Today's 7:30 a.m. Mass at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre was a special one.
The Franciscans had just completed their ten-day Capitolo Custodiale, their Chapter meeting at which important regional decisions were made.
(They even wrote a daily blog about it, in Italian and English.)
Benches were taken out of storage and set up in the rotunda.
The Franciscan fathers lined up for their turn to enter the edicule, the little room containing the tomb of Jesus.
I try to imagine how special it was for them to receive Communion in that holiest of Christian holy places.
Raised hands during the words of institution.
In 1342 Pope Clement VI declared the Franciscans the official custodians of the Holy Places in the name of the Catholic Church.
To learn more about how this works in modern Israel, please see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Custodian_of_the_Holy_Land..
For more about the church, you can click on my label "Holy Sepulchre."