Holy Wednesday from Gethsemane to the Holy Sepulcher

The priests’ purple garments are a sign of Lent, and the anticipation before Easter, which is getting closer and closer, while from from the top of the apse, Jesus prays alone and suffering. The day before the Easter, the faithful retraced the journey of Christ, who in order to get to the Resurrection, had to pass through the Passion. With focus and devotion, the friars and faithful listened to the singing of the Jesus’ Passion at the Church of the Agony in the Gethsemane. Three people chanted the Gospel of Luke in Latin before the diverse congregation who attended the Eucharistic celebration on the morning of April 12. The last hours of Jesus’ life, the supper with his disciples, Judas’ betrayal, the prayer to the Father on the Mount of Olives, the scourging and the crucifixion.

The presider of the mass was the Vicar of the Custody, Fr. Dobromir Jasztal. Many sisters from the religious communities as well as many pilgrims were present. A Frenchman named Jean-Baptiste explained, for example, that he walked from the South of France to Athens, and then took a flight to reach Jerusalem: experiencing Easter at the holy places is something new for him.

After a small bullet of sweets and hot chocolate, the friars of the Custody processed to the Holy Sepulcher for the rite of veneration of the Flagellation column. At the Chapel of the Apparition, a sacred hymn was sung that the faithful could follow along in their booklets that were stained with the wax from the candles being passed from person to person. Contemplating on the suffering of Christ, who when tied to the column was scourged, everyone quietly started lining up to kiss the column as a sign of reverence.

Aldina is a Salesian is a pilgrim nun from Portugal: “I did not expect to be here and it is a really big grace for me. I will follow all of the Easter events along with the 18 Salesian sisters who are with me.” “I'm here in the Holy Land on a month-long pilgrimage, said Gladis, a Peruvian woman who had just left Chapel of the Apparition. “It is like meeting my soul and the root that I come from: I want to try to understand Jesus’ Passion in order to get closer to him.”

Beatrice Guarrera

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