The Lord’s burial place opened for restoration and study

This is for your Just Too Cool file and for your November viewing calendar.

In the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem, the Aedicule, or structure around the niche carved into the rock that served as Christ’s resting place in the tomb is being overhauled.  Part of the process was to remove marble slabs that for centuries have covered the actual rock shelf.  National Geographic was there to document the work.  There will be a show on it in November.

More from National Geographic, including a video HERE.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Chris Rawlings says:

    We live in Jerusalem and use the Sepulchre as one of our ostensible parishes for Mass. It will be wonderful for this to be completed, obviously for the structural health of the site, but also to at last be rid of the scaffolding and noise that has turned the church into an ad hoc construction site.

  2. The Masked Chicken says:

    From what I gather, using ground-penetrating radar, they have found a second marble slab beneath the first one. If this is the case, they may be getting closer to the actual surface on which Christ was buried. The crew was given 60 hours to do their work. Here, is a link to the story:

    The Chicken

  3. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    Thank you variously for the striking photo, the detailed link, and the vivid glimpse of what all this means in the everyday life of the local faithful!

    Is the original slab a secondary relic, and the Twelfth- and Sixteenth-century slabs (and associated mortar and filler and so on) tertiary relics, or how are such things considered?

  4. gracie says:

    The Masked Chicken,

    Thanks for the link. It compliments Fr. Z’s article nicely. The comments attached to it are for the most part angry/vitriolic/mocking/ as is usual with articles written about Jesus that appear in the secular press.

  5. frahobbit says:

    Necessary fixing notwithstanding, my anxieties get stirred up; remembering how the Holy Shroud of Turin was “studied”. Please pray for me.

  6. Semper Gumby says:

    Chicken, thanks, I had no idea they used GPR.

    gracie: Yep, too bad about those comments at CBS etc.

    frahobbit: You bet. For what it’s worth, when I leave my hobbit hole and the Misty Mountains and Moria loom in the distance, I like to have with me my trusty Combat Rosary.

  7. KateD says:

    At the opposite side of the edicule from where the big burly bearded monk guards the main entrance, there is a smaller area, with a less scary guardian, and one may approach to kiss rough stone. I think someone I asked indicated it was “the foot end”? Is that part of the original limestone tomb?

  8. KateD says:


  9. Filipino Catholic says:

    There’s also a bit of a flame war going on in the Nat Geo comments sadly. You could even metaphorically distill sulfuric acid from all the vitriol being spewed there.

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