Good Friday: Funeral Procession – Jerusalem

Background: The Funeral Procession takes place on Friday night, in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. It begins with the same Turkish guards leading a procession in (1-6), but then priests carry a miniature cross and figure of Christ (7, 8, 10, 11) around the grounds of the church. They then act out the last moments of Christ’s life by bringing him around the church and up the hill of Calvary where they remove the body from the cross and lay it out on the stone and anoint it. Then they proceed with the body and the empty cross to the edicule (tomb/sepulchre) where they lay it to rest.

Impressions: The Funeral Procession was the most solemn ceremony I went to during Holy Week. It was as quiet as the Easter celebration loud. All the lit candles, chanting priests, and weeping pilgrims added to the eeriness of following the body and cross around the church where this all traditionally happened. Thankfully I met a French Canadian priest who was happy to explain to me everything that was going on, as well as the history of the church, and all the significance of the side chapels. Because everyone was so wrapped up with trying to get close to the figure/body, the rest of the church was virtually empty for me and the priest to explore, which was really cool because no one gets the opportunity to explore this church empty.

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~ by jonathanmtsai on April 27, 2011.

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