Patriarch Performs Holy Week Rite
Thursday, April 05, 2007
JERUSALEM - Hundreds of Greek Orthodox believers filled the courtyard
of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem's Old City to watch
their patriarch wash the feet of followers as part of a Holy Thursday
The ceremony was a reenactment of Jesus' act of humility when,
according to Christian belief, he washed the feet of his 12 apostles.
Greek Orthodox Patriarch Theofilos III, dressed in white robes,
poured soapy water from an ornate silver pitcher into a bowl. Twelve
priests, selected by seniority, dipped their feet in the water and
Theofilos carefully cleaned them with a white cloth.
"This is important because it shows and reminds us of the humility of
Christ. It shows love toward our fellow man," said Archbishop
Aristarchous. "I think it's the solution to our human problems today."
On Easter Sunday, the Orthodox Church will hold its 1,200-year-old
"holy fire" rite in which the faithful light torches and candles from
a flame that believers say is miraculously ignited. The rite also
takes place at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, where Christians
believe Jesus died on the cross.
A service of the Associated Press(AP)