Lazarus Saturday

Source: Orthodox Archbishopric of Good Hope, Cape Town

April 23, 2016


Today is Lazarus Saturday, and, together with Palm Sunday, marks the transition from Lent to Holy Week. Both Lazarus Saturday and Palm Sunday are public events that announce the triumph of Christ and serve as triggers to the events of Holy Week.

Saint John tells us in his Gospel that six days before His own death, Jesus went to Bethany where his friend Lazarus had died and had already been in the tomb for four days. By publicly raising Lazarus to life, He was clearly foreshadowing His own resurrection and proclaiming the universal resurrection of humankind.

The Church gives us this celebration of the raising of Lazarus just before we enter Holy Week in order to reassure us during the coming commemoration of Christ’s Passion. It reminds that, though He suffers and dies, He remains Lord and Victor over death. The liturgical texts emphasise the two natures of Christ, the God-man. In His grief for His friend we see His true humanity, and in His act of raising Lazarus from the dead we see His divine power. We shall continue to encounter this fullness of both humanity and divinity throughout Holy Week, for Christ enters into our suffering as a human being. But He also enters it as it as the God who defeats all suffering and death.


By Your word, O Word of God, Lazarus now leaps out of death, having returned to this life. Therefore the peoples honour You with their branches, O Mighty One; for You shall destroy Hades utterly by Your own death.

By means of Lazarus has Christ already plundered you, O death. Where is your victory, O Hades? For the lament of Bethany is handed over now to you. Let us all wave against it our branches of victory.

Exaposteilaria for Lazarus Saturday

See also
Greek Traditions For the Saturday of Lazarus Greek Traditions For the Saturday of Lazarus Greek Traditions For the Saturday of Lazarus Greek Traditions For the Saturday of Lazarus
The Saturday of Lazarus is one of the most significant feast days in the Orthodox Church. It is a day of both death and life, marking the final great miracle of Christ before His resurrection. This miracle prefigures His death and the authority He has over death when he cried out "Lazarus, come forth" after his friend had been four days dead.
Lazarus Saturday Lazarus Saturday
Fr. Seraphim Holland
Lazarus Saturday Lazarus Saturday
The resurrection of Lazarus, the four days dead, of Bethany
Fr. Seraphim Holland
Imagine what he felt. He was in Hades, and he heard the voice of God, all the way in Hades, and He brought him back in an instant, in a flash. He knew the power of God, and those around saw that power, as Jesus, with a loud voice said, "Lazarus, come forth." And the same voice calls us -- the same voice calls us to come forth. The same voice says, " I am the resurrection. If you believe in Me you will have eternal life." We must believe. We must understand. I tell you. We must also live according to the way Christ is, and then you will understand what it means to be a Christian.
Lazarus Saturday Lazarus Saturday
Archpriest Alexander Schmemann
Lazarus Saturday Lazarus Saturday
Archpriest Alexander Schmemann
"Having fulfilled Forty Days... we ask to see the Holy Week of Thy Passion." With these words sung at Vespers of Friday, Lent comes to its end and we enter into the annual commemoration of Christ's suffering, death and Resurrection. It begins on the Saturday of Lazarus.
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