The Epitaphios Service tonight is really the morning prayer for Holy Saturday. It is centered around the tomb of Christ and celebrating what He is doing in the underworld: He is busy destroying death. The name of the service –Epitaphios– has the meaning of shroud under which the faithful pass under during the service symbolizing  our own burial with Christ in Baptism and thus we share in Christ’s death on the cross, His burial and with that then, we share in His resurrection. In sum, the Holy Mother Church has us contemplating mystery of the Lord’s descent into Hades (the abode of the dead) and our enemy is defeated from within. As the Divine Liturgy of St. Basil says, “He (Christ) gave Himself up as a ransom to death by which we had been held, for having been sold under sin. And through the Cross, He went down into Hades … and loosed  the bonds of death.”