Saturday, April 16, 2022

Holy Week in Jerusalem: A Post-War Documentary

Many thanks to Nicola for bringing to my attention this wonderful documentary about the celebration of Holy Week in Jerusalem, recently published on the YouTube channel of the Franciscan Custody of the Holy Places. There are no credits to indicate the date, but from the style, and the appearance of a broad stole, it seems to be from between World War Two and the 1955 Holy Week reform. (Of course, like their brother St John XXIII, the Franciscans might have decided to just pretend the reform didn’t happen, so that may not be really indicative of anything.) The narration is in Italian, but like any good documentary, it shows more than it tells, and most of it is footage of the liturgical and devotional life of the Holy City. An outline is given below.
Start: a ritual held every first Thursday of the month at basilica of Gethsemani, the reading of the Passion Gospel, which is slightly different Passion tone from the classic Passion tone.
01:39 In the refectory of the Friars of the Custody on Good Friday, the rector of the house serves the meal, which is taken kneeling.
02:54 Part of the daily procession held in the church of the Holy Sepulcher, from the chapel of the Apparence of Christ to the Virgin Mary, stops at the column of the flagellation, then goes to the prison of Christ, the place of the dividing of the garments, down to the chapel of St Helena, where the relics of the Cross were found, up to Golgotha, and then to the site of the sepulcher.
05:35 Beginning outside of the basilica, a long section showing pilgrims on the Via Dolorosa.
13:33 Then ceremony of the deposition of the body of the Christ from Cross.
16:28 Blessing of bread at the sanctuary at Emmaus, which the Latin bishop gives out to the faithful as Christ gave bread to the two disciples at the Supper at Emmaus.
17:14 “The reality of the mystery which is spiritually tangible, evoked through these rites, stirs up in the soul sentiments not unlike those lived by the fortunate protagonists of these great matters: being present for the miracle of the Incarnation, suffering with Jesus the agonies of the Passion, rising in Him to a new life, contemplating Him in the glory of the Ascension, living again that transformation which His Gospel brought about in the world. All this has the serene spontaneity of a dream, but impresses upon us the effects of an deep devotion. ‘I will fulfill in me what is lacking in the Passion of Christ.’ ”

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