The Descent into Hades is a true Icon of the Resurrection

One authoritative contemporary theologian, Metropolitan Hierotheos (Vlachos) of Nafpaktos states that:

“The Church decided to regard the Descent into Hades as a true Icon of the Resurrection.... The quintessential Icon of the Resurrection of Christ is considered to be His Descent into Hades... To be sure, there are also Icons of the Resurrection which depict Christ’s appearance to the Myrrh-bearing women and the Disciples, but the Icon of the Resurrection par excellence is the shattering of death, which took place at the Descent of Christ into Hades, when His soul, together with His Divinity, went down into Hades and freed the souls of the Righteous ones of the Old Testament, who were awaiting Him as their Redeemer.”

Spiritual instruction on St Lazarus Saturday

Wishing to strengthen His disciples before His coming Passion on the Cross, the Lord works the greatest miracle that anyone has ever seen. Neither He nor the saints who lived before Him had ever raised decaying human corpses from the dead. The Raising of Lazarus is an image of both the Resurrection of Christ following it and the resurrection of all mankind that will come at the end of the world. St. John Chrysostom interprets the spiritual meaning of this wondrous miracle, which truly goes beyond the laws of nature and clearly shows the Savior’s divinity:

Homily on Palm Sunday

Entry of The Lord Jesus Christ in JerusalemRejoice greatly, O daughter of Sion; proclaim it aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem; behold, the King is coming to thee, just, and a Savior; he is meek and riding on an ass, and a young foal (Zach. 9:9).

The prophet of God pronounced this prophecy over four hundred years before the event that we commemorate and celebrate today. Having completed His preaching on the earth, our Lord Jesus Christ made His triumphant entry into the royal city of Jerusalem, into the city where the true God was worshipped, a city in most ways Godly. The Lord made this entry as the King and victor, in order to finish His service by a decisive exploit: destroying death by death; removing the curse from the human race by taking this curse upon Himself. He made His entry into the royal city on the colt of an ass, whereon yet never man sat (Lk. 19:30), in order to restore to mankind the royal dignity which our forefather had wasted; to restore this dignity by ascending the cross.

The Paschal Canon

Ode 1
Eirmos: It is the Day of Resurrection! Let us be radiant, O people! Pascha! The Lord's Pascha! For Christ our God has brought us from death to life, and from earth unto heaven, as we sing triumphant hymns!

Refrain: Christ is risen from the dead. (before each troparion).

Let us purify our senses and we shall behold Christ, radiant with inaccessible light of the Resurrection, and shall hear Him saying clearly, "Rejoice!" As we sing the triumphant hymns!

Paschal Hours

Sung during Bright Week

PRIEST: Blessed is our God, always, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages

But a layman sayeth: Through the prayers of our holy fathers, O Lord Jesus Christ, our God, have mercy on us.

Amen. Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and on those in the tombs bestowing life. Thrice. Then we chant: