Hades is the place where the souls rest before the Last Judgment. For Egyptians, life afterlife is an important aspect and has been since pharaonic times. For this reason, the ancient Egyptians created many myths concerning the afterlife, and great importance was placed on texts such as the Coffin texts or the Book of the Dead, for the words were believed to facilitate the journey of the deceased through the netherworld and hence to immortality. With Christianity, such ideals survived through many apocryphal texts. In Coptic hagiography, the Archangel Michael plays an important role in protecting martyrs and later in taking their souls to Paradise.
The accounts of the lives of the Desert Fathers contain many stories of and allusions to Hades, examples being the conversation Abba Macarius the Great had with the skull of a pagan priest concerning the netherworld and the conversation Abba Pieties had with an ancient Egyptian mummy.
In Late Antique Egypt, Coptic tombstones included funerary formulas of Christ destroying the gates of Hades. In funeral services conducted in the Coptic Church, the priest beseeches Christ to open the gates of Paradise to welcome the deceased’s soul into the bosom of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.