The funeral of Jesus

The funeral of Jesus

In the Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre, the moving funeral ceremony

In the evening of the Good Friday, still in the Basilica, there was the “Funeral procession”: it is an actual funeral for Jesus who died on the cross, according to an ancient custom which dates back to the 15th century. 

The liturgy was presided by the Custos of the Holy Land, fr. Francesco Patton, while the task of the Secretary of the Holy Land, fr. Alberto Joan Pari, is to carry the crucifix to which Jesus is nailed. On Calvary, two deacons remove the crown of thorns from the head of Jesus and the nails pinning his hands and feet. 

In the semi-darkness and in the silence of the Basilica, in addition to the evangelical texts proclaimed in different languages, the sound of the blows of the hammer on the nails to remove the lifeless body of Jesus from the Cross can be heard. It is a muffled and moving sound which speaks of all the drama of the moment and, at the same time, of the fullness of love.

The dead Christ, laid on a sheet, is then carried to the Stone of Unction. 

There, the Custos of the Holy Land performs the rites of burial described in the Gospels, anointing the body of Christ, as Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus did, using the oil and the perfumed substances, blessed in Bethany on Holy Monday.

This is how Good Friday ended, in the meditation and in the silence of the Basilica, awaiting the great Vigil of the Easter of Resurrection which, due to requirements linked to the Status Quo, will be celebrated on Saturday morning.