Holy Sepulchre, the doors of the Basilica reopen | Custodia Terrae Sanctae

Holy Sepulchre, the doors of the Basilica reopen

The doors of the Basilica of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem reopen. Of course, there is still the obligation to use a mask and disinfectant gel, but after two months people can return to visit the most sacred place of Christianity and take part in the celebrations, with a maximum limit of 50 people inside the building.

President Holy Sepulchre Convent
"At this moment the first changes that a pilgrim who comes to the Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre will find will be the door half open and these barriers. At the entrance he will then find the gel bottle: he is kindly asked to always wear his mask. This is what we can offer today to guarantee the safety of everyone: those who come from outside and us who live inside."

The news comes after several steps: first the anti-epidemic measures in the country are loosened, then the Latin, Greek and Armenian Churches announce the official reopening, and the celebrations start again with the presence of the faithful. Then the agreement that allows the large wooden door at the entrance to remain open, even if it is not yet possible to access all parts of the Basilica.

Custos of the Holy Land
"For the moment we have to gradually manage the transition from the phase of almost total closure - because in reality there has never been a "total closure", inside we continued to celebrate - to a phase of full opening.
It is a gradual opening, and it is an opening that must also respect the rules that have been agreed with the police. Certainly this transition will also help us to understand whether or not we are able to manage something that is a little more complex than in normal sanctuaries, where there is a community that manages everything while there are at least three communities here."

Early in the morning, the friars who live inside the Basilica welcome the faithful at the entrance, and at the beginning of Mass, celebrated as usual in front of the Edicula of the Sepulchre, they welcome them not without emotion. The same of this woman, from India.

"Before today I used to come here every day but for two months I couldn't get in, I was very sad. I'm very happy today. Thank you, thank you very much."

President Holy Sepulchre Convent
"Hope has always accompanied us: although the door was closed, the hope of opening it, of receiving Christians again, of showing the holy places, even of bringing them inside ourselves...this hope remains among us."


Christian Media Center