Prayers will continue as Jerusalem’s Church of the Holy Sepulchre closes

Jerusalem’s Church of the Holy Sepulchre, revered in Christian tradition as the site of Jesus’s crucifixion and burial, was closed on Wednesday as a precaution against the coronavirus.

The heads of the three major communities said in a statement that “the celebrations of our Communities, the Greek Orthodox, the Latin and the Armenian will continue regularly, even though for safety reasons and in order to avoid the risk of the diffusion of the COVID-19 infection, the number of participants in the celebrations will be limited to few persons and the Basilica will be accessible during the liturgies only.”

“We wish to assure that inside the Basilica, the prayers of the Three Communities will continue, rather intensify, asking the Heavenly Father the end of the pandemic, the recovery of the sick, the protection of the medical personnel, the wisdom for the Pastors and the Governors and the eternal salvation to those who lost their lives,” reads the statement shared by Fr. Hovnan Baghdasryan, Chancellor of the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem Hovnan Baghdasryan informs.

“We raise this prayer from the very place where, through the sacrifice of His own life on the Calvary and through His Resurrection from the Sepulchre on the third day, the only begotten and beloved Son Jesus Christ, defeated evil, sin and death,” the Church leaders said.

The Greek Orthodox, Armenian Apostolic and Roman Catholic churches share custody of the building. Others, including Copts, Ethiopian and Syrian Orthodox, also hold services there.

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