Anastasis

Texts

De ceremoniis: Acclamations for the Feast of Holy Easter

Blues: By the power of the divine resurrection, death's battle has been brought to an end.

Greens: Flashes of unapproachable light shone on the dead who were in darkness. Christ was seen dead in a tomb, by death having put death to death. By his resurrection on the third day he raised up with him those who were in chains. May he guard your glory, rulers, for a long period of years in the purple.

Blues: Observing the passion of the Lord today, we cry out melodiously and in unison.Book of Ceremonies, 1:43–4

John Chrysostom, Paschal Homily

"Christ is risen, and you [Death] are brought down. Christ is risen, and demons have fallen. Christ is risen, and angels rejoice. Christ is risen, and there are no dead in the grave. For Christ has risen from the dead, and he has become the first-fruits of those who sleep; to him be the glory and power through all the ages. Amen."Migne, Patrologia Graeca 59, 724 (spuria)

Cod. Marc. Gr. 524: Εἰς τὴν ἀνάστασιν

Commentary

The seals of Amalric, patriarch of Jerusalem from 1158 to 1180, depict the Resurrection on the obverse of his seals. The reverse inscription associate him, moreover, with the Church of the Holy Resurrection.

In the scene Christ, after having descended into Hell, pulls Adam and Eve from the grave. Typical representations of this scene include Adam and Eve at left, and Solomon and David at right: faint traces of whom are visible here.

There are only twenty-one published eleventh through twelfth century seals depicting the Anastasis, two-thirds of which belonged to the patriarchs of Jerusalem or the Brotherhood of the Holy Sepulchre.Cotsonis, "Narrative Scenes on Byzantine Lead Seals," 65–7.

The Byzantine theological understanding of the Resurrection was that death ceased to be the end of existence; John Chrysostom wrote that "if after death [one] is to be quickened, and, moreover, to be given a better life, then this is no longer death, but a falling asleep." Sin is no longer unavoidable, and "the vicious circle" of sin and death "is broken each time 'the death of Christ is announced and His resurrection confessed.'"Meyendorff, Byzantine Theology, 162–3

 

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