Jerusalem churches agree on multi-million dollar renovation of Holy Sepulchre

Jerusalem, May 28, 2019

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Having just undergone renovations two years ago, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem is set to undergo round two.

The leaders of the three churches that share responsibility for Christianity’s holiest site met at the Franciscan monastery in Jerusalem yesterday. The Jerusalem Patriarchate of the Orthodox Church was represented by His Beatitude Patriarch Theophilos III, His Beatitude Archbishop Aristarchos of Constantina, and Archimandrite Mattheos, the Franciscans by the Custos Fr. Francesco Patton and two other Catholic priests, and the Armenians by Patriarch Nourhan and two priests who serve at the Armenian section of the Holy Sepulchre, reports the press service of the Jerusalem Patriarchate.

Together, the leaders signed an agreement on the completion of the maintenance and restoration of the Sacred Edicule and Rotunda—the edifices over the Lord’s Tomb itself.

According to the Israeli paper Israel Hayom, the multi-million dollar project will include the restoration of the foundations and flooring of the church.

Regarding the signing of the agreement, Pat. Theophilos commented: “I think that this will bring the Holy Sepulchre to a new era, to a new phase, because, so far, due to the restoration works which are going on, there is no doubt that the Holy Sepulchre suffers from its holiness and sanctity and reverence. But by completing the restoration works, the Holy Sepulchre will recover its splendor.”

OrthoChristian reported earlier this month that His Majesty King Abdullah II ibn Al-Hussein of Jordan made a personal donation towards the upcoming restoration work. He had also donated to the 2016-2017 restoration work during which specialists were able to reinforce the walls of the Edicule, thus removing the metal structure that had been protecting it for decades.

The burial slab over the spot where Christ was laid was removed for the first time in 500 years during the previous restoration work.

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