Wednesday, July 25, 2012

A serious no-no

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It was dark outside, nearing closing time; the cavernous Church of the Holy Sepulchre was almost empty.
Suddenly this boy took off his T-shirt and rubbed it on the Stone of Unction, holy to Christians as the place where Jesus' body was prepared for burial.

I'm not sure if it was an act of great devotion or just a request for the other young man, his companion, to snap a photo as a souvenir.

Just when the boy stood up and turned around to walk out--a tall, strong, and very angry priest of the Holy Sepulchre came in the door and said "WHAT are you DOING?!!"
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17 comments:

Robert Geiss said...

oh ! What an adventure. Makes one indeed wonder and speculate. With December coming, one might expect various alike happenings. Please have a good Thursday.

Kay said...

Ummmm... OK... This was very strange indeed. I'd love to know the reason for it.

Julie said...

Priests can be a bit like that: they are very similar in St Mary's, although the chap who yelled at me was more likely to be a securiy guard.

Nevertheless, the young chap showed a, unfortunately, typical lack of respect.

This is where Jesus' body was prepared? Or upon this stone, which has since been moved inside? It is a very tombstone-ish shape ...

Adullamite said...

The public are the most ignorant people to deal with. Wherever they are they believe they can do what they like without concern for others. The 'self' is the cause of Jesus death.

Dina said...

Robert, you would love spending time in the Holy Sepulchre. You never know what to expect.

Adullamite, a strong statement.

Kay and Julie, the anointing stone/Stone of Unction is just a few steps away from the edicule which contains the tomb itself.
You can click on the link and see more, that will clarify things.
In that other post I wrote, inter alia:

"Pilgrims customarily kneel and kiss the Stone of Unction, believed to be the place where Jesus' body was anointed with oils and spices.
The marble slab was brought here in 1810 to protect the original stone underneath.
The pilgrims rub the stone with a cloth, trying (I assume) to collect any drop of oil that may have fallen when the lamps were filled.
Some place jewelry or belongings on the stone for a minute, for luck."

Nicola Carpenter said...

Oh dear. Great picture though.

VP said...

Great shot, I agree with the priest!

Birdman said...

I guess you can do some people-watchinng there too.

Sara said...

Perhaps in that boy's culture, what he did was not so disrespectful...I wonder. Maybe I'm just making excuses. Being yelled in a public place like that is certainly embarrassing...like getting too close to a painting in a museum and being reprimanded unnecessarily loudly by the guard (speaking from experience here).

crystal said...

Uh oh! I'm always surprised that these kind of shrines are so open to public touching. Imagine being allowed to touch the Mona Lisa, for example ;) But maybe religious aerifacts are different, made to ne touched.

Dina said...

Crystal, I don't know of any country where it is respectful to take off your clothes in church!

Dina said...

-here stones are meant for touching and icons and reliquaries are to be kissed. Touching holy things is part of popular piety.
The young man in my picture, his mistake was taking off his shirt.

JM said...

Whatever his intention was, you got the righ shot, Dina!

cloudia charters said...

*No comment* on the 'angry' priest!

Reader Wil said...

Very unique! Strange as well.

Spiderdama said...

Not good to show too much body maybe. Good working with a picture of him!

Otherwise, I have not quite understood the deal with kissing the stone..

spacedlaw said...

This must be happening often.