I always think that for my Christian friends Holy Saturday must be the saddest day of the religious year.
As a Jew I can't even bear to imagine what it must be like, thinking of one's lord and master lying alone in a cold and dark tomb.
All the more so for the original disciples, for they did not know that Easter would come so soon, if at all.
My two photos are from the seldom-visited Greek Orthodox church Viri Galilei, on the Mount of Olives.
Orthodox Wiki explains the epitaphios:
The Epitaphios (Greek: Επιτάφιος, epitaphios, or Επιτάφιον, epitaphion; Slavonic: Плащаница, plashchanitsa; Arabic: نعش, naash)
is an icon, today most often found as a large cloth, embroidered and often richly adorned, which is used during the services of Great Friday and Holy Saturday .
It also exists in painted or mosaic form, on walls or panels.
. . .
The icon depicts Christ after he has been removed from the cross, lying supine, as his body is being prepared for burial.
The scene is taken from the Gospel of St. John 19:38-42.
Shown around him, and mourning his death, may be his mother (the Theotokos; John the beloved disciple; Joseph of Arimathea; and Mary Magdalene, as well as angels. Nicodemus and others may also be depicted.
Usually, the troparion of the day is embroidered around the edges of the icon:
The Noble Joseph, taking Thy most pure body down from the Tree and having wrapped it in pure linen and spices, laid it in a new tomb.
- UPDATE 2018: See more about the epitaphios here: