A Holy Land Pilgrimage Day 19
On this day, Good Friday, the attention of all Christians could be on the Holy Sepulchre in The Holy City. However, the holiest Christian shrine is shuttered, closed to the public. Today it accentuates the idea of the place of Jesus’s death as a place of sheer desolation. In normal times pilgrims visit this church for so many reasons and there are multiple places of significance within it. This place (pictured), is one that surprises the first time visitor and is a continual source of spiritual connection for those who return – the Stone of Unction (or Anointing). Here we remember the moment when Jesus is taken from the cross and prepared for burial in the tomb nearby. One can observe the practices of people from all over the world who revere this place where they can recall the sacrifice that Christ made for us all. Fragrant oil poured on the stone might then be wiped with a special garment as a precious reminder. Good Friday is a day of painful loss infused with profound hope. Wherever you are in the world and however you have found it possible to mark this holy day, may the scent of hope infuse your devotions. All is not lost even when things seem at their most grim. The God of love who raised Jesus from the dead upholds us through every trial and threat. Love and justice may seem thwarted but they are not defeated.