Today is Good Friday and we remember the Lord’s crucifixion, death, and burial in the tomb. There have been so many places I’ve wanted to highlight for you in this blog; there are just too many. For today, I want only to share three places with you: the Church of St. Peter in Gallicantu, the Via Dolorosa, and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. So, let’s walk along with Jesus on his Good Friday journey.
The Church of St. Peter in Gallicantu:
I shared this site with you in an earlier blog post. It is believed that Jesus was imprisoned here, before being turned over to Pilate. You can visit the cistern turned holding cell and reflect on his suffering. The church above the site was where Peter denied Jesus, finally stating, “I do not know this man!”
The Via Dolorosa (or Way of Sorrows):
Jesus was compelled to walk through the streets of Jerusalem, carrying a heavy wooden cross that would be the instrument of his own crucifixion. Today, many of us will pray the Stations of the Cross, to commemorate that journey. In Jerusalem, walking the Via Dolorosa is a act of devotion nearly all pilgrims want to experience. Some stations are in small chapels, while others are simple stops along the way, marked by a plaque on the wall. The first 9 stations are placed on a path starting near the Lion’s Gate. Here is a listing of those stations, with photos:
(Some of the photo are credited to multiple photographers cited on Wikipedia)
- Jesus is condemned to death.
- Jesus takes up his cross.
- Jesus falls the first time.
- Jesus meets his afflicted mother.
- The cross is laid on Simon of Cyrene.
- A woman wipes the face of Jesus.
- Jesus falls a second time.
- Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem.
- Jesus falls a third time.
Church of the Holy Sepulchre:
After the conversion of Constantine, his mother Helena traveled to Jerusalem on a pilgrimage to find the site of Jesus’ crucifixion. After identifying a site that fit the description and finding a stone tomb with the remains of three Roman crosses, a church was established on the spot around the year 326. Inside of the church are the final five stations:
- Jesus is stripped of his garments.
- Jesus is nailed to the cross.
- Jesus dies on the cross.
- the body of Jesus is placed in the arms of his mother.
- Jesus is laid in the tomb.
As we remember this day we pray:
We will glory in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ:
In whom is our salvation, our life, and our resurrection.
Holy and Mighty,
Holy Immortal One,
Have mercy upon us.