Showing posts from June, 2014

The Church of the Holy Sepulcher: Photo Essay

The Holy Land:  The Church of the Holy Sepulcher Seeing is believing! I saw the light from the flickering candles rising up into the dark and the natural light seeping through the dome to light the dark space. I was standing in line to see the tomb of Jesus Christ. The line to the Aedicule (the location of Christ's tomb) was long that I had a few moments to observe my surroundings and to reflect on the words "It's all about faith" that our guide unwittingly told me when I asked him about the authenticity of some relics early on in this pilgrimage. We were at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in the Old City of Jerusalem, the holiest Christian site in the world. It stood at the site where Jesus was crucified (Calvary) and the tomb where he was buried. Today, the church is shared by five Christian denominations: the Greek Orthodox, the Roman Catholics, the Armenian Orthodox, Egyptian Coptic and the Eastern Orthodox Church, thus the different chapels. The heart of

Jerusalem: In the Footsteps of Jesus

The Holy Land: Jerusalem - In the Footsteps of Jesus Historically, the Christian Churches in Jerusalem have a common theme: Built by the Byzantine, destroyed by the Persians, rebuilt by the Crusaders and destroyed again during the Arab conquest and rebuilt again. In terms of arts and architecture, they are not as grandiose as other Catholic churches you would find from other parts of the world designed by famous artists such as Michelangelo, Brunelleschi, Palladio, Gaudi and decorated with works by artist of the likes of Ghiberti, Titian, Bellini, DaVinci, to name a few. But what made them remarkable are the story of sacred events marked by the churches and some of the objects like the 'rock of agony' we found within the church walls.  Not that I joined this pilgrimage with unquestioning faith, but as I entered the church to kiss the stone said to have an imprint of the foot of Jesus or feel the stone under the darkened vault of the nave, I simply knelt and prayed. And

Jerusalem: The Salvation Center of the World

As we headed uphill, our guide told us that we would see names of donors inscribed on the Wall of Life, and the cost of having the name inscribed on the glossy concrete walls had gone up from one million to six million US dollars . However, it was not the modern walls that impressed me but an astonishing panorama from our vantage point. We were at the Hebrew University Wall of Life in Mt. Scopus, overlooking the panoramic view of Jerusalem.  I saw a common motif of religious faith: temples, mosque, and church domes. Our guide said that Jerusalem has been given different labels - City of Peace, Jerusalem the Holy, Yerushalaim the crown of Israel, and the Nerve and Salvation Center of the World .  I thought the latter put what I saw and the images captured by my camera in context.   He told us a little bit about Jerusalem as a city with a long history of besieging, destruction, rebuilding, destruction and rebuilding, and more importantly, its history that was deeply rooted in the B