Jerusalem: Holy Sepulchre

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People from all corners of the world come to visit the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, the church that holds the last  four stages of the cross and Jesus’ grave. Pilgrims in small or very large groups, individual visitors, clergy and lay people, tourists, photographers and the occasional curious researcher flock the church. We are all immersed in the vibrant and chaotic atmosphere. It is an exciting ritual space that is guarded by 7 christian denominations: the Eastern Orthodox church, the Armenian Apostolic church, the Roman Catholic Church, the Greek Orthodox Church,  the Coptic Orthodox, the Ethiopian Orthodox and the Syriac Orthodox Church. They mix but somehow hardly ever match; and their ritual practices and liturgies often seem to be in direct competition with each other. Some simply outnumber others or have the means to drown out all  the rest (like the organ of the Franciscans). But not only church officials practice their rich ritual repertoires, also individual pilgrims present rich and creative repertoires of emerging ritual.




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