Chris­tians mark Easter at Jerusalem’s Holy Sepul­chre


Hun­dreds of vis­i­tors filed into Jerusalem’s Church of the Holy Sepul­chre — be­lieved to be the site of Je­sus’s res­ur­rec­tion — for Easter cel­e­bra­tions on Sun­day.

Western Chris­tians marked Easter on Sun­day, while Eastern Ortho­dox Chris­tians do so on April 8.

The Eastern Ortho­dox marked Palm Sun­day on April 1 and also held mass at the church in Jerusalem’s Old City, with wor­ship­pers hold­ing palm fronds as is tra­di­tion.

Some wor­ship­pers pros­trated over a stone — where they be­lieve Je­sus’s body was anointed be­fore his burial — near the tow­er­ing wooden doors at the en­trance to the church.

The church is built at the site where Chris­tians be­lieve Je­sus was cru­ci­fied, buried and res­ur­rected. A re­cently ren­o­vated or­nate shrine within the church sur­rounds the cave where Je­sus is be­lieved to have been buried.

Catholic Arch­bishop Pier­bat­tista Piz­z­a­balla held mass at the church on Sun­day morn­ing near the shrine over the cave, en­ter­ing dressed in the tra­di­tional pur­ple Easter robe.

He made ref­er­ence to the Mid­dle East’s nu­mer­ous con­flicts in his homily, say­ing “our times are marked by death.”

“Easter is the abil­ity to come back and look at our his­tory in the light of the prom­ise of life that takes place to­day,” he said.

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