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Celebrating Christmas in Bethlehem

16 December, 201416 December, 2014 0 comments Events Events
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Planning a Christmas visit to the Holy Land and wondering what special Christmas festivities are taking place? Travelujah has compiled our guide of ‘to do'  special Christmas activities taking place in the city where it all began, Bethlehem.

 

Concerts 

December 19  - Jadayeel Group France, Bethlehem and Sweden at Dar Ad Nadwa

December 19  - Jadayel, Sabil Duo and Bela Quartet Concert Tour, Dar Annadwa

December  20  -  Bethlehem Arabic Music Ensemble at the Womens Trade Union BethlehemDecember 30 - Sri Lanka Choir at the Roman Catholic Church

December 21 -  Shubert, Mass No. 5 G Major, Concert at the Church of the Redeemer, Jerusalem, along with choir and Christmas carols (70 shekel)

 

Church Christmas Feast Celebrations:

 

24th December 2014, Christmas Eve:
Church of the Nativity - St. Catherine
13.30 Entry of the Latin Patriarch into the Basilica of the Nativity and into the Church of St. Catherine
13.45 First Vespers
16.00 Procession to the Grotto of the Nativity
23.30 Office of the lectures
00.00 Christmas Vigil presided by H.B. Fuad Twal, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem
01.45 Procession to the Grotto

25th December 2014, Christmas Day:
St. Catherine's Church
10.00 Solemn Christmas mass
14.00 Spiritual pilgrimage to Shepherd's Field

26th December 2014, Day of St. Stephen:
St. Stephen's Church
16.00 Spiritual Pilgrimage

28th December 2014, Feast of the Holy Innocents
St. Catherine's Church
10.00 Solemn mass

 

1st January -2015, Feast of the Mother of God

Jerusalem - Con-Cathedral (Latin Patriarchate)
10.30 Solemn mass celebrated by the Latin Patriarch, H.B. Fouad Twal

Bethlehem - St. Catherine's Church
10.30 Solemn mass and procession to the Milk Grotto

 

Monday, 5th January 2015 (Vigil):
11.30 Solemn Entry of the Custos, Fr. Pierbattista Pizzaballa, OFM
13.45 First Vespers
14.45 Procession to the Grotto of the Nativity
15.30 Compieta and second procession to the Grotto of the Nativity

Tuesday, 6th January 2015, Feast day:
Nativity Church and St. Catherine's Church
10.00 Solemn mass celebrated by the Custos of the Holy Land
15.30 Second Vespers and procession to the Grotto of the Nativity


If you go: Christmas sites to visit in Bethlehem:grotto

Church of the Nativity
The   Church of the Nativity off of Manger Square is an obvious place to visit at any time of the year as it is the focal point of the city. The Roman Catholic, Armenian and Greek Orthodox churches share custody of the church. The Grotto of the Nativity is   a cavern beneath the church believed to be the site of Christ's birth and is the primary focal point of this historical church.

The Milk Grotto
 The Milk Grotto has long been a prayer site for women and is much less known than other parts of the Church of the Nativity. This site is where Joseph, Mary and Jesus took refuge before their escape to Egypt and most importantly, according to tradition, it was at this spot that Mary was nursing Jesus and a drop of milk fell to the ground, turning it white. This is why many women revere the site for its believed that it the chalky white walls hold special fertility powers.

Shepherds' Field 

The plains of Beit Sahour, are celebrated as the spot where "shepherds kept watch over their flock" on the night Jesus was born. Chapels built over ruins commemorate the appearance by angels to the shepherds in what is known as Shepherds' Field. The Greek Orthodox church, Kanisat al-Ruwat, is a cave which was used as a church from the 4th century - the only 5th-century church outside Jerusalem to have survived intact. The Catholic chapel is at Khirbat Siyar al-Ghanim. Protestants consider the YMCA of Beit Sahour to be the place. 

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them. And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger." Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests." When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about." Luke 2:4-1

 

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Elisa L. Moed is the Founder and CEO of Travelujah-Holy Land tours, the leading Christian travel network focused on Holy Land tours. People can learn, plan and share their Holy Land tour and travel experiences on Travelujah.

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