Stone of the Anointing

Relics of the Passion – 9 – The Stone of the Anointing and the Holy Sepulcher

sepulcher

From the Stone of the Anointing and the Holy Sepulcher

The Stone of the Anointing

The Stone of the Anointing can be found inside the main entrance to the Basilica of the Holy Sepulcher,[1] Jerusalem. It was placed there after the reconstruction of the church had been finished in 1810 (Murphy-O’Connor, 1998).

According to tradition, the slab of reddish Stone is located in commemoration on the spot where Saint Joseph of Arimathea had prepared the Body of Jesus Christ for burial (See the Holy Land, 2017). It belongs conjointly to the Armenian Orthodox,[2] the Roman Catholics[3] and the Greek Orthodox[4] that are at the Sepulcher, all of whom were indicated as primary custodians of the church in the firman[5] of the Ottoman Sultan, Osman III, in 1863[6] (ibid.; Morio, 2014). Above is a photograph of a relic from the Stone of the Anointing in a sealed hand-carved, gilt-bronze reliquary that comes from the Custodian Franciscans serving the Holy Land.

The Holy Sepulcher

The Holy Sepulcher is the tomb where Christ was buried for three days before His Resurrection. It is located 295 feet (90 meters) northwest of Golgotha.[7] The tomb had been provided for the burial of Christ by Saint Joseph of Arimathea, a member of the Sanhedrin who had quietly disagreed with their condemnation of the Savior.

The tomb, which has a bed of limestone (Romey, 2016; Pells, 2016) upon which the Body of Christ had been placed, is enclosed inside the Kouvouklion, a small chapel that is located in the Aedicule of the Basilica of the Holy Sepulcher. The bed had been covered for centuries by a marble slab with a cross on it, which had been reportedly engraved by the Crusaders. Above is a photograph of a small stone from the Holy Sepulcher in the same sealed bronze reliquary that comes from the Custodian Franciscans in Jerusalem.

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[1] Also known as the Church of the Resurrection.

[2] The Armenian (Saint James Brotherhood; 2011).

[3] The Franciscans of the Order of Friars Minor (Custodia Terrae Sanctae, 2019). Known locally as ‘Latins.’

[4] The Jerusalem Patriarchate (Brotherhood of the All-Holy Sepulcher; 2012).

[5] A firman was a royal decree issued during the time of the Ottoman empire. The 1863 firman confirmed that which had been decreed in the firman of 1749.

[6] The Status Quo (United Nations Conciliation Commission, 1949).

[7] The place of the skull.