What Do We Call Easter Saturday?

I just realized that today is Saturday – the day before Easter Sunday. For some reason I feel like I should be doing something in celebration of this day, but what’s there to do? How do you properly celebrate the Saturday before Easter?  Come to think of it, do we even have a name for this day?

Obviously, Sunday is Easter. Everyone seems to know that – even if they believe the day is all about bunnies and chocolate Easter eggs.  We grow up knowing all about Easter Sunday, so I won’t spend a lot of time talking about it.  (Quick tip – if you see a bunny laying chocolate eggs, don’t eat them!)

Most everyone knows about yesterday too, called Good Friday. It’s the day we celebrate the crucifixion and burial of Jesus.  Perhaps celebration isn’t the right word – it’s not really something to have a party for, after all.  Let’s say we acknowledge on Good Friday that those gruesome events took place.  Jesus was crucified and buried. Honestly, I’ve never understood the “good” part of that either (have you ever seen “The Passion of the Christ?”). It can obviously be seen as beneficial that He died for our sins, yes, but it just doesn’t feel right calling the event good.  I feel more guilty on Good Friday than I do good.  Any name that takes this long to explain probably needs to be reconsidered.

Which brings to mind Monday Thursday.  Can someone please explain the concept of Monday Thursday?  It sounds like they can’t choose which day of the week to celebrate it on.  How does Monday Thursday make sense?   Well, it doesn’t.  In fact, it’s actually Maundy – not Monday.  Of course, that doesn’t really help unless you know what the word Maundy means.  I don’t.    Well, I didn’t until I looked it up.  Apparently this is the day we celebrate the actual Last Supper when Jesus celebrated Passover with his disciples by breaking bread with them and sharing wine, telling them to remember him in the future.  And we won’t even get into what Passover means – I’ll let you look that one up on your own.

So what’s today, the Saturday before Easter?  It’s the only day left without something special attached to it.  Maybe we could go the Christmas route and call today Easter Eve.  But then we’d be wondering if we can open our Easter baskets on Easter morning or the night before.   

The only name I could find for today was Holy Saturday.  Which seems strange, as every Saturday is holy according to the Bible – because Saturday is the Sabbath.  You know, that thing in the Ten Commandments that God said we’re supposed to keep holy all the time anyway?  So calling it Holy Saturday is redundant.

Perhaps today I’ll try to reflect on a world similar to the world they were contemplating two-thousand-plus years ago… a world without Jesus.  They thought their Messiah was dead, never to return.  They thought all hope was lost.  Perhaps that is what we should do with this day.  Take a few moments, try to imagine a world where our one and only hope is dead and buried.  Remind ourselves that we deserve the same fate. 

But then rejoice in the fact that hope, love, and our salvation have already risen… and that we do not have to mourn as those in the past.

I dub this day, “Saturday of Expectation.”

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