Alexander Schmemann writes, "The joy that permeates and enlightens the service of Lazarus Saturday stresses one major theme: the forthcoming victory of Christ over Hades. "Hades" is the Biblical term for Death and its universal power, for inescapable darkness that swallows all life and with its shadow poisons the whole world. But now -- with Lazarus' resurrection -- 'death begins to tremble.' A decisive duel between Life and Death begins giving us the key to the entire liturgical mystery of Pascha. Already in the fourth century Lazarus' Saturday was called the 'announcement of Pascha'. For, indeed, it announces and anticipates the wonderful light and peace of the next -- The Great -- Saturday, the day of life-giving Tomb."
Crete icon of the raising of Lazarus