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EASTER SUNDAY, GOSPEL READING (JOHN 20:1-9)

It was very early on the first day of the week and still dark, when Mary of Magdala came to the tomb. She saw that the stone had been moved away from the tomb and came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved. “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb”, she said, “and we don’t know where they have put him.”

So Peter set out with the other disciple to go to the tomb. They ran together, but the other disciple, running faster than Peter, reached the tomb first; he bent down and saw the linen cloths lying on the ground, but did not go in.

Simon Peter who was following now came up, went right into the tomb, saw the linen cloths on the ground, and also the cloth that had been over his head; this was not with the linen cloths but rolled up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple who had reached the tomb first also went in; he saw and he believed. Till this moment they had failed to understand the teaching of scripture, that he must rise from the dead.

V. The Gospel of the Lord.
R. Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

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“ON HOLY SATURDAY, THE CHURCH AWAITS THE LORD’S RESURRECTION WITH PRAYER AND FASTING”

On Holy Saturday the Church is as it were at the Lord’s tomb, meditating on his passion and death, and on his descent into hell. She is awaiting his resurrection with prayer and fasting. It is highly recommended that on this day the Office of Readings and Morning Prayer is celebrated with the participation of the people. Where this cannot be done, there should be some celebration of the Word of God, or some act of devotion suited to the mystery celebrated this day.

The image of Christ crucified or lying in the tomb, or the descent into hell, which mystery Holy Saturday recalls, as also an image of the Sorrowful Virgin Mary may be placed in the Church for the veneration of the faithful.

On this day the Church abstains strictly from celebration of the sacrifice of the Mass. Holy Communion may only be given in the form of Viaticum. The celebration of marriages is forbidden, as also the celebration of other sacraments, except those of Penance and the Anointing of the Sick.

The faithful are instructed on the special character of Holy Saturday. Festive customs and traditions associated with this day on account of the former practice of anticipating the celebration Easter on Holy Saturday should be reserved for Easter night and the day that follows.
– Given at Rome, at the Offices of the Congregation for Divine Worship, 16 January 1988

 

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