Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Where's There: Church of the Holy Sepulchre

The White Sepulchre of Armbruster, Pennsylvania, is the home base of the Knights of the White Sepulchre, a semi-militant arm of the church, whose home organization is a plaster cast of this major Christian pilgrimage site [Saint Fidgeta and Other Parodies; 100].

To understand the premise of chapter 10 – A Chaplet of Devotions, Causes and Societies to which the Catholic May Safely Adhere – one need only to comprehend the first sentence: "will the advocates of this so-called ‘aggiornamento’ denude the Church of all its special clubs and devotions?" In short, will all the changes brought forth after the reforms of the Second Vatican Council (or perhaps the Third Vatican Council from chapter nine) do away with long-popular church groups or devotions? Hardly. The church reformers – described as "folk-singing, altar-swerving, delatinizing renegade[s]" – will eventually come to realize they need the "clubs, sodalities, and league," including the Knights of the White Sepulchre.

The Knights are a Bellairsian jab at both the Knights of Columbus, a well-known Catholic fraternal service organization founded in 1882, and the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, a prestigious Catholic chivalric order of Knighthood that traces its roots to the 11th Century and Duke Godfrey of Bouillon (hey, remember him?).

Back to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, itself within the Christian Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem. A sepulchre is a type of tomb or burial chamber and this one contains, according to Fourth Century traditions, the two holiest sites in Christendom: the site where Jesus of Nazareth was crucified, known as "Calvary", and Jesus's empty tomb, where he is said to have been buried and resurrected. The church has been a major Christian pilgrimage destination since its creation in the fourth century, as the traditional site of the Resurrection of Christ, thus its original Greek name, Church of the Anastasis.

That said, a hearty “Ha-Du-Ku-Ba-Saïd-Na” to you and yours.

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