The light streaming through the dome and the beautiful music coming from the pipe organ created an awe-inspiring scene.
This is a photo of the Stone of Unction which is supposed to be the stone on which Jesus' body lay after his death while the women anointed it and wrapped it for burial. Our guide said that the original stone had been destroyed in a fire and this was a fairly recent replacement. That did not dampen the ardor of the pilgrims gathered around it, some of whom were on their knees, weeping and kissing the stone.
Moving up the stairs, which I assume covered the hill of Golgotha, we came to the site of the crucifixion itself. This sacred area was so adorned with religious bling that I couldn't relate to it at all.
I had the same reaction in the area designated as the place of Jesus' tomb and His resurrection. Although I appreciate the piety and devotion that motivated those who covered it up with gold and jewels, I'm just too much of a Calvinist to relate to it.
"How Beautiful Are the Feet" was the song I kept hearing that day as we walked the Via Dolorosa. Maybe that was because the path was so uneven that my eyes were fixed on the ground where I saw the feet of our group, other groups from all over the world, and the merchants and residents of Jerusalem mingling together and following the road Jesus went up to Calvary.