In celebrating the Vesperal Liturgy of Holy Saturday, we shared reading 15 Old Testament readings foreshadowing Christ and the Resurrection.
We venerated Christ's body in the Tomb, yet also celebrated the harrowing of hell, Christ breaking the gates of brass. Father Christopher spoke movingly about the once-yearly event of taking Holy Communion before the Tomb, noting that in the priestly prayers in the Divine Liturgy all year there is a moving prayer that is founded on this day and the world-changing events of this day:
In the grave bodily, but in Hades with Thy soul as God;
in Paradise with the thief, and on the throne with the Father and the Spirit
wast Thou Who fillest all things, O Christ the Inexpressible.
How life-giving, how much more beautiful than Paradise
and truly more resplendent than any royal palace
hath Thy tomb appeared,
O Christ, the source of our resurrection.