Saturday, March 7, 2009

Pseudo-Epiphanius on Holy Saturday

"Today a great silence reigns on earth, a great silence and a great stillness. A great silence because the King is asleep. The earth trembled and is still because God has fallen asleep in the flesh and . . . has raised up all who have slept ever since the world began. . . . He has gone to search for Adam, our first father, as for a lost sheep. Greatly desiring to visit those who live in darkness and in the shadow of death, he has gone to free from sorrow Adam in his bonds and Eve, captive with himHe who is both their God and the son of Eve. . . . 'I am your God, who for your sake have become your son. . . . I order you, O sleeper, to awake. I did not create you to be a prisoner in hell. Rise from the dead, for I am the life of the dead.'"

     Ancient homily for Holy Saturday, as quoted in Catechism of the Catholic Church #635 (PG 43, 440A, 452C (439-464)). This homily appears also in the Office of readings for Holy Saturday, Liturgy of the hours, vol. 2, pp. 496-498, and Christian prayer, pp. 1987-1988. Quasten (vol. 3, p. 395) lists it among the spurious works of St. Epiphanius of Salamis (c. 315-403), and de Lubac (Catholicism (New York: Sheed and Ward Inc., 1958), pp. 251 ff.) provides excerpts under the heading Pseudo-Epiphanius.

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