Friday, April 3, 2015

Gospel Saturday (Saturday of Annunciation or Saturday of Good Tidings)

"Descent into Hell by Dionisius and workshop (Ferapontov monastery)" by Moscow school, Dionysius and his workshop - File:Descent into hell-Russian Museum.jpg. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons -
The Descent of Christ into Hades (Hell)
The Gospel Saturday is one of the most important days leading up to Easter. After crucifixion, Christ descended into Sheol (Hades/Hell) to preach the good news to the men and women who departed this world and had never heard the gospel. 

"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]. "They will give an account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. For this reason the gospel was preached also to those who are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit [1 Peter 4:5-6]

In Jacob's bovooso (supplication) after burial service we learn who all met Christ in Sheol. In the depths of Sheol, all the departed came and bowed down before Him; Abel the first-killed was the first one to bow before the Savior (what a privilege!!). Followed by Abel came Adam, Noah, Abraham, the Judges, Priests, Kings, Moses and the band of prophets, and the Levites.

After a long tiring Good Friday service, we tend to "skip" participation in the Holy Qurbana on Saturday. However, on Gospel Saturday, we should be giving the names of our departed forefathers to be remembered during Holy Qurbana and participate in the Holy Qurbana. 

At the conclusion of the Gospel Saturday Qurbana, the service of Reconciliation (Shub-khono) is conducted just as at the beginning of the Great Lent. With this the Great and Holy Lent comes to an end. 

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