Lazarus Saturday (31 Mar 2012)
Lazarus Saturday is the day before Palm Sunday. This Saturday and Sunday are the connection between Great Lent and Holy Week. On the eve of the celebration of the Resurrection of Lazarus, the forty days of Great Lent are formally brought to an end at Vespers. These two days are the unique and paradoxical days before the Lord's Passion.
Our Church commemorates a major feast of the year, the miracle of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ when he raised Lazarus from the dead after he had lain in the grave four days.
Here, at the end of Great Lent and the forty days of fasting and penitence, the Church combines this celebration with that of Palm Sunday.
In triumph and joy the Church bears witness to the power of Christ over death and exalts Him as King before entering the most solemn week of the year, one that leads the faithful in remembrance of His suffering and death and concludes with the great and glorious Feast of Pascha.
Icon of the Feast
1. Christ calls his friend Lazarus to come out from his tomb.
2. Lazarus is seen answering the call of his friend while still bound in his burial cloth.
3. Mary and Martha, the sisters of Lazarus, bow before Christ as they witness this awesome miracle. A young man pulls the stone away from the front of the tomb.
4. A man who is a part of the crowd that followed Christ, witnesses the miracle.
Prayer on the Saturday of the Righteous Lazarus
O Christ our God, Who by Thy voice didst release Lazarus from the bonds of death after four days in the tomb, restoring him again to life: Thyself. O Master, enliven us who are deadened by sins, granting life that none can take away; and make us who put our hope in Thee, heirs of life without end.
For Thou art our Life and Resurrection, and to Thee belongeth glory: together with Thine immortal Father, and Thine All-holy, and Good, and Life-creating Spirit, now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.
By: Prajusha Lissyraj