Holy Saturday

My Holy Saturday Notes:

  • Jesus descended to the realm of the dead on Holy Saturday to save righteous souls.

Most quoted Bible passage about Holy Saturday: 

  • 18 For Christ also suffered for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, in order to bring you to God. He was put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit, 19 in which also he went and made a proclamation to the spirits in prison, 20 who in former times did not obey, when God waited patiently in the days of Noah, during the building of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were saved through water. (1 Peter 3:18-20)

According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

  • 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. 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”: “It is precisely these holy souls, who awaited their Saviour in Abraham’s bosom, whom Christ the Lord delivered when he descended into hell.” 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.
  • 634 “The gospel was preached even to the dead.” The descent into hell brings the Gospel message of salvation to complete fulfillment. 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.

Other notes:

  • The descent might not have become a doctrine if not for a fourth-century bishop named Rufinus, who added that Jesus went “ad inferna” — to hell — in his commentary on the Apostles’ Creed. The phrase stuck, and was officially added to the influential creed centuries later.

Other resources:

An Ancient Homily – The Lord’s Descent into Hell by Unknown

Holy Saturday Homily by Fr. John Corapi

12 things you need to know about Holy Saturday by Jimmy Akin

What did Jesus do between Good Friday and Easter? by Daniel Burke, NCR

Love: Waiting – Holy Saturday by 24/7 Prayer

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