The Eastern and Western Churches of Jerusalem began celebrating Holy Week in the Holy Sepulcher. It is the first holiday after the conclusion of the restoration of the Holy Sepulcher.
“Dear brothers and sisters, after preparing our hearts during Lent we gathered here today, where Christ died and rose again. This ceremony is a prelude to Easter! ”
The Apostolic Administrator of the Latin Patriarchate addressed words of joy and hope to the hundreds of faithful who came to the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem to celebrate Palm Sunday and therefore the beginning of Holy Week.
This is a particular week, not only because this year the dates of Easter in the Eastern and Western Churches coincide, but also because this is the first holiday since the end of the restoration works of the Edicule, made possible by the agreement between the three communities that manage the basilica.
The traditional rites of the day were celebrated with a new joy.
While the Copts gathered in prayer, Mons. Pierbattista Pizzaballa blessed and handed out the palms to the friars of the Custody of the Holy Land and to the faithful of the Latin Church, and then lead them in procession three times around the Anastasis and before the Calvary. .
During the Latin Mass, the Greek Orthodox Patriarch Theophilos III, followed a few hours later by the Armenian Patriarch, made his solemn entry.