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The Kansan - Newton, KS
  • Easter in the Holy Land

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  • Easter is celebrated more so than Christmas in the Holy Land. There are an entire week of celebrations in Jerusalem of different events that happened each day during Passion Week. The most salient of these events happened in two different identified burial places of Christ, following the crucifixion. The oldest identified place, inside the walled city of Jerusalem, is the present Church of the Holy Sepulcher built in 1099 AD in the days of the Crusaders who captured Jerusalem from the Muslems. Inside this Church is the Tomb of Christ which has room for four to five people at one time. Devout Orthodox Christians back out of the tomb when leaving and do not turn their backs to the tomb. Many of the Holy places were identified by King Constantine and his mother Queen Helena in 330 AD when their Byzantine Empire captured the land of Palestine. The second identified tomb of Christ is almost immediately north of the walled city of Jerusalem in the place called the Garden Tomb.
    This was excavated in 1883 and is carved into a hillside with two chambers and in front is a large rolling stone. Nearby is an ancient winepress, among the items of interest. This beautiful garden has not only an Easter service, but Sunday services throughout the year when the weather is pleasant. The Garden Tomb is a very beautiful and relaxed place for religious services. At a short walking distance is the place of the skull eroded on a mountain side. Religious sites abound in the Holy Land!
    — Marlow Ediger, North Newton

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