Saturday, May 4, 2013

The Washing of the Feet, Holy Thursday

My friend who lives a few blocks from the Old City is attending all the ceremonies of the Orthodox Christians this week, their Holy Week, and she graciously shares her photos with you and me.

On Holy Thursday morning  the crowd gathered around the dais in the parvis (entrance courtyard) of the Holy Sepulchre.
Last year I showed you the workmen preparing all this temporary construction and wiring. 

 All of my friend's photos can be much enlarged with a click or two.

The Greek Orthodox clergy took their places.
People were watching from atop the Greek monastery across the street from the Holy Sepulchre.

A temporary raised pulpit (with ladder) for the readings.

The only man without a hat is Patriarch Theophilis III.
He removed some of the splendid liturgical vestments to perform the Ceremony of the Washing of the Feet. 
The Patriarch washed the feet of twelve of his clergymen, following the example of Jesus who washed his twelve apostles' feet at the Last Supper.

See close-ups at this website

The morning ceremony was ended but later, Thursday evening and night, all the Orthodox churches had more processions, Gospel Readings, etc.
Tomorrow is Easter Sunday!


Kay said...

Gosh! I didn't realize they celebrated Easter at different times.

Dina said...

Kay, yes, different calendars.

HOWEVER, there is something new this year. I read at
the following:

"In furtherance of greater unity among Christians in the Holy Land, the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, with the agreement of the Apostolic See of Peter at Rome, has decided to modify its Liturgical Calendar, more specifically its method of calculating the Paschal New Moon and thus the date of Easter.
From now it will follow the practice of the Orthodox, as well as Eastern Catholic, Churches in the same land.

Easter therefore was not yet happened in the Holy Land in 2013. Rather than March 31 as in the rest of the Latin Church, Easter 2013 will be celebrated on May 5th.

But to meet the needs of pilgrims coming to Jerusalem and Bethlehem this year, Latin churches in these cities will not follow the new arrangements."

Catholicgauze said...

The Orthodox/Catholic divide is a good rule of thumb but it goes even deeper than that. Eastern Catholics, who follow the Pope and are fully Catholic but who's churches do not trace their roots back to missionaries from Rome, use the Julian calendar to figure out holidays. The closest church to me is actually Ethiopian Catholic and they are doing their Easter ceremonies right now. The second closest church to me, a Latin-rite (i.e. Roman Catholic) parish I attend, is holding the Sixth Sunday of Easter services.

The date of Easter is one of those trivia topics today which caused much uproar in the past. England in the 500s and 600s experienced turmoil over the date which nearly lead to a massive Church split.

Dina said...

Catholicgauze, thanks for contributing this about Byzantine Rite Catholics, of whom Jerusalem has many.
And thanks for your wonderful educational blog about our world and geography.

Birdman said...

That must have been a thing to witness. Thanks for the note about Easter observance. I did not know that either.

VP said...

A very interesting reportage, this kind of ceremony may be very interesting, but it is quite odd...

JM said...

Dina, don't get me wrong, but the sight of all those priests from behind can be a little scary. Hopefully the new Pope is keeping things very simple. There's this collage of both the new and the former Pope on their 'throne' and the differences are amazing! You might have seen that photo.

Thank you so much for the link you sent me regarding Sousa Mendes. In fact, it's all there.