On Holy Saturday morning at church, the Vespers and Divine Liturgy of Saturday evening take place by anticipation. This service is commonly called the “First Resurrection” and it celebrates Christ’s descent into Hades. While our Lord’s body was entombed, His soul descended into Hell to fight and free the souls already trapped there.
The icon of the day is called the Descent into Hades or the Harrowing of Hell. You can find basic information about it HERE.
On the Great and Holy Feast of Pascha, Orthodox Christians celebrate the life-giving Resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. This feast of feasts is the most significant day in the life of the Church. “Christ is risen!” – “He is truly risen!” is the special salutation of the day, and Orthodox Christians keep greeting each other in this way for forty days after Pascha Sunday.
This most important feast is traditionally celebrated with a variety of customs, different ones for Orthodox Christians of different ethnic backgrounds. However, a custom common to all Orthodox Christians is the cracking of red eggs. We are briefly discussing the most common Greek Pascha traditions HERE.
We created two crafts to help experience the celebrations. A flower-framed icon of the Descent into Hades, and a Pascha celebration mobile.
HOLY SATURDAY – THE “FIRST RESURRECTION”
Flower-framed icon of the day
Icon by Athanasios Clark, courtesy of the Department of Religious Education, Greek Orthodox Church of America
You can use a printout of the icon of the Descent into Hades offered in our Holy Week crafting printable packet, to make a flower-framed icon of the day. The technique and procedure are similar to those of our suggested craft for Holy Thursday.
PASCHA SUNDAY: THE FEAST OF FEASTS!
Pascha celebration mobile
You will need
- A printout of the relevant page from our Holy Week crafting printable packet. You will need to print the page twice to make one mobile. If you so choose, you can make your own shapes out of colored paper instead.
- A long piece of string or ribbon
- Scissors, tape and/or glue
How to make the mobile
Cut the shapes out of the printout. Tape the shapes onto the string or ribbon, in any combination that you like. Onto each shape, tape or glue a copy of it – back sides together – sandwiching the string between the two shapes.
Lesson Plans and Extra Resources
Don’t miss our extensive collection of Holy Week teaching material, both for digital and in-person learning.