≡ Menu

“Knock Knock. Who’s There?” The Harrowing of Hell

“A thing strange is happening — there is a great silence on earth today, a great silence and stillness. The whole earth keeps 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. God has died in the flesh and hell trembles with fear.

“He has gone to search for our first parent, 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 the captives Adam and Eve, he who is both God and the son of Eve. The Lord approached them bearing the cross, the weapon that had won him the victory. At the sight of him Adam, the first man he had created, struck his breast in terror and cried out to everyone: ‘My Lord be with you all.’ Christ answered him: ‘And with your spirit.’ He took him by the hand and raised him up, saying: ‘Awake, O sleeper, and rise from the dead, and Christ will give you light.’

“I am your God, who for your sake have become your son. Out of love for you and for your descendants I now by my own authority command all who are held in bondage to come forth, all who are in darkness to be enlightened, all who are sleeping to arise. I order you, O sleeper, to awake. I did not create you to be held a prisoner in hell.

“Rise from the dead, for I am the life of the dead. Rise up, work of my hands, you who were created in my image. Rise, let us leave this place, for you are in me and I am in you; together we form only one person and we cannot be separated. For your sake I, your God, became your son; I, the Lord, took the form of a slave; I, whose home is above the heavens, descended to the earth and beneath the earth. For your sake, for the sake of man, I became like a man without help, free among the dead. For the sake of you, who left a garden, I was betrayed to the Jews in a garden, and I was crucified in a garden.” Holy Saturday and the Harrowing of Hell

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Casey Klahn March 31, 2018, 6:00 PM

    Don’t let the pope see this depiction of hell. He might become a believer. /sarc.

  • Bad_Brad March 31, 2018, 6:43 PM

    The wifes Catholic. I’m not, but we’ve been attending Catholic church since we were first married. That’ a long time. American Catholics think this guy might be a precursor to the Anti Christ. He’s killing attendance and donations.

  • jpm March 31, 2018, 8:54 PM

    The Catholic church preserves the Word.

    I’ve said this before. The Word always survives the heritic. The AntiChrist is mentioned in the New Testiment. He is anyone against the Christ. This has happened before. Nothing new.

  • Gnawbonejack April 1, 2018, 5:27 AM

    Thanks GVDL. I needed this. He IS risen…

  • Jaynie April 1, 2018, 5:28 AM

    Oh, the painting. It is so intense! I wonder who would be the artist?
    Yes, Holy Saturday, with the moving, lovely Easter Vigil, has become an early Easter for our church. Although the church, Christ the King, does a wonderful Tridium (the oldest priest looked so exhausted late last night) there is only a prayer on Holy Saturday morning and the Vigil at night. But, truly staggering to think about the original Holy Saturday.

    Do we think, perhaps, Pope Francis was misquoted about hell?
    Oh, ha ha, I clicked over to find the text of the Act Of Contrition, because, as I know the prayer it references our fear of hell:

    “O MY GOD, I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee, and I detest all my sins because I dread the loss of Heaven and the pains of Hell; but most of all because they offend Thee, my God, Who art all-good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of Thy grace, to confess my sins, to do penance, and to amend my life. Amen.” http://catholictradition.org/prayers1.htm

    However, looking at the first link that popped up, it seems that the prayer has been updated. I must have missed the memo, lol. Many new versions. None reference fear of hell.

    “O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee, and I detest all my sins because of Thy just punishments, but most of all because they offend Thee, my God, Who art all-good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of Thy grace, to sin no more and to avoid the near occasions of sin.


    My God, I am sorry for my sins with all my heart. In choosing to do wrong and failing to do good, I have sinned against you whom I should love above all things. I firmly intend, with your help, to do penance, to sin no more, and to avoid whatever leads me to sin. Our Savior Jesus Christ suffered and died for us. In his name, my God, have mercy.


    O my God, I am sorry for my sins because I have offended you. I know I should love you above all things. Help me to do penance, to do better, and to avoid anything that might lead me to sin. Amen.”

    Oh my.

  • Richard April 1, 2018, 9:01 AM

    I allowed myself to be more distressed that I should have regarding the Pope’s latest alleged ruminations concerning the non-existence of Hell. With my baptism into Christianity, according to the Roman Catholic rite, I was assured my eternal inheritance should I maintain my member in good standing status (Apostles’ Creed). Since his installation I have had to increasingly tune Francis out. Sure, he gets some things right in terms of orthodoxy, but then comes an enormous faux pas.
    As a Roman Catholic I’ve been given everything I need. Jesus’ redemptive death on the cross, His Resurrection from death, The Holy Eucharist, the Catechism, The Holy Bible, the Sacraments, the intervention of the Community of Saints, the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy, the Doctors of the Church, the list of treasures goes on and on. And, not to put to fine a point on it, the promise given by Jesus that “The gates of Hell shall not prevail against MY church.” (Yes Francis, Jesus really said that. Too bad about your godless Marxism.)
    I will not speculate about Francis’ being a good or bad pope. I’m no theologian, nor do I play one on blog pages. Plus, I’ve got a beam or three in my own eyes, so I’ll leave the removal of the speck in my brother’s eyes to those of more certain vision.
    Suffice it to say The Church has had bad actors in the past and survived (Jesus’ promise, again).
    Next on my reading list: http://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/benedict-option-faq/
    Going to try to get and keep my mind right, what with all of the recent amped-up craziness in the world of late.
    Wishing all who frequent this wonderful digital Oasis a wonderful and glorious Easter! He is Risen, indeed!

  • Casey Klahn April 1, 2018, 11:41 AM

    Hi, Jayne. The peace of Christ be with you.

    The artist of this painting was a student of Hieronymus Bosch (15th-16th C).

    Logic dictates that something is due from sin, and our Lord died for a reason, didn’t He? We agree, the pope must be off his meds or something this week. I’m not Roman Catholic, but I am also not anti-Catholic in any sense of the word. The prayers you researched and posted don’t really dot the i nor cross the t, do they?

    Things will get better. I think it’s pretty obvious that papal authority is shaky. Come to think of it, I’m feeling a bit shaky myself.

  • Ten April 2, 2018, 4:07 AM

    The race to excoriate the progressive head of the worshipers of Mary because he alluded or said or intoned that hell does not exist is, I think, proportional to the loud timidity of the – and get this sequence of words – believer’s faith.

    An aside: Faith has become the loud counter-signal; the thing thrown proudly and rebelliously against a world that it used to accept simply on its incorrigible, unending corruption, and has been converted into a salvation of works. Faith is now a competitive work. I am faith, hear me roar.

    Meanwhile, demanding that hell itself validate the whole formulation – because I’m faithfully tuff and probably you are not – is self-evident contradiction, the great confident proclamation that Faithful Believer is, as another of his fine acts, convinced by his own work of conviction that a second reality he can never know from this place is real, dammit. It has to be or else. Death is but a trifle; I demand hell itself hang in my balance.

    But we no more know than we do not know, and faith, therefore, is a grain of mustard seed. Or it used to be.