Tuesday, January 10, 2006

The Via Dolorosa

Originally uploaded by Suevisions.
The Via Dolorosa is the ultimate alternative worship experience really! A series of stations of the cross, around the city of Jerusalem, following as closely to the route that Jesus took as is possible considering that the streets have been redesigned since Roman times. One of the things I loved about them, was that there was a series of chapels along the way, but they were all different styles and run by different churches. Sometimes it almost became like a treasure hunt, as we lost one or two of the smaller stations along the way. Then finally we came to Holy Sepulchure (or the "Church of the Resurrection" as the Orthodox call it) the site of the Crucifixion, the stone where Jesus' body was washed as he was taken down, and the tomb. It was an amazing, poignant, exotic, spiritual place, and I loved it.


At 1:08 PM, Blogger John said...

Did the guides (human or written) give you any idea as to how historically accurate they reckon these sites to be? (i.e. the percentage of error there is in determining if the events really did happen there.)

Not that the 'accuracy' of the sites is all that important I suppose. It's a philosophical point, but perhaps we place too much emphasis on historical accuracy these days, at risk of loosing sight of the deeper spiritual significance of places and events.

Still, if there is a very good probability that Jesus really was at that precise site, and that the events descibed really did happen there... then it must give the place a powerful spiritual 'presence'.

What's your take on that?

At 12:17 AM, Blogger Sue said...

We only used a guide on the Jordanian side. We didnt ask her about accuracy.

My take on it is I tend to trust the Orthodox about that sort of thing. They have lines of oral tradition dating way way back, and things run in families. "it happened *here* remember this, pass it on."

Plus, some of the sites sites (does that make sense?)
were preserved due to Romans wanting to stop Christians from visiting them, so very early they stuck temples on top of them, handily pointing out that X marks the spot, the very site they *dont* want you to visit is the one.

Of course you will always get people coming up with fancy alternative theories, but, well they are welcome to them.....I think its more fun just to gaze and experience, and of course you are right, its the spiritual significance that is the biggest thing really. We get as close as we can, and even if we're wrong we're still in the right country/town/area even?/ we're still smelling the olives and seeing the landscape even if we're way too late in time to actualy be there *then*


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