Church of the Holy Sepulchre chapels

The Church of the Holy Sepulchre in the Old City of Jerusalem — venerated as the place where Jesus Christ died and rose again — contains a bewildering conglomeration of 30-plus chapels and worship spaces. There are no helpful signs.

See also Holy Sepulchre – Jewish Tomb from 1st Century, Holy Sepulchre – Little House encloses Tomb and Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

Church of the Holy Sepulchre chapels
Church of the Holy Sepulchre chapels

The description begins at the main door (on the south side of the church) and circles the church in a roughly clockwise manner. Immediately inside the main door is the Stone of Anointing, a slab of reddish stone flanked by candlesticks and overhung by a row of eight lamps.

It commemorates the place where the body of Jesus was prepared for burial (though this stone dates only from 1810). It belongs jointly to the Greek Orthodox, Catholics and Armenian Orthodox.

On the wall behind the stone, a Greek mosaic depicts (from right to left) Christ being taken down from the cross, his body being prepared for burial, and his body being taken to the tomb.

To the left of the Stone of Anointing is a small circular slab with four pillars surmounted by a marble canopy. This shrine is the Armenian Station of the Holy Women. It commemorates Jesus’ mother and her companions who viewed the crucifixion.

On the wall behind the shrine, a large mosaic recalls the scene. The Armenians’ sacristy is on the left.

  • Administered by:
    • Confraternity of the Holy Sepulchre (Greek Orthodox)
    • Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land (Catholic)
    • Brotherhood of St James (Armenian Orthodox)
  • Tel.: 972-2-6267000
  • Opens: Apr-Sep 4am, Oct-Mar 5am.
  • Closes: Apr-Aug 8pm, Mar and Sep 7.30pm, Oct-Feb 7pm.
  • Sunday morning liturgies are usually:
    • Coptic 4am,
    • Catholic 5.30am,
    • Greek Orthodox 7am,
    • Syriac Orthodox 8am;
    • Armenian Orthodox 8.45am on alternating Sundays with a weekly procession at 4.15pm.



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