A Hebrew Catholic Commemoration of Holy Saturday

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AHC Theologian Dr. Lawrence Feingold posed the idea that it could be fitting for Hebrew Catholics to commemorate on Holy Saturday Christ’s descent into hell (or the limbo of the just).

The excerpts below were taken from Dr. Feingold’s 2010 Lecture Series 6, Lecture #7: Holy Saturday and the Harrowing of Hell


All:  Pray the Hail Mary together.

In honor of Our Blessed Mother, the mother of the family lights 12 candles
as everyone names together the 12 tribes of Israel:

Reuben  •  Simeon  •  Levi  •  Judah  •  Zebulun  •  Issachar 
Dan  •  Gad  •  Asher  •  Naphtali  •  Joseph  •  Benjamin.

All:  We praise and magnify You, Lord Jesus Christ,

Reader:  because on Holy Saturday You descended into the part of hell called the limbo of the just on Your journey after death toward resurrection on Easter morning.

All:  We praise and magnify You, Lord Jesus Christ,

Reader:  because of your evangelization of the Jews first through the prophets.

Then, on Holy Saturday, you brought the fullness of Your Revelation to the dead who were resting in the “bosom of Abraham” to show them Your glory, the glory of the Cross by which mankind was redeemed.

All:  We praise and magnify You, Lord Jesus Christ,

Reader:  because “Abraham rejoiced that he was to see my day; he saw it and was glad.” (John 8:56)

All:  We praise and magnify You, Lord Jesus Christ,

Reader:  because the veil in the Temple of Solomon which was before the Holy of Holies was rent in two the very moment of Your death, the same moment that You descended to the dead to rend the veil that kept those in the underworld from seeing the face of God, and You applied the full effects of Baptism to the souls of all the faithful departed, both Jew and pagan.

All:  We praise and magnify You, Lord Jesus Christ,

Reader:  because as the Victor over death, You consummated all and despoiled the devil, finishing the work of Redemption, preaching to the spirits in prison (1 Peter 3:18-22), and opening the gates of Heaven for the just.

All:  We praise and magnify You, Lord Jesus Christ,

Reader:  because your disciple, Thaddeus, testified that “I will preach to them…how He was crucified and descended into Hades, and rent asunder the partition which had never been rent since time began, and raised the dead; how He descended alone, but ascended with a great multitude to His Father.” (from the Church historian, Eusebius)

All:  We praise and magnify You, Lord Jesus Christ,

Reader:  as St. Thomas Aquinas* gives three purposes for Your descent to the dead:

  1. You went there in solidarity with all those who had preceded You, paying this penalty of Adam;
  2. You went there on a mission of charity, for the souls of the just are Your intimate friends. You went there to be with those whom You loved. St. Thomas says: “For He had His friends not only in the world but also in hell, since one is Christ’s friend by having charity and in hell there were many who had died in charity and faith in Christ to come, such as Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, David, and other righteous and perfect men…”
  3. You went to hell to completely overcome the devil, whose kingdom You overthrew on the Cross.

* (Catechesis on the Apostle’s Creed)

All:  Sing Salve Regina

 Easter 2016

  • You are my witnesses (Is. 43:10)  •  You shall be my witnesses (Acts 1:8)