Holy Saturday — The Keys of Death and Hades

Jesus pulls Adam and Eve out of their graves that lead to Hell or Limbo before he resurrects.  St. Savior in Chora (Istanbul) 

The Harrowing of Hell

The Harrowing of Hell is a doctrine in Christian theology referenced in the Apostles’ Creed and the Athanasian Creed (Quicumque vult), which states that Jesus “descended into Hell“. His descent to the underworld has been termed the most controversial phrase in the Apostles’ Creed


The term “Harrowing of Hell” refers not merely to the idea that Christ descended into Hell, as in the Creed, but to the rich tradition that developed later, asserting that he triumphed over inferos, releasing Hell’s captives, particularly Adam and Eve, and the righteous men and women of Old Testament times. 






(631 – 637) 


631 Jesus “descended into the lower parts of the earth. He who descended is he who also ascended far above all the heavens.”476 The Apostles’ Creed confesses in the same article Christ’s descent into hell and his Resurrection from the dead on the third day, because in his Passover it was precisely out of the depths of death that he made life spring forth: 

Christ, that Morning Star, who came back from the dead, and shed his peaceful light on all mankind, your Son who lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen.477 

Paragraph 1. Christ Descended into Hell 

632 The frequent New Testament affirmations that Jesus was “raised from the dead” presuppose that the crucified one sojourned in the realm of the dead prior to his resurrection.478 This was the first meaning given in the apostolic preaching to Christ’s descent into hell: that Jesus, like all men, experienced death and in his soul joined the others in the realm of the dead. But he descended there as Savior, proclaiming the Good News to the spirits imprisoned there.479 

633 Scripture calls the abode of the dead, to which the dead Christ went down, “hell” – Sheol in Hebrew or Hades in Greek – because those who are there are deprived of the vision of God.480 Such is the case for all the dead, whether evil or righteous, while they await the Redeemer: which does not mean that their lot is identical, as Jesus shows through the parable of the poor man Lazarus who was received into “Abraham’s bosom”:481 “It is precisely these holy souls, who awaited their Savior in Abraham’s bosom, whom Christ the Lord delivered when he descended into hell.”482 Jesus did not descend into hell to deliver the damned, nor to destroy the hell of damnation, but to free the just who had gone before him.483 

634 “The gospel was preached even to the dead.”484 The descent into hell brings the Gospel message of salvation to complete fulfilment. This is the last phase of Jesus’ messianic mission, a phase which is condensed in time but vast in its real significance: the spread of Christ’s redemptive work to all men of all times and all places, for all who are saved have been made sharers in the redemption. 

635 Christ went down into the depths of death so that “the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live.”485 Jesus, “the Author of life”, by dying destroyed “him who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and [delivered] all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong bondage.”486 Henceforth the risen Christ holds “the keys of Death and Hades”, so that “at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth.”487 

Today a great silence reigns on earth, a great silence and a great stillness. A great silence because the King is asleep. The earth trembled and is still because God has fallen asleep in the flesh and he has raised up all who have slept ever since the world began. . . He has gone to search for Adam, our first father, as for a lost sheep. Greatly desiring to visit those who live in darkness and in the shadow of death, he has gone to free from sorrow Adam in his bonds and Eve, captive with him – He who is both their God and the son of Eve. . . “I am your God, who for your sake have become your son. . . I order you, O sleeper, to awake. I did not create you to be a prisoner in hell. Rise from the dead, for I am the life of the dead.”488 


636 By the expression “He descended into hell”, the Apostles’ Creed confesses that Jesus did really die and through his death for us conquered death and the devil “who has the power of death” (Heb 2:14). 

637 In his human soul united to his divine person, the dead Christ went down to the realm of the dead. He opened heaven’s gates for the just who had gone before him. 

Holy Saturday Stational Church: San Giovanni in Laterano



“Scala Santa”


The staircase of Pilate’s house which Christ descended after his condemnation, so it was given the name of “Scala Santa” which means “Holy Staircase”. A legend related how it had been brought from Jerusalem to Rome by St Helena, mother of Constantine.


There are 28 marble steps protected by wooden boards located in the center of other four staircases, and it is the only one in Rome which is permitted to be ascend only on the knees of worshippers.








The Harrowing of Hell, from the Barberini Exultet Roll, ca. AD 1087.


The Gospel of Matthew and its readers By Howard W. Clarke


“Passion, Death, and Resurrection”


pp. 240 – 241


In the Eastern Church the “Harrowing” is a popular subject for church wall paintings, since it illustrates Orthodoxy’s doctrine of theiosis, or deification, whereby the sinner is raised up by divine influence – and, with its vanquished Satan and joyful “saints,” it makes a more dramatic composition than the empty tomb.  Visitors to Venice can see a version on the west vault of St. Mark’s central dome, where Jesus is astride a goggle-eyed Satan who lies bewildered among hell’s keys, locks, and door panels; those to Istanbul can see a mosaic (1310 – 20) in St. Savior in Chora (later the mosque of Kariye), where a white-robed Jesus literally yanks Adam and Eve out of their graves.



Nothing happens without a purpose. Our lives are defined by the decisions we make each day. We are co-creators of our reality.

Maktub is an Arabic word which means It is Written.

Maktub expresses the fact that whatever shall happen is already known to God.

Despite the fact we have a Destiny, we still exercise Free Will. God is not limited by our ability to understand. He Knows the choices we will make. This is the essence of Maktub.

Each person possesses the power to choose the path for their thoughts and actions. Each of us have a Souls Purpose that we are called to perform. It is your choice to step forward and advance our collective human condition, or not and be forgotten.

“Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams”

~ Paulo Coelho excerpt from The Alchemist ~




38 Responses to “Holy Saturday — The Keys of Death and Hades”

  1. blessedistruth Says:

    The Easter Vigil Liturgy Live from the Vatican

    Live on EWTN

    You can also watch here:


  2. blessedistruth Says:

    My playlists aren’t working.

    Sorry, I’ll figure it out.

    For now just click on green arrows.


  3. blessedistruth Says:

    Trio for recorder, viola da gamba & continuo in F major (Essercizii musici No. 7/14)

    Telemann Trio Sonate 7, F-Dur aus den “Essercizii Musici”

  4. blessedistruth Says:

    Trio for recorder, viola da gamba & continuo in F major (Essercizii musici No. 7/14)

    Composed by Georg Philipp Telemann

    with Chandos Baroque Players




  5. blessedistruth Says:

    Works and reputation

    The Guinness Book of World Records lists Telemann as the most prolific composer of all time with more than 800 credited works.

    More recent studies, for example the thematic catalogues of his works published in the 1980s and 1990s, have shown that Telemann actually wrote over 3,000 compositions, many of which are now lost.

    Some of his pieces, thought lost, were recently uncovered by the musicologist Jason Grant.

    Many of the manuscripts were destroyed during World War II.

    (Another composer, Simon Sechter, could be considered more prolific, since he is thought to have written over 8000 pieces, but 5000 of these were short fugues.)

    Telemann was highly regarded during his lifetime, and for several decades afterwards; however, by the first decades of the 19th century his works were performed less frequently.

    The last performance of a substantial work by Telemann, Der Tod Jesu, until the 20th century, was in 1832.

    Indeed, the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica, which includes large articles on both J. S. Bach and Handel, does not contain an entry on Telemann.

    The revival of interest in Telemann began in the first decades of the 20th century and culminated in the Bärenreiter critical edition of the 1950s.

    Early music ensembles now commonly perform Telemann’s works and numerous recordings of his music are available.

  6. blessedistruth Says:

    When Telemann was appointed music director in Hamburg in 1721 it was his duty to compose one Passion every year.

    As a result he composed 46 Passions on the four gospels in turn.

    Towards the end of his career, during the 1750s and 1760s, he also composed some Passion oratorios, which were not based on the text of the Gospels, but rather on poetical paraphrases of or reflections on the story of the Passion.

    These were intended to be performed in the concert hall rather than during services in the church.

    One of the poets who provided a paraphrase text was Karl Wilhelm Ramler.

    ‘Der Tod Jesu’ was set to music by several composers:

    Carl Heinrich Graun,

    Johann Christoph Friedrich Bach,

    Johann Friedrich Reichardt and

    Carl Wilhelm Zelter.

    TELEMANN – Cantate pour la Passion ” Der Tod Jesu ” – Hambourg 1755 – (extraits) – dir. F. Heyerick

  7. blessedistruth Says:

    Der Tod Jesu By Karl Wilhelm Ramler


  8. blessedistruth Says:

    A translation (perhaps not a good one?)


  9. blessedistruth Says:

    In darkness let me dwell, the ground shall sorrow be,
    The roof despair to bar all cheerful light from me,
    The walls of marble black that moisten’d still shall weep,
    My music hellish jarring sounds, to banish friendly sleep.
    Thus wedded to my woes, and bedded to my tomb,
    O, let me, living, living, die, till death do come.

  10. blessedistruth Says:

    In darkness let me dwell


  11. blessedistruth Says:

    Far from triumphing Court and wonted glory
    He dwelt in shady unfrequented places,
    Time’s prisoner now, he made his pastime story;
    Glady forgets Court’s erst-afforded graces.
    That goddess whom he served to heaven is gone,
    And he on earth in darkness left to moan.

    But lo, a glorious light from his dark rest
    Shone from the place where erst this goddess dwelt;
    A light whose beams the world with fruit hath blest;
    Blest was the knight while he that light beheld.
    Since then a star fixed on his head hath shined,
    And a saint’s image in his heart is shrined.

    Ravished with joy, so graced by such a saint,
    He quite forgat his cell and self denaid;
    He thought it shame in thankfulness to faint,
    Debts due to princes must be duly paid;
    Nothing so hateful to a noble mind
    As finding kindness for to prove unkind.

    But ah! poor knight, though thus in dream he ranged,
    Hoping to serve this saint in sort most meet,
    Time with his golden locks to silver changed
    Hath with age-fetters bound him hands and feet.
    Ay me! he cries, goddess, my limbs grow faint,
    Though I Time’s prisoner be, be you my saint.


  12. blessedistruth Says:

    A Musicall Banquet (1610) – Furnished with a varietie of delicious Ayres, collected out of the best authors in English, French, Spanish and Italian







  13. blessedistruth Says:

    I just love the fact that someone typed in “thank you jesus” and found their way here.

    Isn’t that interesting?

    I’m wondering what that person must have been feeling when they sat down at their computer and typed “thank you jesus”

    On second thought, I know exactly how they felt.

    Anyway, this popped up and they clicked on it.

    I hope he or she comes back.


    Kenny Rankin Inside « BlessedIsTruth’s Blog

    Jesus answered them, Many good works have I shewed you from my Father; …… She said she wants to thank Bush in person for the order, which gave her a …


  14. blessedistruth Says:

    Well, this is part of search result


    blessedistruth Says:

    December 1, 2009 at 5:37 pm

    Obama Aunt No. 1 man? “W” !!!

    Onyango reserved special words of kindness for former President George W. Bush for a directive he put in place days before the election requiring federal agents get high-level approval to arrest fugitive immigrants, which directly affected Onyango. The directive made clear that U.S. officials worried about possible election implications of arresting Onyango.

    She said she wants to thank Bush in person for the order, which gave her a measure of peace but was lifted weeks later.

    “I loved President Bush,” Onyango said while moving toward a framed photo of Bush and his wife standing with Barack and Michelle Obama at the White House on inauguration day.

    “He is my No. 1 man in my life because he helped me when I really needed that help.”

  15. blessedistruth Says:

    And this was the other part


    blessedistruth Says:

    November 29, 2009 at 1:29 am

    Jesus was like each one of us and, ultimately, each one of us is destined to be like Him.

    I and my Father are one. Then they took up stones again to stone him. Jesus answered them, Many good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of these do you stone me? They answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God. Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, “I said, Ye are gods.” John 10:30-34

    Although many of us may be repelled at first by such a suggestion, evidence for this premise is found in both the Bible and the Edgar Cayce material.

    When speaking of humankind, Jesus, himself, states, “They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world,” (John 17:16).

    Surprisingly, perhaps, a Jewish businessman came to this very conclusion in questions that he posed in a Cayce reading:

    Q. Jesus was made perfect, God came into His Own. We are men not yet perfect, god not yet equal to God. He represents our so-called future, the path to the Throne?

    A. Correct. He is the path to the throne, in that we, man, must become as the One as directs the way.

    Q. …Like us, Jesus was both God and Man until He became God alone?

    A. Correct.


  16. patriotamy Says:

    Happy Easter, Friend. May God’s love keep you warm and content!

  17. blessedistruth Says:

    May God’s love keep you warm and content!

    I thank God for friends like you Amy

    He is risen!

  18. blessedistruth Says:

    This traditional Easter hymn rings in Easter morning with the Motet Choir, Bell Choir, Brass Quartet, Timpani and Dr Sandor Szabo on the Schantz pipe organ

    Hymn Sing ! Jesus Christ is Risen Today ( with lyrics)

  19. blessedistruth Says:

  20. blessedistruth Says:

    He is Risen: Easter Quotes, Sayings and Bible Verses this Easter Sunday


  21. blessedistruth Says:


    Jesus spoke of courage in the face of tribulations, the cardinal continued, and referred to the apostle Peter’s account of Jesus during the passion:

    “When he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, threatened not, but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously.”

    Benedict rose to greet Cardinal Sodano with an embrace, clasping his shoulders warmly and shaking his hand.

    Vatican observers said they could not recall such an appearance in past Easter celebrations in St. Peter’s.

    Shortly after the Mass, Benedict took to the balcony and delivered his annual “Urbi et Orbi” — “To the City and to the World” — address, making no mention of the scandal but touching on the world’s trials and troubled places:

    the Middle East,

    Christian communities in Iraq and Pakistan,

    drug trafficking in Latin America,

    the earthquakes in Haiti and Chile and

    conflicts in Africa.

    “May the saving power of Christ’s resurrection fill all of humanity,” Benedict said, “so that it may overcome the multiple tragic expressions of a ‘culture of death’ which are becoming increasingly widespread.”

  22. blessedistruth Says:


    You can also watch here:


  23. blessedistruth Says:


    Pope Benedict XVI celebrates the Solemn Mass of Easter, live from Vatican City.
    Sun 4/4/10 4:15 AM ET / 1:15 AM PT
    Sun 4/4/10 8:00 PM ET / 5 PM PT

    Live from St. Peter’s Square in Rome, Pope Benedict XVI gives the traditional Easter message and blessing “Urbi et Orbi” – ‘to the city of Rome and to the world’.
    Sun 4/4/10 6:00 AM ET / 3 AM PT – LIVE
    Sun 4/4/10 4:00 PM ET / 1 PM PT – Encore
    Mon 4/5/10 10:00 AM ET / 7 AM PT – Encore
    Mon 4/5/10 11:00 PM ET / 8 PM PT – Encore

    Most Rev. Donald W. Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington, Celebrant & Homilist.
    Sun 4/4/10 12:00 PM ET / 9 AM PT

  24. blessedistruth Says:

    To follow tweets on “Happy Resurrection” go to:


  25. blessedistruth Says:

    Astronomy writer James Mullaney discussed his book Edgar Cayce and the Cosmos, which examines the “Sleeping Prophet’s” readings about the universe.

    As a scientist, he was initially skeptical about the Cayce material (which was delivered in a trance state), but upon study, he was won over by its accuracy and insights.

  26. blessedistruth Says:

    More Like This:


  27. blessedistruth Says:


  28. blessedistruth Says:

    An Edgar Cayce Reading for Easter


    The following reading (5749-13) was given March 12, 1941 at the Cayce’s home on Arctic Crescent in Virginia Beach at the request of the Glad Helpers Prayer Group.

    As the conductor, Gertrude Cayce opened the reading, “You will have before you the desire of those present here to secure at this time an Easter message which may be an inspiration and a help to those to whom it is presented.

    You will consider the intention of those present to pass this discourse on to others, and give that which will be most helpful now.”

    Edgar Cayce’s answer is just as appropriate now as it was during that trying time in 1941.

    “In man’s experience in the earth there comes those periods of doubt and fear, and of the loss of hope.

    Then to all such there should be the reminding of that Easter Morn; and as to what it has meant and does mean in the hearts and minds of those who have and do put their trust in Jesus, the Christ.

    “There should be the reminding that – though He bowed under the burden of the Cross, though His blood was shed, though He entered into the tomb – through that power, that ability, that love as manifested in Himself among His fellow men He broke the bonds of death; proclaiming in that act that THERE IS NO DEATH when the individual, the soul, has and does put its trust in Him.

    “ Thus in this hour of despair throughout the world, when those activities are such as to indicate hate, injustice, tyranny, desire to enslave or to impel others to submit to the dictates of this or that power, – let all take heart and know that this, too, as the hour upon Calvary, must pass away; and that as upon the wings of the morning there comes that new hope, that new desire, to the hearts and minds of all who seek to know His face.

    “This must begin within thine own heart.”

    He reminds them to meditate often and asks all to examine their hearts and minds and to replace fear, hate, jealousy and doubt with the desire to help, hope, and give to those in need.

    By doing this, with body, mind and spirit they be the Easter message, and create hope in the hearts, minds and lives of others.

    Excerpts from Edgar Cayce Reading 254-91

  29. blessedistruth Says:


  30. blessedistruth Says:


  31. blessedistruth Says:

    Mullaney has collected and analyzed all of the Edgar Cayce readings related to the cosmos, in both the light of modern astronomical and cosmological knowledge and the most recent discoveries in these fascinating fields.

    Complete with some of the latest and most spectacular images in full color from the Hubble space telescope superb heritage collection.

  32. blessedistruth Says:

    I wanted to share this with you

    One of the reasons I remain catholic is I have seen and felt miraculous things while in church

    And I don’t take that word lightly

    Once I was taking my sixth grade homeroom to confession

    This was in queens NY

    We had a visiting priest from Africa

    Cannot recall which country exactly

    Have I told you lately that I love black catholics

    There I said it

    I love black catholics!

    Anyway we were nearly done and as I was thanking this priest and saying goodbye

    He shook my hand with both of his and gave me his blessing

    Well I felt this jolt of electricity just shoot through my body

    His blessing was more like a healing

    He glanced over his shoulder as he was walking away to see my reaction.

    I was looking over my shoulder at him

    I must have had a puzzled look on my face

    He gave me a knowing look and continued on his way

    Just wanted to share

  33. Troy Says:

    Happy easter, Rosie!

  34. cynkading Says:

    Happy Easter Rosie!! Hope your day is wonderful!!!

  35. Fernley Girl Says:

    Blessings, always.

  36. blessedistruth Says:

    Troy cynkading and Fernley Girl

    Thanks so much!

    Blessings to you as well.

    He is Risen!

  37. blessedistruth Says:

    I just love this!

    Top Searches

    “kiss the guitar player”


    kenny rankin thank you jesus,


    kenny rankin inside,



    And thank you jesus, for Kenny Rankin!

  38. blessedistruth Says:

    New Thread:


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