Christ Descends into Hell – Sung Tenebrae

A blessed and happy Easter to all my readers!
I know we are now in the joy of Easter, yet I would like to share some thoughts about Holy Saturday before the Easter Vigil in the Holy Night.

“He descended into hell.”

The first meaning of this phrase from the Apostles’ Creed affirms that Jesus, like all men, truly died and his soul joined the souls of the just souls in the realm of the dead.  However, Christ descended there as the Saviour, freeing the spirits imprisoned there.  Holy Scripture tells us:  “… He was put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit, in which also he went and made a proclamation to the spirits in prison…” (1 Peter 3.18-19).   On Holy Saturday morning, we commemorate Christ’s descent into “hell”.  This “hell” is not the hell of the damned, but the state called “Abraham’s bosom” in Scripture (Luke 16.22-26), where the souls of the just, while deprived of the vision of God, awaited to be freed so as to enter in Heaven.

In her liturgy, the Church gives us the service of Tenebrae on Holy Saturday morning, in which, like the two Mary’s, we keep watch at the tomb, lamenting the death of our Lord, who suffered so much for our sins.  But unlike those holy women at that time, we also commemorate Christ’s descent among the dead who frees the just from the chains of their “hell” so that they may enter into the glory of heaven.  As we sing the words of the tenebrae service, we enter alternately into the lamentation of the holy women, and the mind of Christ descending and raising up the just souls who awaited their liberation. (Catechism of the Catholic Church ¶¶ 632-635).

Click on the image above to listen to a recording of Tenebrae sung at St Jude’s Church, Vancouver, 2014.

 

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Resurrection and a Pledge of Future Glory

To listen to a homily on the raising of Lazarus and the Christ’s pledge of future glory, click on the image.azarusResurrectionDuccio1308-11

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Transfiguration and Friendship with Jesus

TransfigurationTaborFor a homily on the Christ revealing his divine nature and what this has to do with our friendship with Jesus and his invitation to us to join him in the Holy Mass, click on the image.

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Who the Devil Is He?

Xt tempted For a homily on the devil, how he can affect us, and Christ, our champion against the devil’s attacks, click on the image.

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God Loved Me First

sistine.hands For a homily on what Jesus meant when he said, “Unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5.20), click on the image.

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