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August 18, 2009August 18, 2009  0 comments  Music

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The city of Nazareth just might be the selected venue for and additional Leonard Cohen's concert this September.  Ministry Director-General Noaz Bar Nir has approached Leonard Cohen (via the concert producer Marcel Abraham), asking that him to consider adding Nazareth to his schedule under the slogan "reconciliation, tolerance and peace", the same slogan he is used in marketing his September 24th 2009 concert in Ramat Gan, the final concert of his world tour. 

 

 

According to Bar Nir, it was brought to his attention that the singer wanted to play an additional concert in Ramallah, but this did not happen for a variety of reasons. After discussing the idea with Nazareth Mayor Ramiz Jaraisy, Bar Nir proposed holding a second concert in the city of Nazareth - Israel's largest Arab city and home to a 40,000 capacity outdoor amphitheater specially built for the recent visit of the Pope.

 

 

 

 


August 11, 2009August 11, 2009  1 comments  Peace

During the last two weeks of August the period of "Prayer for Peace" begins, where individual Christian communities gather together to pray for peace and reconciliation in the Holy Land. The services are held at 6:00 pm daily in Jerusalem, beginning August 15th and running through the 28th of the month. Each day the services are held within a different community in the city.



Daily at 6 p.m.


Saturday, August 15th Armenian Catholic Church Old City, Via Dolorosa

Sunday, August 16th St. George's Anglican Cathedral 20, Nablus Road

Monday, August 17th Dormition Abbey, Mount Zion

Tuesday, August 18th St. James Church, Nablus Road, Beit Hanina

Wednesday, August 19th Ecce Homo, Old City, Via Dolorosa

Thursday, August 20th Pater Noster Church, Mount of Olives

Friday, August 21st Lutheran Church of the Redeemer, Old City, near Holy Sepulchre

Saturday, August 22nd Ethiopian Orthodox Church, Off Prophet Street, West Jerusalem

Sunday, August 23rd St. Andrew's Church of Scotland, near Railway Station

Monday, August 24th St. Mark's Church, Syrian Orthodox, Old City. Jaffa gate

Tuesday, August 25th Armenian Cathedral of St. James, Old City, Armenian Quarter

Wednesday, August 26th St. Anthony's Church, Coptic Orthodox, Old City, near Holy Sepulchre

Thursday. August 27th Tantur Ecumenical Centre, Road to Bethlehem.

Friday, August 28th Pro Cathedral, Latin Patriarchate, Jaffa Gate


November 23, 2009November 23, 2009  0 comments  Events

The Abu Gosh winter concert series begins this Saturday night with a special concert program celebrating the music of Bob Seeger and Joan Baez. Periodically over the next few months, special Saturday night concerts will be performed at the Church of the Ark of the Covanent.


Abu Gosh is an Arab village situated in a beautiful natural setting near Jerusalem;  ten minutes away from the city, near the Jerusalem - Tel Aviv highway. It has a number of attractive features that turn it into a very special visit. The village has a fascinating history going back over 500 years, whose remains are still visible around the village. It was built over the ruins of the biblical town of Kiryat Ye'arim, which is believed to be one of the stops for the Ark of the Covenant when it was moved from Beit Shemesh to its resting place in Jerusalem. The Romans built a large fort here, above the spring, and later on the Crusaders established a monastery on the same site, which served both as a church and as a military headquarters for many years. Festival concerts are held in this church, in the middle of the village, and in the Church of the Ark of the Covenant further up the hill.


Another fascinating feature of Abu Gosh is the unique convergence of the three monotheistic faiths. The churches and monasteries stand near the mosque and in the midst of the local Muslim residents, creating a special atmosphere for the wide variety of visitors who stroll through the village during the Festival - Muslims, Jews and Christians. During the 1948 war, the city stayed out of the fighting and many believe that because of this, the village remained within the green line border that was put in place after the 1948 hour. The current population of 7,000 consists mostly of  Palestinian Arabs. Its location in the beautiful Judean Hills, combined with its reputation as a peaceful and open village has drawn approximately 40 Jewish families to live there as well.


Since 1992,  Abu Gosh Festival has been home to Israel's most celebrated festival of vocal music. The 3-5 day festival is held twice a year- in October, during the holiday of Sukkot, and in May, during the holiday of Shavuot.

Twice each year, the village of Abu Gosh turns into a paradise for lovers of vocal music. Abu Gosh offers a unique combination of a beautiful village in a wonderful setting, lovely churches with the best acoustics in Israel, rich and varied musical programs, and a special type of audience, which comes both to listen and to sing.



Today the Abu Gosh Festival is the most important and prominent vocal music festival in Israel. Festival concerts are held in churches - the 12th Century Crusader Church with its noted for its amazing Byzantine frescos and its crypt, and the Church of the Ark of the Covenant. Both venues have excellent acoustics, remarkable beauty, and a very special atmosphere. Concerts are also held outside in the lovely courtyard of the Church of the Ark of the Covenant, simultaneously at five locations. The vocal music concerts are of the highest quality, with a predominantly liturgical repertoire, and are performed by top-notch soloists  choirs, and orchestras from Israel and abroad, including rare pieces which receive their première in Israel at Abu Gosh.



Most of the programs played during the Festival are from the Baroque and Renaissance periods, and are performed by top level ensembles. The Festival also serves as a highly respected and attractive venue for many artists and choirs from all over the world. Every year a large audience attends the events, comprised of music lovers of all ages; their presence turns the musical events in and around the churches, as well as the entire area, into colourful and lively spectacle. Many festival goers attend the concerts in the churches, and enjoy the wide range of musical events in the groves and gardens of the monastery, in a pleasant atmosphere.



The tradition of communal singing by audience and choirs at Abu Gosh has become very popular. The Festival administration encourages and nurtures this tradition. Sitting in the shade of tall pine trees, the audiences joins in singing chorales and madrigals, and even arranged folk-songs, under the baton of well known conductors.




 


December 10, 2012December 10, 2012  0 comments  Religious ceremonies

Is there any better place in the world to visit during Christmas, than in the town of Bethlehem, where Jesus was actually born?

 

 "And everyone went to his own town to register. 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." (Luke 2:3-4)

 

Travelujah recommends that Christians to follow in the path of Joseph and to make a similar pilgrimage this year to Bethlehem, the town that many believe is the birthplace of Jesus. To ensure an exciting and festive Christmas season in Bethlehem, a number of religious and cultural celebrations have been planned for Christmas 2012.

 

Enjoy strolling beautifully decorated streets of Bethlehem, where the Christmas ornaments and lights, put all around the town, create a special atmosphere of celebration and joy. When reaching the Manger Square, the first thing to notice will be this year’s Christmas tree - bigger and more splendid than ever.

 

Christmas in Bethlehem Travelujah

 

However, this amazing tree will be just a Christmas decoration underlining the importance of the place you would be in. Only few steps behind it is the entrance to the Basilica of the Nativity, the church built over the grotto where Jesus, Prince of Peace, was born.

 

“Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord” (Luke 2:11)

 

Christmas Events:

 

On the 15th of December, see the solemn Lightning of the Christmas Tree. Firstly, everybody is invited to join common prayer in the St. Catherine’s Church of the Nativity Church at 4:30 pm. Right after the mass, at 5:30 pm, Christmas concerts will begin to please our ears and the tree will be ceremonially lightened.

 

2nd Nativity Festival on the Manger Square will be a great musical entertainment starting every day from 16th till 23rd of December around  5 pm.

 

19th of December will mark the Day of St. Nicholas. Did you know that Santa Claus lived for four years in a cave in Beit Jala, a town next to Bethlehem, to exclude himself close to the place where the Christ was born? Church of St. Nicholas in Beit Jala will host a solemn mass at 7:30 am. Scouts parade will march the town around noon. Musical event featuring very talented local singers will start at 6 pm.

 

‘Taste the Nativity Land’ festival prepared by the John Paul II Foundation will be a great occasion to taste local products of Bethlehem like wine, olive oil and traditional bread. This all could be enjoyed from 20th till 22nd of December, in a beautiful Christmas setting and live carols performances. The first day, will as well feature a great children’s parade, which will start from the Manger Square at 1:30 pm and march through the streets of Bethlehem to reach the grounds of the JP II Foundation.

 

Beit Sahour, the town famous for the Shepherd’s Fields, has its own Christmas tree, which will be solemnly lighted on the 20th of December. At 5 pm, a beautiful “Procession for Peace” will walk from town’s center (souq es-shab) to reach the place of the three lightning in front of Beit Sahour’s municipality building. Musical concerts and fireworks are expected.

 

24th of December marks the Christmas Eve. On that day, scouts of Bethlehem are going to welcome the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Fuad Twal. The Patriarch is expected to arrive around 1 pm to the area of the Rachel’s Tomb and reach the Manger Square around 2:30 pm.

 

Christmas in Bethlehem Travelujah 

 

24th of December is as well the day of the Midnight Mass celebrated in the St. Catherine’s Church. The event requires previously obtained tickets. The door of the church will be open from 9 pm. Check more info: here.

 

For all those who would like to enjoy common caroling, a special event prepared by a group “Brass for Peace” will take place in the Christmas Lutheran Church in Bethlehem at 7:30 pm on the 24th of December.

 

Join the Shepherd’s Nights celebrations on the 25th of December in Beit Sahour. Candle procession at 4 pm, from the Orthodox Shepherd’s Fields to the center of Beit Sahour, will symbolize the way of the Shepherds lead by the star. Musical concerts will follow.

 

On the 29th of December at 6 pm enjoy “Bethlehem Christmas Festival” - 80 Voice Festival Choir concert in on the stage of Dar Annadwa, located next to the Christmas Lutheran Church.

 

Mark Your Calendar

 

 

  • 15/12 – Lightning of the Christmas Tree in Bethlehem

  • 16-23/12 – 2nd Nativity Festival
  • 19/12 – St. Nicholas Celebrations in Beit Jala
  • 20-22/12 – “Taste the Nativity Land” Festival in JP II Foundation
  • 20/12 – Lightning of the Christmas Tree in Beit Sahour
  • 24/12 – Welcoming of the Latin Patriarch on the Manger Square; Christmas Eve Midnight Mass in the St. Catherine Church; “Brass for Peace” in the Christmas Lutheran Church
  • 25/12 – Shepherd’s Nights in Beit Sahour
  • 29/12 - “Bethlehem Christmas Festival” 

 

Traveling to Bethlehem

 

You can easily reach Bethlehem from Jerusalem by taking bus #21 from the bus station next to the Damascus Gate of Old Jerusalem. The way will take around 30 minutes and will take you through Beit Jala to the area called Bab el-Zkak in Bethlehem. To reach the Manger Square from there, walk Pope Paul VI street for 15 minutes.

 

Travelujah.com invites you to join one of the many Bethlehem day tours and visit the city on a group tour bus with a licensed tour guide. Several Bethlehem day tours are available including:

 

1.             Bethlehem-Jericho Day Tour - $125 per person from Jerusalem

2.             Bethlehem and Jerusalem One Day Tour-$99 per person from Jerusalem

3.             Bethlehem Christmas Eve 2012 Tour - $115 per person from Jerusalem

 

Christmas in Bethlehem Travelujah 

 

The full schedule of 2012-2013 Christmas-related services and mass times in Bethlehem is found below:

DECEMBER 15 – 23:
16.30 Novena of Christmas in St Catherine.

DECEMBER 24 (Monday):
13.00 at the Tomb of Rachel: His Beatitude, the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Fuad Twal, is welcomed by, Latin Parish Priest of Bethlehem and representatives of Bethlehem, Beit Jala and Beit Sahour.
14.30 at the Manger Square: Solemn Entry of His Beatitude into the Basilica of the Nativity and St. Catherine Church followed by Pontifical Vespers.
16.00 at St. Catherine: Daily Procession to the Nativity Grotto.
21.00 at St. Catherine: The Church opens (Tickets required).
23.15 at St. Catherine: SOLEMN "OFFICE OF READINGS".

DECEMBER 25 (Tuesday):
00.00 at St. Catherine: PONTIFICAL EUCHARISTIC CONCELEBRATION (Tickets required).
00.00 at the Manger Grotto: Low Masses till 1.30 in Arabic (Tickets required);
1.30 at St. Catherine: Solemn traditional Procession to the Grotto until 2.30.
2.30 at the Manger Grotto: Low Masses till 5.15 (no tickets required), Interruption from 5.30 to 7.00 approximately.
7.30 at St. Catherine: PARISH MASS IN ARABIC.
10.00 at St. Catherine: PONTIFICAL CHRISTMAS MASS IN ARABIC AND LATIN.
14.00: Pilgrimage to the Greek and then to the Latin Shepherd’s Field.

DECEMBER 26 (Wednesday) – Feast of St. Stephen:
In the Manger Grotto: Holy Masses at 5.00 and 7.30.
At St. Catherine: Holy Masses at 6.30 (Italian), 7.00 (Arabic).
12.00: Daily procession to the Grotto of the Nativity.

DECEMBER 27 (Thursday) – Feast of St. John Evangelist:
In the Manger Grotto: Holy Masses at 5.00 and 7.30.
At St. Catherine: Holy Masses at 6.30 (Italian) and 7.00 (Arabic).
12.00: Daily Procession to the Grotto.
16.45: Veneration of the Rock of Manger Grotto

DECEMBER 28 (Friday) – Feast of the Holy Innocents:
In the Manger Grotto: Holy Masses at 5.00 and 7.30.
At St. Catherine: Holy Masses at 6.30 (Italian), 7.00 (Arabic).
10.00: Sung Mass (Latin) in the Grotto of the Holy Innocents.
12.00: Daily Procession to the Grotto.
14.00: Vespers in the Grotto of the Holy Innocents.

DECEMBER 29 (Saturday):
In the Manger Grotto: Holy Masses at 5.00 and 7.30.
At St. Catherine: Holy Masses at 6.30 (Italian), 7.00 (Arabic).
12.00: Daily Procession to the Grotto.
15.00:
Shepherd’s Field, Solemn Mass at in commemoration of the Shepherds.

DECEMBER 30 (Sunday):
In the
Manger Grotto: Holy Masses at 5.00 and at 8.30.
At St. Catherine: Holy Masses at 6.30 (Italian), 7.30; 9.00; 11.00; 16.30 (Arabic).

DECEMBER 31 (Monday) – New Year’s Eve:
In the Manger Grotto: Holy Masses at 5.00 and 7.30.
At St. Catherine: Holy Masses at 6.30 (Italian), 7.00 (Arabic).
14.00 Solemn Vespers with Procession to the Grotto

16.30 Holy Mass of Thanksgiving (Arabic) with TE DEUM.

2013

JANUARY 1 (Tuesday):
In the
Manger Grotto: Holy Masses at 5.00 am and 7.30.
At St. Catherine: Holy Masses at 6.30 am (Italian), 7.30 am (Arabic).
Solemn Mass at 10.30 (Arabic) followed by Procession to the Milk Grotto with the Icon of Virgin Mary.

JANUARY 5 (Saturday) – Eve of
Epiphany:
In the Manger Grotto: Holy Masses at 5.00 and 7.30.
11.00 at the
Tomb of Rachel: His Paternity the Custos of the Holy Land is welcomed by Latin Parish Priest and other representatives of Bethlehem.
11.30 at the Manger Square: Solemn Entry of his Paternity the Custos of the Holy Land into the
Basilica of the Nativity and St. Catherine Church.
13.45 at St. Catherine: Pontifical Vespers and Procession to the Grotto

15.30 at St. Catherine: Office of Readings and Procession to the Grotto
JANUARY 6 (Sunday) –
Epiphany:
Midnight at the Grotto: Holy Masses till 9.00 with an interruption from 1.00 to 2.30 approximately.
7.30 at St. Catherine: Holy Mass.
10.00 at St. Catherine: PONTIFICAL MASS (Latin and Arabic).
15.30 at St. Catherine:  Solemn Vespers and Solemn Traditional procession to the Grotto: Veneration of the Infant Jesus with the gifts of gold, incense and myrrh.

 

* * * * * 

By Beata Andonia  and Elisa Moed for Travelujah. Beata Andonia works for the Bethlehem tourist bureau and blogs regularly about Bethlehem for Travelujah-Holy Land Tours. She is originally from Poland and moved to Bethlehem in 2010.

 

 

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