Stone of Anointing (Stone of Unction)

According to Christian tradition this is the slab where the body of Jesus was prepared for burial. On entering the church, directly ahead is the Stone of the Anointing (or Unction), in memory of the piety of Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea, who prepared Jesus’ body for burial.

circa 350 CE

The Stone of Anointing at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Located just inside the entrance to the church is the Stone of Anointing (also Stone of the Anointing or Stone of Unction), which tradition believes to be the spot where Jesus' body was prepared for burial by Joseph of Arimathea. However, this tradition is only attested since the crusader era. There is a difference of opinion as to whether it is to be seen as the 13th Station of the Way of the Cross.

circa 350 CE

The wall behind the stone is defined by its striking blue balconies and tau cross-bearing red banners (depicting the insignia of the Brotherhood of the Holy Sepulchre), and is decorated with lamps. The modern three-part mosaic along the wall depicts the anointing of Jesus' body, preceded on the right by the Descent from the Cross, and succeeded on the left by the Burial of Jesus.

circa 350 CE

Stading between the Stone of Unction and the Wall, looking towards the entrance. The lamps that hang over the Stone of Unction, adorned with cross-bearing chain links, are contributed by Armenians, Copts, Greeks and Latins. It belongs jointly to the Greek Orthodox, Catholics and Armenian Orthodox, and dates back only to 1810 CE.

circa 350 CE

The alley behind the stone leads towards the Chapel of Derision in the eastern flank of the Church. The Stone of Anointing is a flat stone slab that contains a reddish hue throughout its texture. The stone sits about a half meter (foot and a half) off the floor and is surrounded by a stone encasement with decorative orbs sitting atop each corner. Tall candlesticks stand on each end of the stone.

circa 350 CE

To the right is the passage leading to the Rotunda and the Edicule containing the tomb. The white four-pillared structure to the right in background is the Station of the Three Holy Women (three Mary's). The bench of the key keeprs is also partially visible to the extreme left near the entrance.

circa 350 CE

A general overhead picture of the area, with Stone of Unction to the lower right. The wall to the right with the painting isn't part of the original building it was installed as a load-bearing wall for the structure above. originally the stone wasn't located in this area, it was installed here during the reconstruction of the Church after 1810 CE fire that destroyed a major part of the building.

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