May 2, 2021

The Holy Stone - A Fragment of the Stone on Which the Angel Announced the Resurrection to the Myrrhbearers

"And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled away the stone, and sat upon it." (Matt. 28:2)

In the Rotunda of the Church of the Resurrection in Jerusalem is the Aedicule or Kouvouklion. The Aedicule or Kouvouklion has two rooms – one holds the Holy Stone (Hagios Lithos), called the Chapel of the Angel, the other is the Holy Tomb of Jesus itself, or the Holy Sepulchre. In the Chapel of the Angel is a fragment of the Holy Stone which sealed the entrance into the Tomb of Christ and on which the Angel sat as he announced the good news of the Resurrection of Christ to the Myrrhbearers. 
The Holy Stone is contained in a square pillar of marble, with each of the four sides having an inscription: ΑΓΓΕΛΟΣ Κ(ΥΡΙΟ)Υ ΚΑΤΑBΑΣ / ΕΞ ΟΥΡΑΝΟΥ ΑΠΕΚΥΛΙΣΕ / ΤΟΝ ΛΙΘΟΝ ΑΠΟ ΤΗΣ / ΘΥΡΑΣ ΤΟΥ ΜΝΗΜΕΙΟΥ (An Angel of the Lord Descended / From Heaven to Roll Away / the Stone from the / Entrance of the Tomb). The Holy Stone has had its current placement since 1810. Above the Holy Stone are fifteen vigil lamps. A daily Divine Liturgy takes place in the Kouvouklion, with the Tomb of Christ serving as the Holy Prothesis and the Holy Stone serving as the Holy Altar.