We woke up early today to make our way to the stations of the cross and then to the Holy Sepulchre. By the time we got to the Holy Sepulchre, there were many groups ahead of us and a long wait time to view Golgotha and the tomb of Jesus. We went to Calvary first and were queued up for about 45 minutes. Touching the hole the cross was placed in was powerful and personal. After we went to Mass, we lined up to view the tomb. That took about 90 minutes. We viewed the tomb, touched the stone that Jesus was placed on, and rose from the dead.
It was powerful. That is the foundation of all Christian faiths and it all happened right there.
Church of St. Anne
The Church of Saint Anne is a French Roman Catholic church and French national domain located in the Muslim Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem, near the start of the Via Dolorosa, next to the Lions’ Gate.
The church’s acoustics are particularly suited to Gregorian chant, which makes it a pilgrimage site for soloists and choirs.
Pool at Bethesda
The Pool of Bethesda is from the Christian Bible’s New Testament, John 5:2 account of Jesus healing a paralyzed man at a pool in Jerusalem, described as being near the Sheep Gate and surrounded by five covered colonnades or porticoes. It is now associated with the site of a pool in the current Muslim Quarter of the city, near the gate now called the Lions’ Gate or St. Stephen’s Gate and the Church of St. Anne, excavated in the late 19th century.
The Via Dolorosa is a processional route in the Old City of Jerusalem. It represents the path that Jesus would have taken, forced by the Roman soldiers, on the way to his crucifixion. The winding route from the former Antonia Fortress to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre — a distance of about 600 meters (2,000 feet) — is a celebrated place of Christian pilgrimage. The current route has been established since the 18th century, replacing various earlier versions. It is today marked by fourteen Stations of the Cross, nine of which are outside, in the streets, with the remaining four stations being currently inside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
Church of Holy Sepulchre
The Church of the Holy Sepulchre is a church in the Christian Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem. According to traditions dating back to the 4th century, it contains two sites considered holy in Christianity: the site where Jesus was crucified, at a place known as Calvary or Golgotha, and Jesus’s empty tomb, which is where he was buried and resurrected. Each time the church was rebuilt, some of the antiquities from the preceding structure were used in the newer renovation. The tomb itself is enclosed by a 19th-century shrine called the Aedicule. The Status Quo, an understanding between religious communities dating to 1757, applies to the site.
Within the church proper are the last four stations of the Cross of the Via Dolorosa, representing the final episodes of the Passion of Jesus. The church has been a major Christian pilgrimage destination since its creation in the 4th century, as the traditional site of the resurrection of Christ, thus its original Greek name, Church of the Anastasis (‘Resurrection’).
Control of the church itself is shared among several Christian denominations and secular entities in complicated arrangements essentially unchanged for over 160 years, and some for much longer. The main denominations sharing property over parts of the church are the Roman Catholic, Greek Orthodox, and Armenian Apostolic, and to a lesser degree the Coptic, Syriac, and Ethiopian Orthodox churches.