JERUSALEM, Thousands of Palestinian Christians and pilgrims marched through the ancient stone alleyways of Jerusalem’s Old City, retracing Jesus Christ’s path along the Via Dolorosa to his crucifixion in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.
The faithful marched slowly from the Monastery of the Flagellation, where Jesus was flogged, and continued down the cobblestone Via Dolorosa, Latin for Way of the Suffering, along which Jesus carried his cross, carrying wooden crosses on their shoulders and singing hymns.
The faithful stopped at several stations on the circuitous route, re-enacting key moments from Jesus’ passions.
The procession culminates at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, where Jesus was buried before his resurrection, which is celebrated on the Great Pascha Sunday, also known as Easter.
Today’s procession comes a day before the Orthodox marks Lazarus’ Saturday, when Orthodox Christians commemorate the miracle of Jesus when he raised Lazarus from the dead after the latter had lain in the grave four days, in al-Eizariya town near Jerusalem.
Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilus is anticipated to preside over the holy liturgy at the Monastery of St. Mary and Martha, Lazarus’ sisters, before a procession heads to Lazarus’ tomb.
Christians belonging to western churches, such as the Roman Catholics, follow the Gregorian Calendar and celebrate Easter this year on this Sunday April 21. In contrast, Orthodox Christians, including the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem, follow the Julian Calendar. Easter on the Julian Calendar this year falls on April 28.
Source: Palestinian News & Info Agency