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"washing of the feet" ceremony outside the Holy Sepulchre

The Greek-Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem on Thursday performed the traditional "washing of the feet" ceremony outside the Holy Sepulchre.

The ritual, conducted by Theophilos III before the clergy and this year because of the pandemic, only a small crowd of local pilgrims, symbolises humility.

It is performed on the last Thursday before Easter at the start of a three-day commemoration that marks the three days from Jesus' death on the cross to his resurrection.

The ceremony is a traditional tribute to Jesus' washing of the feet of his disciples at the Last Supper in the Christian Bible.

According to the New Testament, Jesus washed the feet of his twelve disciples when they ate one last meal together the night before he was taken away to be crucified.

Jesus, already knowing he was going to be betrayed by Judas Iscariot, washed his feet and forgave him.

The Holy Sepulchre is the site where Christians believe Jesus was entombed and then resurrected.