“Today is salvation come unto the world, to that which is visible, and to that which is invisible. Christ is risen from the dead, rise ye with Him. Christ is returned again to himself, return ye. Christ is freed from the tomb, be ye freed from the bond of sin. The gates of hell are opened, and death is destroyed, and the old Adam is put aside, and the New is fulfilled; if any man be in Christ he is a new creature; be ye renewed…The Lord’s Passover, the Passover, and again I say the Passover to the honour of the Trinity. This is to us a Feast of feasts and a Solemnity of solemnities.” (St. Basil the Great in Archbishop Hilarion Alfeyev, Christ the Conqueror of Hell: The Descent into Hades, an Orthodox Perspective, pg. 56)
Blogs that I posted during Pascha and Bright Week for the past several years are now available as single document PDFs. You can click on any link to read what I posted in the week following Pascha as we celebrated the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ going back to the year 2008.
“The themes of Christ’s descent into Hades and his victory over hell and death are treated extensively in surviving early Christian poetry.
We do not know precisely when the short hymn as the Easter troparion was composed. It is likely, however, that it was already written in the second century.
Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and upon those in the tombs bestowing life!” (Archbishop Hilarion Alfeyev, Christ the Conqueror of Hell: The Descent into Hades, an Orthodox Perspective, pg. 34)