Attolite Portas, ‘Open Up, You Doors!’: Liturgical Narrative and Christ’s Descent
From the New Testament to late antiquity the narrative of Christ's descent to the dead – preaching the good news there, and, in some accounts, baptizing them – was received and, by the fourth and fifth centuries, nearly omnipresent in paschal theology.Neither faith nor baptism exempts any Christian from death, but the waters of baptism, as Paul wrote to the Romans (6:3-4), wed believers into a community of faith in which mysteries are celebrated and transitions marked, enabling believers to face sickness, catastrophe, dying, and death with eyes wide open. Christ's descent to the dead deepens God's life in us.
Connell, Martin F. “Attolite Portas, ‘Open Up, You Doors!’: Liturgical Narrative and Christ’s Descent.” Worship 76, no. 2 (March 2002): 124-143.