Saturday, April 15, 2017

Holy Saturday- Church of the Holy Sepulcher

 Holy Saturday Vigil- 
remembering our visit in Jerusalem to the 
Church of the Holy Sepulcher.
A challenge to all the senses.
Overwhelming a bit.
 Hundreds of years of honoring,
protecting, and worshipping.
And yes, even struggling 
over who owns rights to this spot.
"The church is in the Christian Quarter 
of the Old City of Jerusalem.
The Church contains according to traditions 
dating back to at least the fourth century, 
the two holiest sites in Christianity; 
the site where Jesus of Nazareth was crucified, 
at a place know as "Calvary" or "Golgotha",
and Jesus's empty tomb, 
where he is said
 to have been buried and resurrected."
 The tomb is enclosed by the 18th-century shrine, 
called the Edicule.
(restoration and repair recently completed)
Part of the Golgotha rock
There is the Via Dolorosa and then
"within the church proper are the last four 
(or, by some definitions, five) 
Stations of the Via Dolorosa
representing the final episodes of Jesus' Passion
The church has been a major 
Christian pilgrimage destination 
since its creation in the fourth century, 
as the traditional site 
of the Resurrection of Christ." 
The Stone of Anointing, where Jesus' body
 is said to have been anointed before burial.

"This site can be bewildering conglomeration of 30-plus chapels and worship spaces.
 These are encrusted with the devotional ornamentation of several Christian rites.
Church of the Holy Sepulchre
Parvis (courtyard) of Church of the Holy Sepulchre (
This sprawling Church of the Holy Sepulchre displays a mish-mash of architectural styles. It bears the scars of fires and earthquakes, deliberate destruction and reconstruction down the centuries. It is often gloomy and usually thronging with noisy visitors.
Yet it remains a living place of worship. Its ancient stones are steeped in prayer, hymns and liturgies. It bustles daily with fervent rounds of incensing and processions."

On this Saturday Vigil I am drawn
 to this simple door-
weighty with the heaviness 
of all that took place at this site-
or nearby.
And give thanks- 
Sunday's Coming.

(Wikipedia resource)

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