First Timers...or for the generally curious...
...offered by Dn. fdj, a sinner at 9:50 AM [+]
I know that the Paschal season is a time when many non-Orthodox may visit an Orthodox service, and having attended the Paschal Vigil and Liturgy may be wondering:"What the heck was THAT all about?!?!?!"
Well remeber that little bit in the Gospels that tell us that when Jesus died many people rose from the dead and went into the city? Wierd, huh? Well, anyway, there is an ancient manuscript (4th century) which provides further information on this theme. Though originating sometime in the fourth century, its antiquity may actually go back much further in the mind of the Church. The Orthodox Paschal service is based very much on what is related to us in this story: The Harrowing of Hell.