Pinch Me Places: The Church of the Holy Sepulchre

I've been there four times, and each time it has been a "pinch me place." It is the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, which is in all likelihood the actual place of Jesus' death, burial, and resurrection:
Though it is a sprawling church that doesn't quite preserve the "ambiance" of the hill we call Calvary, it has for many centuries marked and preserved the site of the crucifixion (where the bedrock at the top of Calvary has been left open to sight around the altar):
Another focal point in the church is the "stone of unction," where tradition says Jesus' body was laid to prepare for burial after coming down from the cross:
And, "close at hand" as the Gospel says in John 19:42, is the site of the most momentous event in human history, the tomb of Jesus, marked by "the edifice," a boxlike chapel within the church (it's a big place). There, in a Crusader chapel built on Byzantine foundations and revered from the earliest days of Christianity, is this altar commemorating the resurrection:
It is a place of staggering antiquity and of breathtaking historical, spiritual, and personal--for me--importance. It is impossible to take it all in. But it will always be for me the quintessential "pinch me place."

1 comment:

  1. I look forward to being there in person for the first time this fall.