Orthodox Christians mark Maundy Thursday in Jerusalem
Thursday, April 12, 2012 - 01:13
April 12 - Greek Orthodox Patriarch Theophilus III washes the feet of clergymen to commemorate Maundy Thursday at the Holy Sepulchre Church in Jerusalem. Travis Brecher reports.
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Greek Orthodox Patriarch Theophilus III washes the feet of 12 of his clergymen in the courtyard of the Holy Sepulchre Church in Jerusalem's Old City.
The traditional ceremony takes place three times ahead of Easter Sunday.
According to Christian faith, Jesus washed the feet of his 12 disciples prior to the Last Supper.
Churches around the world mark Maundy Thursday with this ancient rite - a week later than Latin denominations celebrate the Easter holidays.
The washing of the feet is usually performed by the highest-ranking clergyman, in emulation of Jesus' act.
The Church of the Holy Sepulchre, traditionally venerated by Christians as the site of Jesus' crucifixion, was built by the Roman Emperor Constantine, and later rebuilt by the Byzantine Emperor Constantine Monomachus.
It has survived multiple fires and earthquakes.
Travis Brecher, Reuters
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