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Catholics Celebrate Easter in Ancient Jerusalem Church

A Coptic priest advances 04 April 2004 inside the Holy Sepulchre Church in Jerusalem on Palm Sunday as hundreds of followers of the different branches of Christianity began Easter celebrations by parading through Jerusalem's Old City before praying at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, believed to be the final …
MARCO LONGARI/AFP/Getty

JERUSALEM (AP) — Hundreds of Christians are marking Easter by flocking to Jerusalem’s Church of the Holy Sepulchre, built on the site where they believe Jesus was crucified, buried and resurrected.

Worshippers 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 historic Greek restoration was completed 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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