Catholics celebrate Easter in ancient Jerusalem church

Catholics celebrate Easter in ancient Jerusalem church

Roman Catholic worshipers pray and sing hymns in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre as eastern Orthodox Christians celebrate Palm Sunday

Hundreds of Christians marked Easter by flocking to Jerusalem’s Church of the Holy Sepulchre, built on the site where they believe Jesus was crucified, buried and resurrected.

Worshipers prayed and sang hymns Sunday in the church in Jerusalem’s Old City as they lined up to admire the Edicule, the chamber that tradition says marks Jesus’ tomb.

A Greek restoration team completed a historic renovation of the Edicule last year, aimed at reversing the effects of years of exposure to water, humidity and candle smoke. The limestone and marble structure stands at the center of the church — a 12th-century building standing on 4th-century remains.

The Roman Catholic services were happening as eastern Orthodox Christians celebrated Palm Sunday. The denominations, which jealously guard different sections of the church, held separate services one after another.

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