In one of Boppard’s quieter side alleys you can read the pub sign „Holy Sepulchre“, a rather strange name for a wine tavern, even in the light of the various drastic portrayals of Christ in the winepress that you can see in some of the villages along the Moselle.
Where does the name „Holy Sepulchre“ come from?
We must go back in history more than one hundred years. – In the Catholic Church no real Mass is said on Good Friday. Instead the priest uncovers the body of Christ and worships it in a special ritual. At the end of the service he carries the cross to a side altar or to a side chapel and lays it on the floor. During the day the faithful come to worship it there. This is called „going to the Holy Sepulchre“.
In Boppard it was an old tradition to do this in the Church of the Carmelite Monastery on the Rhine, an interesting Gothic building without a tower, still well worth a visit today. It was the custom that early in the afternoon of Good Friday first the young, then the women and later after their work the men came to pray here, some for a longer time, some for a shorter time.