Click here for Part VI of Holy Week in the Holy Land: A Pictorial Journey.

The Church of the Holy Sepulchre is one of the most impressive churches I have ever seen. The chaos of the church, the soot left beyond by years of burning candles, the glimmer of gold, the cacophony of prayers, and its general worn and precarious look all contribute to its beauty. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre modeled for me the universal Church. Amid the messiness and chaos was a sense of pragmatism and stability. The Holy Sepulchre embodies the historicity and antiquity of the Church, but also its unwavering ability to forge ahead despite its some times tenuous and antiquated structure.

The Church of the Holy Sepulchre is home to the key events of Christ’s Passion and Resurrection. The Ordo Processionis of the daily Franciscan procession through the church lists all the sites which are commemorated:

  1. Chapel of the Apparition of the Risen Christ to the Blessed Virgin Mary
  2. Column of the Flagellation of Christ
  3. Chapel of the Prison of Christ
  4. Chapel of the Division of the Garments
  5. The Crypt
  6. Chapel of Saint Helen
  7. Chapel of the Improperia
  8. Latin Chapel of Calvary which commemorates the Crucifixion of Jesus
  9. Greek Orthodox Chapel of Calvary, which commemorates the Death of Jesus
  10. The Sorrowful Virgin Mary
  11. The Stone of Unction
  12. Aedicule of the Holy Sepulchre
  13. Chapel of the Apparition of the Risen Christ to Mary Magdalene
  14. Chapel of the Apparition of Christ to the Blessed Virgin Mary

The Custodia Terrae Sanctae has a virtual tour of the church online.

Church of the Holy Sepulchre

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Catholicon:

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  Column of the Flagellation of Christ

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The Crypt

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The Chapel of Saint Helen

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Greek Orthodox Chapel of Calvary

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The Stone of Unction

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O God, who by the Passion of Christ your Son, our Lord, abolished the death inherited from ancient sin by every succeeding generation, grant that just as, being conformed to him, we have borne by the law of nature the image of the man of earth, so by the sanctification of grace we may bear the image of the Man of heaven. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

- Prayer for the Passion of the Lord