We visit the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, a bizarre warren of chapels on many levels, containing Golgotha, where Cgrist was crucified and his tomb.
We said morning prayer in the Armenian chapel.
This is adjacent to the chapel of St Helena (Emperor Constantine’s mother) who mission it had been to preserve all the holy sites under chapels throughout the Holy Land. Tradition says that she was able to identify the cross of Christ because he was the only person who hands were nailed to the cross, normally the hands were tied and only the feet nailed.
Then we climbed up a level to the altar over the hole into which Christ’s cross was placed. It is under an altar, of course, necessitating kneeling down to put my hand into the hole to feel the smooth hole in the limestone ground below.
In another chapel below this spot, excavations reveal the crack in the linestone bedrock caused by the earthquake that occurred when Christ died.
This must have been so moving, bringing our Lord’s pain and distress into sharp focus. It must here that he began his
cries at being persecuted by the Father in his loneliness and abandonment/
We visited such a hole in Scotland and it was very distressing to think of the prisoner down there in the dark.
Do you think you might return a changed man after this excursion?