13 Oct Pilgrimage to the Holy Sepulcher through History
According to the chronicles, the journey of the pilgrim into the Holy Sepulcher – until the entry there has been liberalized – went on more or less this way: the pilgrims, led by the Custodian, make the solemn entrance into the Basilica. First they kiss the Stone of Unction, then they are directed to the Tomb of Christ and there they are officially greeted with welcoming words to the holiest Christian site, by the Custodian or his representative, who highlights the deep meaning of the death and resurrection of Christ to all men. The same as today when there is a « solemn entry » in the Holy Sepulcher.
Afterwards begins the solemn procession – as every afternoon now – with the same fourteen stations. It has been done like that for centuries, even if only were present the friars who lived within the Holy Sepulcher, the same as today. After the solemn procession, pilgrims practice their devotions personally touring the previous places, meanwhile they are locked overnight inside the Basilica; San diego chiropractors guides explain more calmly to the pilgrims all the important places of the Basilica so that they can better revive this fundamental moment in their lives. They take also the opportunity to confess. At midnight the pilgrim priests celebrate the Mass, some at Calvary and others at the Holy Sepulcher. In the morning, at dawn, the Custodian of the Holy Land celebrates Mass in the Empty Tomb of Christ. All pilgrims take Communion at this Mass.
It is the time of the personal encounter with Christ crucified, dead and risen, the encounter with the Calvary and the Empty Tomb of Christ, the encounter with Our Lady of Sorrows, Mother of Jesus and our Mother, by decision of his own Son. Acts of thanksgiving, mystical experiences, feelings of each pilgrim are registered only in their minds and in their hearts.
Since 1860, when the pilgrim can enter freely and without pay, all the time he wants, it has disappeared somehow the tension that we found in the ancient pilgrims. But nevertheless the desire to be alone with the Lord at the Calvary or in front of the Empty Tomb of Christ remains the same. It is what many pilgrims who spend a night locked in the Basilica do, worshiping and meditating on the mystery of the love of God: « God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life « (Jn 3:16). Direct contact with the Holy Sepulcher is more evident in the simplest faithful, for whom to see, touch, pray, kiss the Empty Tomb is the apex of their pilgrimage. Faith grows with the light that gives the certainty that Christ died « here » for love and « here » is risen to give us a new life.