On Holy Saturday, after the Church has commemorated the death of Christ on the Cross, and sung the mournful Tenebrae of Saturday (which before Bugnini we would have done on Friday night) she meditates on the triumphal entry of Christ into hell, before his glorious Resurrection. The part of the Creed where we confess: “Descendit ad inferos” or Descended to the low places (i.e. hell) causes confusion for a lot of people. Why should Christ go into hell?
Here is an excellent old woodcut which explains it.
christus_gessit_inferosHere is a translation of it:
A. The soul of Christ, with no delay intervening, came into the Limbo of the Fathers.
B. The souls of all the Holy Fathers humbly venerate the soul of Jesus.
C. The Soul of the thief, a little after death, is carried by the Angels to Limbo.
D. In the Limbo of the infants there is no part of this joy.E. From Purgatory many souls are freed, which the rays of light thence show springing up to the limbo of the Fathers.
F. In the lower hell Lucifer growls with his own and Judas himself.
No Judas salvation theology there!
What’s interesting too, is if you look at the ground above, you can see the cracks and fissures from the earthquake at Christ’s death.

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