‘O Key of David and sceptre of the House of Israel; who openest and no man shutteth; shuttest and no man openeth: come and lead the prisoners from the prison house, that sit in darkness and the shadow of death’.

There is a hidden reference to the resurrection in this Antiphon, for it was Christ Himself who entered the ‘prison house’ of the souls locked in darkness and freed them into His risen life. As the ancient homily for Holy Saturday expresses it: ‘The Lord goes in to them holding His victorious weapon, His cross. When Adam, the first created man, sees Him, he strikes his breast in terror and calls out to all: ‘My Lord be with you all.’ And Christ in reply says to Adam: ‘And with your spirit.’ And grasping his hand and he raises him up, saying: ‘Awake, O sleeper, and rise from the dead, and Christ will give you light.’

Christ Himself is the Key, who will come. May we open the doors of our own prison houses, for He stands at our door and knocks; and may God bless you this day.