HISTORY OF THE CHURCH OF THE HOLY SEPULCHRE
According to the New Testament, Jesus was crucified in Golgotha, often known as “the place of the skull.” It is generally accepted that during the time, there were stone quarries in this region beyond the city’s perimeter.
A third wall was constructed to confine the location of Jesus’ execution and burial within the city around ten years after his crucifixion. This supports the Holy Sepulchre’s position inside what is now Jerusalem’s Old City.
Constantine the Great turned to Christianity and dispatched his mother, Empress Helena, to Jerusalem in quest of Jesus’s tomb after seeing a cross in the sky in 312 CE. She thought she had discovered Calvary when she discovered a piece of the cross close to a tomb.
Today, the Church dominates the two sacred locations. The traditional Calvary location is enclosed in one corner of the large basilica, or Martyrium.
The Anastasis (“Resurrection”) encloses the cave tomb where Jesus was laid to rest across the street. On September 13th, 335 CE, the church had its formal consecration. The main entrance of the church still has its original wooden doors from 326 CE. The historical grandeur of this revered church is put into perspective by this.
GETTING TO THE CHURCH
Exploring this region is entirely possible. Once in Jerusalem, getting about with a taxi or the public transportation is simple. But since this famous church has so much spiritual value and history, taking a tour is the greatest way to experience it. There is nothing that can compare to a experienced guide walking you through and outlining all the important details.
The Holy Sepulchre is located in the Aedicule, a little chapel. There are two rooms in it: one has the Angel’s Stone, which is believed to be a piece of the stone that sealed Jesus’ tomb, and the other is where Jesus’ tomb is located.
A marble plate that was placed over the grave after the 14th century now shields it from additional harm brought on the throngs of travelers.
All three denominations—Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and Armenian Apostolic—have legal access to the tomb’s interior and celebrate Holy Mass there every day. The Aedicule underwent arduous restoration and repair work between May 2016 and March 2017 in order to make it safe for tourists once more.
The Church of the Holy Sepulchre is one of Christianity’s holiest and most revered locations. The church is home to two of the most sacred locations in Christianity: the place where Jesus was crucified, known as Calvary, and the tomb where he was buried and later raised.
The church is situated in the Christian Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem. Today, a shrine known as the Aedicula surrounds the burial. The church also houses the final four Stations of the Cross, generally known as the Via Dolorosa.
SITES WITHIN THE CHURCH
A staircase within the church’s entryway leads to Calvary (Golgotha), which is the area of the building that has been lavishly adorned and served as the location of Jesus’ crucifixion. Another staircase leading to the ambulatory serves as the site’s egress.
There are two chapels at Calvary, one of which is Greek Orthodox and the other Catholic. The altar of the Greek Orthodox chapel is located above the Calvary rock, which is also the 12th Station of the Cross. Through a unique opening in the floor under the altar, you may reach out and touch the granite.
One of the primary reasons people attend the church is to wait in line, so be prepared for that. The glass covering the altar’s two sides allows you to see the rock as well.
STONE OF ANOINTING
The Stone of Anointing, which is located within the church’s entryway, is believed to be used to prepare Jesus’ body for burial. The anointing of Jesus’ body is depicted in the contemporary mosaic along the wall. Over the stone, lamps with candles and incense are suspended from an elaborate platform.