Misail (Minin), Hieromonk Theodore (Kirike), Priest Roman Gultiaev and Hierodeacon Gerasim (Kotovsky) served. Abbess Elisabeth (Smelic) with her sisters and pilgrims prayed in the church.