Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land - 26/03/2000 info:
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Eucharistic celebration
in the Basilica of the Resurrection

Jerusalem, Church of the Holy Sepulchre, March 26, 2000

The Eucharist opened with the singing of the Hymn "Lauda Jerusalemc Dominun" and the Pope together with all the concelebrants dressed in violet vestments (Sunday of Lent) all moved to the space in front of the tomb where in the meantime a makeshift altar was placed. His Holiness introduced the Eucharist by enphasising once more that he had so much desired to be at this most holy site of christianity in the footsteps of Peter. The penitential service followed and the opening prayer taken from the Sunday of Lent in which a petition is presented to God for the forgiveness of sin. The first reading in Arabic taken from Exodus 20:1-17. This was followed by the Responsorial Psalm "Lord you have words of eternal life" which was sung by the choir. The second reading, in english, was taken from the first letter of Paul to the Corinthians (1:22-25) while the Gospel was that of John (2:13-25).

Then His Holiness delivered his homily.


After the Homily a deacon went inside the tomb from where he brought forth a lighted candle symbolising the light of Christ which overcomes the darkness of death. This is the "lucernarium", a celebration which is mentioned by the ancient pilgrims who visited the Holy Sepulchre and used to be performed daily at this site. The Catholic Church still performs the "lucernarium" during the Easter Liturgy. Candles were distributed to all those present and lit from the light brought forth from the tomb. The Pope then, holding in his right hand a lighted candle intoned in Latinin the Creed which was sung in the gregorian melody. The prayer of the faithful followed during which invocations were presented in the name of the Church for His Holiness, for the newly baptised, for all those who believe in Christ, for sinners to return to the fold, for the needs of the local and universal Church blessed by their martyrs. To all these invocations the assembly replied in Latin "te rogamus audi nos". The offerings followed accompanied by the hymn "ubi caritas et amor Deus ibi est". During the offerings the Pope was presented by a special Jubilee medal prepared by the Custody of the Holy Land was presented to His Holiness who on his part donated a chalice and paten to the sanctuary.

At the end, after the communion, before the final blessings His Holiness thanked God for the Grace he bestowed on a pilgrim Pope in his pilgrimage and introduces the Angelus with a speech.


Created / Updated Sunday, March 26, 2000 at 13:37:05