It helps to have a bus full of clergy praying as they go because miraculously the potential cross dispersed before and the congestion at the Church of the Nativity was minimal. It also meant that we were unlikely to break any of the rules.
This had little to do with the fact that the the main body of the church was under restoration.
There were signs work in progress…
And there was plenty of scaffolding inside,
though not in the two principal places that Anglicans would wish to see –
the traditional spot where Christ was born (you can put your hand in and touch the natural ground below)
and the place where the manger stood (according to tradition).
Elsewhere there was much beauty…
and a lifetime of work for a chandelier cleaner…
.. seriously, position vacant, no one has done this for centuries.
St Helena, Emperor Constantine’s mother built the original church on the site and some of the mosaics that she commissioned have been uncovered…
Wonderful, Father M. I listened to Allegri Miserere while viewing these.
Wonderful, Ian. I listened to Allegri: Miserere while seeing these.
Such beauty and spirituality, I almost felt like holding my breath while I looked. It’s lasted for centuries and when it was first built there wouldn’t have been I imagine, the wealth of decoration, but the symbolism of the place would have meant much to those who gathered to worship.