[[Image:Holy Sepulchre exterior.jpg|right|thumb|400px|Exterior of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre]]
The '''Church of the Holy Sepulchre''',<ref>"Sepulchre" or "sepulcher" means "burial vault." From the Latin "sepulchrum." Based on "sepultus," meaning "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 Aramaic, based on the Hebrew word "Golgoleth" which means "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" ([[w:Calvaria (skull)|calvaria]]) comes from the Latin for "skull" and is 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 had 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.
This building was damaged by fire in 614 when the Persians under [[w:Khosrau II|Khosrau II]] invaded Jerusalem and captured the Cross. In 630, Emperor [[Heraclius]], who had captured the Cross from the Persians, marched triumphantly into Jerusalem and restored the True Cross to the rebuilt Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
*'''Exterior Courtyard''' - Through the gate of the St. Helena alley there is a large open courtyard outside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. On the north side of this yard are two main doors; the left door is the ''"Holy Entrance"'', which leads into the church, and the right entrance has been permanently blocked. On either side of the courtyard are a few small chapels. During Holy Week this is the location where pilgrims gather to see the Patriarchate of Jerusalem, and other jurisdictions, hold a traditional ceremony of the washing of the feet, in honour of Christ's washing the feet of his apostles and disciples before his crucifixion.
*'''The Holy Entrance''' is the main door into the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. There is a tiny secondary door built into this main door; the 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 three marble columns on 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 forbidden Patriarch Sofronios IV to go into the church to celebrate the ceremony of the Resurrection, at the request of the Armenian patriarch. Sofronios, 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'''
==The yearly miracle of the Holy Light==
:''Main article: [[Holy
Each year on the day before [[Pascha]], an awe-inspiring event takes place in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. At noon of the Holy Saturday, the [[Church of Jerusalem|Patriarch of Jerusalem]] with his escort—archpriests, priests, and deacons—and the Armenian Patriarch enter the Holy Sepulchre. After finishing prayers, a miraculous light appears; the [[Patriarch]] of [[Jerusalem]] lights two candles from it, then exits the sepulchre and lights the candles of the non-Chalcedonian patriarchs outside. Others' candles light spontaneously. For the first several minutes from the fire's appearance, it does not burn to the touch, and many pilgrims immerse their faces and hands in the flame without being harmed.
There is another version of the story. After Prince Ibrahim Pasha, Mohammed Ali Pasha's son, had conquered [[Jerusalem]] and Syria in the 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 Churches participated. He realized with his wisdom that if he ministered alone in the Holy Sepulchre 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 would 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, and 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 Sepulchre to pray the customary prayers. In the specific time, the light burst out of the Sepulchre in a way that terrified the Pasha, who became dazed and confused, 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 the resurrection.<ref>[http://www.copticchurch.net/synaxarium/g_4_6_2006.html#2 The Departure of Pope Peter (Petros) VII, the One Hundred and Ninth Patriarch] Coptic Orthodox Synaxarium</ref>
==The Brotherhood of the Holy Sepulchre==
*[http://ocafs.oca.org/FeastSaintsViewer.asp?SID=4&ID=1&FSID=102593 Commemoration of the Founding of the Church of the Resurrection (Holy Sepulchre) at Jerusalem] ([[OCA]])
*[http://www.trekker.co.il/english/israel-sep.htm Church of the Holy Sepulchre - Jerusalem Travel Information]
*[http://home.infionline.net/~ddisse/egeria.html Itinerarium Egeriae] Egeria's description in the 380s
*[http://www.holylandphotos.org/browse.asp?s=1,2,6,19,321 Church of Holy Sepulcher] Holy Land Photos
*[http://www.orthodoxphotos.com/Holy_Land/Holy_Sepulchre_Church/index.shtml The Church of the Holy Sepulchre or Sacred Tomb] Orthodoxphotos.com
holysepulchre.com/ Church of the Holy Sepulchre] Visitor information and detailed history of the building.
*[http://www.mfa.gov.il/mfa/mfaarchive/1990_1999/1999/9/the%20tomb%20of%20christ The Tomb of Christ]. Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 5 September, 1999.
[[fr:Église de la Résurrection (Jérusalem)]]
[[ro:Biserica Sfântului Mormânt]]