Orthodox Easter 2021: Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem

Orthodox Easter 2021 is on Sunday, May 2, 2021 - tomorrow! Orthodox Easter, also called Resurrection Sunday, is the oldest and most important festival in the Eastern Christian tradition, celebrating Jesus Christ's resurrection (rising from the grave) following his crucifixion and death. In this context, we present a short description of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, who has long been a major pilgrimage center for Christians all around the world.

Orthodox Easter 2021 is on Sunday, May 2, 2021 – tomorrow! Orthodox Easter, also called Resurrection Sunday, is the oldest and most important festival in the Eastern Christian tradition, celebrating Jesus Christ’s resurrection (rising from the grave) following his crucifixion and death. In this context, we present a short description of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, who has long been a major pilgrimage center for Christians all around the world.

 

Saturday, May 2, 2021: live from Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, source Trinitas TV

 

,, The site of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem is identified as the place both of the crucifixion and the tomb of Jesus of Nazareth. According to the New Testament, Jesus was crucified at Golgotha, “the place of the skull” (Matt. 27:33–35; Mark 15:22–25; John 19:17–24). This has been identified as an area of abandoned stone quarries just outside the city wall of the time. About 10 years after the crucifixion, a third wall was built that enclosed the area of the execution and burial within the city, and this accounts for the Holy Sepulchre’s location inside the Old City of Jerusalem today.

The first Church of the Holy Sepulchre was approached by a flight of steps from the Cardo, the main street of Jerusalem. Then pilgrims went through a narthex; a basilica; and an open area, the “holy garden,” which had in it the rock of Golgotha, finally reaching the Holy Sepulchre itself. The rock-cut tomb was initially open to the elements, but later it was protected by a small building.

The whole complex was richly decorated, as we know from the description by Constantine’s biographer Eusebius of Caesarea, from pictures in the Church of St. Pudenziana in Rome dating from early in the fifth century and on the Madaba mosaic map from the sixth, and from modern excavations. In 326, Constantine’s mother, Saint Helena, made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, where, according to legend, she discovered the relic of the cross of Jesus (the “True Cross”). The story of the discovery of the cross was current early in the fifth century, and in the 11th century a cave deep below the ruins of the basilica came to be known as the Chapel of the Invention of the Cross. In 614, a Persian army destroyed the church and the True Cross was taken away, but in 631 the Byzantine emperor Heraclius negotiated its return.

The Arab conquest in 638 was initially less disruptive, as Christians were treated with tolerance, but 300 years later the entrance to the basilica was converted into a mosque, and in 966 the dome was destroyed by fire during anti-Christian riots. In 1009, the fanatical Fatimid caliph al-Hakim ordered the destruction of the church. The Byzantine emperor Constantine IX Monomachus (1042–1055) funded its rebuilding, but on a different plan, with the entrance on the south side. During the next half-century, the church of Constantine IX Monomachus was largely reconstructed. Although the building’s footprint was preserved, the church acquired the attributes of a cathedral on the Western model. The holy garden became the basilica of the crusaders’ church, and the rock of Golgotha was given its own chapel.

The Church of the Holy Sepulchre was reconsecrated on July 15, 1149, 50 years to the day after the capture of Jerusalem by the First Crusade, but in fact work continued on the building for some years afterward. Nevertheless, the church of the crusaders is essentially the church that is to be seen today.

On Holy Saturday, the ceremony of the Holy Fire took place. The patriarch entered the edicule, where the Easter Fire was kindled and then passed from hand to hand. This was witnessed by the chroniclers Ekkehard of Aura in 1101 and Caffaro in 1102.

Despite the mutilations of the centuries, the Holy Sepulchre remains a fascinating complex of structures and is of key importance for several phases of medieval architectural history, ‘imitations’ being built all over Europe. Today, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre is one of Jerusalem’s main landmarks and continues to draw many pilgrims and visitors.”

Source: part of the presentation published by official website Church of the Holy Sepulchre, link: https://churchoftheholysepulchre.net/

 

Please read the complete presentation on the already indicated link of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Republished by Intell News Romania in English on May 1, 2021

 

Inside the Holy Sepulchre, the Rotunda is a circular hall – and in the center lies the Edicule of Jesus, a towering majestic structure. Photo by Mihalache Dorin, April 26, 2019

 

Take a look also at the article in Romanian, from April 27, 2019, on the Intell News website:

,,Sfânta Lumină de la Ierusalim va fi adusă în România de Sfintele Paști”, https://www.intellnews.ro/sfanta-lumina-de-la-ierusalim-va-fi-adusa-in-romania-de-sfintele-pasti/

About Claudiu Victor Gheorghiu 125 Articles
My name is GHEORGHIU CLAUDIU VICTOR and I was born in October 1967 in Bucharest. In 1998 I took the master degree at University from Bucharest , the Faculty of History- universal old history section- with theme (Constantine the Great and Christianity) at professor LIGIA BARZU. In 1991 I graduated Art School , Painting section, with TITU DRAGUTESCU. I painted sacred pictures from 1990, in technique tempera or tempera with egg on wood. In the period 2004-2016, I had the honor to have the encouragements, the advices, the friendship of the Master PAUL GHERASIM(1925-2016), my mentor, the founder of the "Prolog" group. During the period 1992-1994 I was artistic advisor at Coleus contemporary art gallery . I am titular member of the Association Branch of Religious Plastic Arts and Restoration - AFAPRR of UAP from Romania: Visual Artists’ Union from Romania from April 17, 2019, admitted by contest, as well as I was trainee member during the period 2016-2019, admitted by contest. I was member in Plastic Background(FP) belong Visual Artists’ Union from Romania(UAP) from 7th of December 2000, admitted by contest. From 25th of May 2015 I was elected Media advisor of the Steering Committee of the Association Branch of Religious Plastic Arts and Restoration : AFAPRR of UAP from Romania: Visual Artists’ Union from Romania. From 2014 I am member Visarta( from March 31, 2017, I was elected in the Steering Committee of Visarta, during the period 2017-2022), the Romanian Visual Arts Copyright Collecting Society. I had 4 Personal Exhibitions with sacred art, organized by UAP from Romania- Visual Artists’ Union from Romania, in Bucharest (2001, 2003, 2004 at ArTei Gallery, 2007 at Galateea Gallery), also another two at Silva Gallery in Busteni(2007-2008), Sabion Gallery in Bucharest(2019, together with Cristina Georgescu). I had also 2 Personal Exhibitions in Italy : I was Honor Guest, representing Romania, with sacred art, June 2003 at Pisa and in October 2006 ”The icons, sacred pictures in contemporary world” at Viadana(Mantua). I won some prizes in Italy and I participated, admitted by contest, at some art fairs and international exhibitions around the world, representing Romania: most of them in Italy(Pompeii, Pisa, Turin, Milan, Reggio Emilia, Bari, Viadana, Mantua), but also in France, Germany, Greece, Japan, Peru, South Korea, Switzerland; in secondary also I am cultural journalist: from May 2015 to January 2016 I was Contributing Editor at Culture (Fine Arts, Exhibitions, History, Religion) at the newspaper Jurnalul Bucureştiului. From 17th of January 2016 I was advanced Senior Editor at the same newspaper, which has been called since April 2020 the Jurnalul Bucureştiului ,,Le Petit Parisien”, with a different leadership and a different format. From 1st of November 2015 to 31st of December 2016 I was Contributing Editor and Thematic Advisor at News Agency Lacasuri Ortodoxe and Press service LO News. From 1st of January 2016 I am Senior Editor of the Intell News(Global news, press and event analysis) and coordinator of the Culture pages (in Romanian and English, named Intell News Romania). From May 3, 2019, I am also publisher commentator at the newspaper Ultima Oră.