Ann Chapin (Image modified), based on: Anastasis, Chora, Constantinople.

For Christ also died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit; in which he went and preached to the spirits in prison, who formerly did not obey...(I Pet.3:18-19).  See also Melito of Sardis

Homilia in divini corporis sepulturam (Epiphanius-sp.) P.G. 43.439, 451, 462-463: TLG 2021.013
(The Liturgy of the Hours v.2, pp. 496-498; 

SOMETHING strange is happening -  (literally, What is this?)

Τί τοῦτο;

a great silence on earth today, (Rev 8:1;cf. Act 21:40)

σήμερον σιγὴ πολλὴ ἐν τῇ γῇ·

a great silence and, indeed, a restfulness. (cf. 1Ti 2:10)

a great silence because the King is asleep. (cf. 3Mac 5:11)

σιγὴ πολλὴ καὶ ἠρεμία λοιπόν·

σιγὴ πολλὴ, ὅτι ὁ  Βασιλεὺς ὑπνοῖ·

The earth [trembled] with fear and is still (Ps 75:9; cf. Mt 27:51)

because God has fallen asleep in the flesh

and He has raised up those who have slept ever since the world began. (Mt 27:52)

γῆ ἐφοβήθη καὶ ἡσύχασεν,

ὅτι ὁ  Θεὸς σαρκὶ ὕπνωσε,

καὶ τοὺς ἀπ' αἰῶνος ὑπνοῦντας ἀνέστησεν.


GOD has died in the flesh

and Hades trembles with fear.

Ὁ  Θεὸς ἐν σαρκὶ τέθνηκε,

καὶ ὁ ᾅδης ἐτρόμαξεν. [43.440].9-14]

He has gone to search for our first parents, as for a lost sheep. (Ps 119:176; Lk 15:4)

Οντως τὸν πρωτόπλαστον ὡς ἀπολωλὸς πρόβατον ἐπιζητῆσαι πορεύεται. 

Greatly desiring to visit those who live in darkness and in the shadow of death, (Lk 1:79)

Πάντως καὶ τοὺς ἐν σκότει καὶ σκιᾷ θανάτου καθημένους βούλεται ἐπισκέψασθαι·

He has gone to free from sorrow the captive Adam and captive Eve,

πάντως τὸν αἰχμάλωτον Ἀδὰμ, καὶ τὴν συναιχμάλωτον  Εὔαν τῶν ὀδυνῶν λύσαι πορεύεται

He who is both God and the son [of Eve].

ὁ  Θεὸς, καὶ υἱὸς αὐτῆς. [43.452].26-31]


THE Lord approached them bearing the cross, the weapon that had won him the victory.

At the sight of him Adam, the first man he had created, struck his breast in terror and cried out to everyone:

εἰσῆλθεν ὁ Δεσπότης πρὸς αὐτοὺς͵ τὸ νικητικὸν ὅπλον τοῦ σταυροῦ κατ έχων.

Ὃν ἰδὼν ὁ Ἀδὰμ ὁ πρωτόπλαστος͵ καὶ τῇ ἐκπλήξει τὸ στῆθος τύψας͵ ἐβόησε πρὸς πάντας͵ καὶ εἶπεν·

“My Lord be with you all.”

  And Christ answered, saying to Adam: “And with your spirit.”

 Ὁ Κύριός μου μετὰ πάντων.

 Καὶ ἀποκριθεὶς ὁ Χριστὸς͵ λέγει τῷ Ἀδάμ· Καὶ μετὰ τοῦ πνεύματός σου·

He took him by the hand and raised him up, saying:

καὶ κρατήσας αὐτοῦ τῆς χειρὸς ἀνίστησι, λέγων·

Awake, O sleeper, and rise from the dead,

and Christ will give you light. (Eph 5:14)

Ἔγειρε, ὁ καθεύδων, καὶ ἀνάστα ἐκ τῶν νεκρῶν,

καὶ ἐπιφαύσει σοι ὁ  Χριστός.

I am your God, (Is 41:13)

who for you have become your son.

Ἐγὼ ὁ  Θεός σου,

 ὁ διὰ σὲ γενόμενος υἱός σου,

Out of love for you and for your descendants I now by my own authority command:

those in chains to come forth, (Is 49:9)

those in darkness to be enlightened, (Is 49:9)

those who are sleeping to arise. (cf. Mt 27:52)

ὁ διὰ σὲ καὶ τοὺς ἀπὸ σοῦ, νῦν λέγων καὶ κατ' ἐξουσίαν ἐπιτρέπων

τοῖς ἐν δεσμοῖς· Ἐξέλθετε,

καὶ τοῖς ἐν σκότει·  Φωτίσθητε,

καὶ τοῖς κεκοιμημένοις· Ἀνάστητε·

I command you: Awake, O sleeper (Eph 5:14).

σοὶ διακελεύομαι· Ἔγειρε, ὁ καθεύδων·

Not for this did I create you -

to remain a prisoner in Hades.

οὐ γὰρ διὰ τοῦτό σε πεποίηκα,

 ἵνα ἐν ᾅδῃ κατέχῃ δέσμιος.

Arise from the dead, (Eph 5:14)
for I am the life of the dead.
(cf. Jn 5:21)

Ἀνάστα ἐκ τῶν νεκρῶν·
ἐγώ εἰμι ἡ ζωὴ τῶν νεκρῶν.

Arise, work of my hands,

Ἀνάστα, πλάσμα τὸ ἐμὸν,

Arise, O my likeness:
you who were created in my image.

ἀνάστα, μορφὴ ἡ ἐμὴ,
καὶ κατ' εἰκόνα ἐμὴν γεγενημένη.

Rise, let us leave this place,

for you are in me and I am in you: (cf. Jn 17:21)

Εγειρε, ἄγωμεν ἐντεῦθεν·

σὺ γὰρ ἐν ἐμοὶ, κἀγὼ ἐν σοὶ,

    [that they may all be one; even as you, Father, are in me, and I in You, that they also may be in us]

ἵνα πάντες ἓν ὦσιν· καθὼς σύ, πάτερ, ἐν ἐμοί, κἀγὼ ἐν σοί, ἵνα καὶ αὐτοὶ ἐν ἡμῖν ἓν ὦσιν

together we form only one person and we cannot be separated

ἓν καὶ ἀδιαίρετον ὑπάρχομεν πρόσωπον·

For you, [I] your God,
became your son;

διὰ σὲ ὁ Θεός σου
γέγονα υἱός σου·

For you, [I] the Lord,
took the form of a slave;
(Phil 2:7)

διὰ σὲ ὁ  Δεσπότης
 ἔλαβον τὴν σὴν μορφὴν τοῦ δούλου·

For your, [I], whose home is above the heavens,
descended to the earth
    and beneath the earth.

διὰ σὲ ὁ ὑπεράνω τῶν οὐρανῶν
ἦλθον ἐπὶ γῆς
    καὶ ὑποκάτω γῆς·

For you, for the sake of a human being,
I became like a human being without help, free among the dead.
(Ps 88.4)

διὰ σὲ τὸν ἄνθρωπον
γέγονα ὡσεὶ ἄνθρωπος ἀβοήθητος, ἐν νεκροῖς ἐλεύθερος·

For you, who left a garden, (Gen.3:23)

I was betrayed to the Jews in a garden, (Jn 18:1 ff.)
 and I was crucified in a garden.

διὰ σὲ τὸν ἀπὸ κήπου ἐξελθόντα
 ἀπὸ κήπου Ἰουδαίοις παρεδόθην,
        καὶ ἐν κήπῳ ἐσταυρώθην.


SEE on my face the spittle I received (Mk 14:65)

in order to restore to you the life I once breathed into you. (Gen 2:7)

Ἴδε τοῦ προσώπου μου τὰ ἐμπτύσματα, ἅπερ διὰ σὲ κατεδεξάμην,

  ἵνα σε ἀποκαταστήσω εἰς τὸ ἀρχαῖον ἐμφύσημα

SEE on my cheeks the blows I received (cf. Mt 5:39; Lk 6:29: turn the other cheek)

in order to restore your twisted form

[back] into my image.

Ἴδε μου τῶν σιαγόνων τὰ ῥαπίσματα, ἃ κατεδεξάμην,

  ἵνα σου τὴν διαστραφεΐσαν μορφὴν ἐπανορθώσω
εἰς τὸ κατ' εἰκόνα μου.

SEE on my back - the marks of the scourging I endured

to remove the burden of sin (cf. Ps 37:5)

   that weighs upon your back.

Ἴδε μου τοῦ νώτου τὴν φραγγέλλωσιν, ἣν κατεδεξάμην,

  ἵνα σκορπίσω τῶν ἁμαρτιῶν σου τὸ φορτίον
τὸ ἐπὶ τοῦ νώτου κείμενον.

SEE my hands, nailed well (firmly) to the tree,

for you who once wickedly stretched out your hand to the tree (Gen 3:6). 

Ἴδε μου τὰς προσηλωθείσας  χεῖρας ἐν τῷ ξύλῳ καλῶς,
 διὰ σὲ τὸν ἐκτείναντα τὴν χεῖρα  ἐν τῷ ξύλῳ κακῶς.

SEE my feet,

nailed and pierced to the tree

Ἴδε μου τοὺς προσηλωθέντας,

καὶ ὀρυχθέντας τῷ ξύλῳ πόδας,

on account of your feet that wickedly ran

to the tree of disobedience

διὰ τοὺς σοὺς πόδας τοὺς κακῶς δραμόντας

ἐπὶ τὸ ξύλον  τῆς παρακοῆς

ON the sixth day

when [your] sentenced was pronounced;

τῇ ἕκτῃ ἡμέρᾳ,

ᾗ ἡ ἀπόφασις γέγονεν,


AND your reformation

and the [re-]opening of paradise

has been my toilsome labor (Gen 3:17 - toil cursed)

 καὶ τὴν σὴν ἀνάπλασιν,

καὶ παραδείσου ἄνοιξιν


    after the curse, Adam's labor/toil is fruitless - he returns to the earth; but Christ has labored successfully to re-open paradise for Adam and Eve


I slept on the cross and a sword pierced my side (Jn 19:34)

for you who slept in paradise (Gen 2:21)

     and brought forth Eve from your rib. (Gen 2:22)

Ὕπνωσα ἐν τῷ σταυρῷ, καὶ ῥομφαίᾳ ἐνύχθην τὴν πλευρὰν,
διὰ σὲ τὸν ἐν παραδείσῳ ὑπνώσαντα,
     καὶ τὴν  Εὔαν ἐκ πλευρᾶς ἐξενέγκαντα.

My side has healed the pain in yours;

my sleep will rouse you from your sleep in Hades.

Ἡ ἐμὴ πλευρὰ ἰάσατο τὸ ἄλγος τῆς πλευρᾶς·

ὁ ἐμὸς ὕπνος ἐξάξει σε ἐκ τοῦ ἐν ᾅδῃ ὕπνου·

My sword has stayed

the sword that was whirling against you. (Gen 3:24)

ἡ ἐμὴ ῥομφαία ἔστησε
τὴν κατὰ σοῦ στρεφομένην ῥομφαίαν.


ARISE, let us leave this place.

Λοιπὸν ἔγειρε, ἄγωμεν ἐντεῦθεν.

The enemy led you out of the earthly paradise. (Gen 3:1-6)

I will not restore you to paradise,

but I will enthrone you in heaven.

̓Εξήγαγέ σε ὁ ἐχθρὸς ἀπὸ γῆς παραδείσου·

ἀποκαθιστῶ σε οὐκέτι ἐν παραδείσῳ,

ἀλλ' ἐν οὐρανίῳ θρόνῳ. 

I forbade you the tree that was only a symbol of life, (Gen 3:3)

but behold, I who am life itself am now one with you.

̓Εκώλυσά σε τοῦ ξύλου τοῦ τυπικοῦ τῆς ζωῆς,

ἀλλ' ἰδοὺ αὐτὸς ἐγὼ ἡνώθην σοι ἡ ζωή.

I appointed cherubim to guard you as slaves are guarded, (Gen 3:24)

but now I make the cherubim worship you as divine.

Εταξα τὰ χερουβὶμ δουλοπρεπῶς φυλάττειν σε·

  ποιῶ τὰ χερουβὶμ θεοπρεπῶς προσκυνῆσαί σε.

You covered yourself from God as if naked, :

Ἐκρύβης ἀπὸ  Θεοῦ ὡς γυμνός·

[but behold: you have hidden within

the naked God Himself.]

ἀλλ' ἰδοὺ ἔκρυψας

ἐν ἑαυτῷ Θεὸν γυμνόν.]  [43.464].3-17] 

THE throne formed by cherubim awaits you,
its bearers swift and eager.

Χερουβικὸς θρόνος ηὐτρέπισται·

οἱ ἀναφέροντες ὀξεῖς τε καὶ ἕτοιμοι·

The bridal chamber is adorned,

the [banquet-]savories are ready,

ὁ νυμφὼν παρεσκεύασται·

ἐδέσματα ἕτοιμα·

the eternal tents

and rooms are prepared, (Jn 14:2)

αἱ αἰώνιοι σκηναι

καὶ μοναὶ ἕτοιμοι·

the treasure houses of all good things lie open.

The kingdom of heaven has been prepared for you from all eternity.”

οἱ θησαυροὶ τῶν ἀγαθῶν ἀνεῴχθησαν,

ἡ τῶν οὐρανῶν βασιλεία πρὸ αἰώνων ἡτοίμασται· [43.464].33-37] 












 Ann Chapin (Image modified), based on: Anastasis, Chora, Constantinople.

From the Second Reading for Holy Thursday, 

Ex Homília Melitónis Sardiáni epíscopi in Pascha (Nn. 65-71: SCh 123, 94-100)

Melito of Sardis On Pascha


πάσχω πάσχειν (Paschō, Paschein): to suffer, to passively undergo or experience

πάσχα (Pascha) PASSOVER transliteration of Aramaic פסחא - Phasha/Pesach








C. Israel’s Safety (30-33)


KENOSIS for the Healing of Human Suffering (passivity/passion)


[66] He came from heaven to earth

for the sake of suffering (paschontes) [humanity],

Οὗτος͵ ἀφικόμενος ἐξ οὐρανῶν ἐπὶ τὴν γῆν

διὰ τὸν πάσχοντα͵



and having clothed himself with that very [suffering humanity]

through the womb of a Virgin Mother,

αὐτὸν δὲ ἐκεῖνον ἐνδυσάμενος

διὰ παρθένου μήτρας

and coming forth a human being,

καὶ προελθὼν ἄνθρωπος͵



He took upon Himself the sufferings (pathē) of the sufferer (paschontos)

through His body which was capable of suffering (pathein).

ἀπεδέξατο τὰ τοῦ πάσχοντος πάθη

διὰ τοῦ παθεῖν δυναμένου σώματος

And he destroyed those sufferings (pathē) of the flesh

καὶ κατέλυσεν τὰ τῆς σαρκὸς πάθη͵

by his spirit which was incapable of dying.

τῷ δὲ θανεῖν μὴ δυναμένῳ πνεύματι

He killed the human-killing death.


ἀπέκτεινεν τὸν ἀνθρωποκτόνον θάνατον.







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