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Church of the Holy Sepulchre (Jerusalem)

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Layout of the Church of the Resurrection
==Layout of the Church of the Resurrection==
===*'''Exterior Courtyard===''' - Before entering the Church, there is an open courtyard. On either side of this yard, there are small churches and the entrance to the Holy Sepulchre church is on the north side of the yard. Each year, during the Holy Week services, the Patriarchate of Jerusalem and its Bishops hold a traditional ceremony of the washing of the feet, in honour of Christ washing the feet of his apostles before his crucifixion.
===The Holy Entrance===*'''The Holy Entrance''' is the door into the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. There is a secondary door built into this main door, which is sealed. They keys for the door are kept by a Muslim family, established in 1520 AD by the Sultan Suleiman. A ritual ceremony has been handed down, involving the opening and closing of the church every day since then. The doors are surrounded by 3 marble columns either side. In 1549, the left marble column was torn when the Holy Light came through it instead of coming from the Tomb of Christ inside the church; that year, sultan Murat had forbiden Partiarch Sofronios IV to go into the church to celebrate the ceremony of the Resurrection, at the request of the Armenian patriarch. Sofronion, the clergy and all the faithful stood outside the main doors and prayed and chanted the service - the Armenian patriarch left embarrassed and the sultan issued a firman that recognised the authority of the Greek Orthodox patriarchate of Jerusalem.
===*'''The Holy Anointing===''':'''"Then took they the body of Jesus, and wound it in linen clothes with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury"''' - [John 19:39-40], ''see also'', [Matthew 27: 57-59]
Immediately upon entering, the Church opens up to the southern hall. On the floor, lies the '''Stone of the Anointing''' or '''Unction'''. According to tradition, this is the spot where the church commemorates the preparation of the body of Christ for burial by [[Joseph of Arimathea]] and [[Nicodemus]], after he was removed from the cross. Christ's body was anointed with myrrh and aloes and wrapped in a clean linen cloth for the burial according to the Jewish tradition of those days.
The slab is made from limestone marble and dates to 1808, replacing the previous 12th century slab when it was destroyed. The ownership of the slab is shared between the four main Christian churches. Over the marble slab hang large opulent lamps that have been donated by the Armenians, Greeks, Copts and Latins. On the outside wall of the '''Catholicon''', behind the stone, is a large mosaic depicting the anointing of Christ for burial.
===*'''Latin calvary===''':'''"... and he bearing his cross went forth into a place called the place of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha"''' - [John 19:17]. '''"... and when the were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him ..."''' - [Luke 23: 33, 53]
To the right of the ''Stone of the Anointing'', are a series of steep stairs that lead up to the second floor - the tip of Golgotha. The first room, is the place where Christ was nailed to the Cross. This chapel is a Catholic Franciscan altar dedicated to the Nailing of the Cross (Station 11 of the Via Dolorosa).
===*The '''Rock of Golgotha ''' ("Greek Calvary")===:'''"... and they crucified him ..."''' - [Matthew 27:35]
Adjacent to this chapel, is the second room - the Greek Orthodox Calvary; the spot where Christ was crucified and covers the actual Rock of Golgotha. For the other Christian churches this is also known as Station 12 of the Via Dolorosa. The entire rock, can be seen through the glass covering on either side of the altar, and beneath the altar is a small opening that allows a [[pilgrim]]s to touch the rock.
===*The '''chapel of [[Adam]]===The chapel of Adam ''' is located immediately beneath Golgotha. This is a small area of worship that used to be known as the "Area of the Skull" and also the chapel of "Melchizedek". In accordance with tradition, the name of 'skull' and 'Adam' is derived from the fact that this is the spot where they found the skull and relics of Adam. The theology of the Orthodox church believes that this location is not a coincidence since the purpose of the crucifixion is directly connected to the story of Adam and his expulsion from Eden. Having found the bones of Adam underneath Golgotha symbolises the cleansing of the bones of the man who committed the first sin by the blood of Christ dripping down from the cross.
===Chapel of the Crowning of the Thorns "Derision" (Greek)===*The '''Chapel of the '''Crowning of the Thorns''', or "Derision, " (Greek) is located at the base of Golgotha, immediately to the right. There is a small fragment of the column, brought from the Prison of Christ, where the soldiers put on Christ a purple robe and a crown of thorns. [John 19:2]
===Chapel of St. Helen===*The '''Chapel of St. Helen''', also known to the Armenian's as the Armenian Chapel of St. Gregory, is located at the base of the 29 stairs near the ''Crowning of the Thorns''. Inside the chapel is her throne and the pilgrim of the good thief; an large area has been preserved that has the original mosaic from the church.
===*The '''Chapel of St. Vartan ''' (Armenian)===The Chapel of St. Vartan can be accessed through a door on the north side of the Chapel of St. Helen. In the 1970s, this area was discovered and excavated and the findings include remnants of walls built by Hadrian in the 2nd century. One of these walls has a stone etched with a merchant ship and an inscription "DOMINE IVIMVS" which translates "Lord we shall go". It is estimated that this stone dates from before the completion of the Byantium church, ca. 330 AD. This chapel is locked and not normally available to the public.
===*The '''Chapel of the Finding of the Cross===According ''', according to the tradition of the church, this is the area where St. Helen discovered the True Cross during the course of the Churches excavations around 330AD. She discovered three crosses. To discern which of the three crosses belonged to Christ, and which belonged to the thieves, a sick man was brought to touch each one in turn. He was miraculously healed by only one and this is the one that has since been distributed to all Christian Patriarchates across the world.
===*The '''Chapel of the Division of the Robe ''' (Armenian)===
: [John 19:24]
The '''Chapel of the Division of the Robe''' is the location where the soldiers parted His raiment amongst themselves and casted lots for His vesture.
===Chapel of St. Longinus (Greek)===*The '''Chapel of St. Longinus''' ' (Greek) is dedicated to Longinus ([[October 16]]) the Centurion, a Roman soldier who served in Judea under the command of the Governor, and headed the group of soldiers escorting Christ to Golgotha. (Matthew 27:54)
===Prison of Christ===*The '''The Prison of Christ''' is a small dark area where those crucifying Christ put Him temporarily before crucifying Him.
===*The '''Chapel of St. [[Mary Magdalene]]==='''
:'''" ... and Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Jesus beheld where he was laid"''' - [Mark 15:47]
On the north side of the Rotunda, there is a small Fransiscan chapel called "Mi mou aptou" (touch me not) dedicate to St. [[Mary Magdalene]]. In accordance with the tradition, Mary of Magdala accompanied Jesus on his way to the cross and burial and the circular marble plaque that is at this spot marks the location where she and Mary beheld where he was laid but also the spot where Christ appeared to Mary Magdalene after His resurrection [John 20, 11-17]. This chapel belongs to the Catholic church and is named "Mi mou aptou", in hounour of Christ's words.
===Syrian chapel===*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===*The small '''Coptic chapel ''' is located on the west side of the "edicule" with a separate entrance to the chapel.
===Chapel of the Angel===*The '''Chapel of the Angel ''' is immediately outside the Tomb of Christ; the first room inside the "edicule". According to tradition, the altar that is in this room contains a stone and it is believed that it is part of a larger stone that was rolled away from Christ's tomb on the day of the Resurrection. On this stone is an imprint of a hand, it is believed that this imprint is the imprint of one of the Angels who sat on the stone and announced the Resurrection. There is always a Greek monk in this room who "guards" the Tomb of Christ who symbolically represents this Angel(s).
===The Holy Sepulchre chapel, the "Heart" of the Sepulchre===

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