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Church of the Holy Sepulchre (Jerusalem)

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[[Image:Holy Sepulchre exterior.jpg|right|thumb|400px|Exterior of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre]]
The '''Church of the Holy Sepulchre'''<ref> '''Supulchre/Sepulcher''' - burial vault. From Latin: Sepulchrum. ''Based on sepultus - to bury the dead.'' </ref>, called '''Church of the Resurrection''' (''Anastasis'') by Eastern Christians, is a large Christian church within the Old City of Jerusalem. The ground the church rests on is venerated by many Christians as [[Golgotha]]<ref> '''Golgotha''' in Aramic , based on the Hebrew word: Golgoleth which is "skull". Refers to a hill where the burial site of Jesus - the Church of Holy Sepulchre, in the Christian sector of the old city of Jerusalem. As in Matthew 27:33: "And when they were come unto a place called Golgotha, that is to say, a place of a skull". The meaning of the name may be either due to the practice of burying the skull. It can also refer to a rock that looks like a skull </ref>, the Hill of Calvary <ref> '''Calvary''' (Calvariae) - from Roman: place of skull. The name of the hill where Jesus was crucified and buried. Luke 23:33: "And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him..." </ref> where the [[New Testament]] records that Jesus Christ was crucified. It also contains the place where Jesus was buried (the sepulchre). The church has been an important [[pilgrimage]] destination since the 4th century, and the portions of it administered by the Orthodox are in the care of the [[Church of Jerusalem]]. The Church commemorates the founding of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre on [[September 13]].
The initial building was founded by [[Constantine the Great]] in 335, after he removed a pagan temple on the site that was possibly the Temple of Aphrodite built by Hadrian. Constantine had sent his mother St. [[Helen]] to find the site; during excavations she is said to have discovered the [[True Cross]]. The church was built around the excavated hill of the Crucifixion and was actually three connected churches built over the three different holy sites, including a great basilica (the ''Martyrium'' visited by the nun [[Egeria]] in the 380s), an enclosed colonnaded atrium (the ''Triportico'') built around the traditional Rock of Calvary, and a rotunda, called the ''Anastasis'' ("Resurrection"), which contained the remains of the cave that St. Helen and St. [[Makarios I of Jerusalem|Macarius]], [[Patriarch of Jerusalem]], had identified with the burial site of Jesus. The surrounding rock was cut away, and the Tomb was encased in a structure called the ''Edicule'' (from the Latin ''aediculum'', small building) in the center of the rotunda. The dome of the rotunda was completed by the end of the 4th century.
The Syrian chapel is located on the east end of the Church of the Sepulchre. This area was used for burials in Christ's time.
===The "Catholicon"===
'''The Catholicon''' is the main orthodox church facing the Tomb of Christ. It is a large recangular building with a basilica dome. In the middle of the church is the "navel of the earth" which symbolises the spiritual centre of the Earth.<ref> Exekiel 38:12 </ref>. The church has two Patriarchal thrones, the left throne is for the Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch; and the throne on the right is for the Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem.
===Coptic chapel===
Another version (probably) of the above story reads as follows. After prince Ibrahim Pasha, Mohammed Ali Pasha's son, had conquered [[Jerusalem]] and Syria year 1832 A.D., he invited the [[Coptic]] [[Pope]] [[Peter VII (Mankarius) of Alexandria|Peter VII]] to visit Jerusalem and attend to the service of the appearance of the light on Bright Saturday from the Sepulchre of the Lord Christ in Jerusalem as the Greek Orthodox [[Patriarch]]s did every year. The Pope accepted the invitation, and when he arrived, he was received with honor and reverence and he entered Jerusalem with a great procession and a splendid celebration, in which the governor, the rulers and the heads of the different Christian denominations participated. He realized with his wisdom that if he minister alone in the Holy Sepulcher that would cause animosity between the Copts and the Greeks. The Pope asked the Pasha to relieve him from this service, but he asked him to participate with the Greek Patriarch on the condition that he will be their third, for he doubted the authenticity of the light. On Bright Saturday the church of the Holy Sepulchre was crowded with the worshipers, the Pasha ordered the people to evacuate the church to the spacious outer courtyard. When the time to start the service came the two Patriarchs and the Pasha entered the Holy Sepulcher to pray the customary prayers. In the specific time, the light burst out of the Sepulcher in a way that terrified the Pasha, who became in a daze and confusion, and the Pope attended to him until he recovered. The people outside in the courtyard were not deprived from the blessing of the light since one of the pillars of the western gate of the church split and the light appeared to them from the pillar. This incident increased the reverence and respect of the Pope before the Pasha. His holiness the Pope made many repairs and renovations in the church of Resurrection. [ Source: Coptic Orthodox Synaxarium]
==End Notes==

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