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April 18, 2011April 18, 2011  1 comments  Geography

Holy Week was ushered in to Jerusalem on Sunday with thousands of Christians waving palms and walking the route believed to be the same one Jesus took when he entered Jerusalem in his final week.

easter, holy land, palm sunday“The next day the great crowd that had come for the festival heard that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem. They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting, ‘Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the king of Israel!’ Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, as it is written: ‘Do not be afraid, Daughter Zion; see, your king is coming, seated on a donkey’s colt.’” John 12:12-15

Thousands of Christians, both local Arabs and Armenians, plus pilgrims, poured into the alleys of the Old City to attend Palm Sunday services and then left with their symbolic fronds for family dinners or to visit more of the city.

The excitement that always marks this time in Jerusalem was palpable in the Old City on Sunday.  As the week carries on, the anticipation of the holy day builds until the Saturday of Light and then ultimately Easter Sunday.

Many of the Holy Week events in Jerusalem are relived as in the Bible. Because of the geography here, Christians can actually follow the footsteps of Jesus around Jerusalem to the holy sites that commemorate the week of his last supper, death and resurrection.

Anthony, a tourist from Romania, was making his first Easter pilgrimage to the Holy Land. He said he was moved by being able to live out some of the passion of Jesus, on location.

easter, holy land“I think it is important to do this at least once in order to strengthen my faith,” he told Travelujah. “I feel the Easter story coming alive to me.”

Services took place at various churches around Israel and the Palestinian territories.


By Nicole Jansezian, Travelujah

Nicole Jansezian writes for www.travelujah.com, the only Christian social network focused on travel to the Holy Land. Travelujah is a vibrant online community offering high quality Christian content, user and expert blogs, travel tours and planning services for people interested in connecting with or traveling to the Holy Land.

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March 19, 2013March 19, 2013  0 comments  Religious ceremonies

 

“A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road.” (Matthew 21:8)

 

In the 33 AD, almost 2000 years ago, on a Sunday preceding the Feast of Passover, Jesus humbly entered Jerusalem on a back of a donkey and was ceremonially welcomed by many of the Jewish pilgrims who gathered in the town to celebrate the holiday.

 

The Jews knew him as a great preacher and miracle maker. Thus, greeted him with the words “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” (Psalm 118:26) and spread on the road in front of him their clothes and tree branches. They took him, however, as their possible political leader, who could free them from the Roman rule, not as the Messiah, whose Kingdom is in Heaven.

 

Jerusalem view from Mount of Olives

 

The Christian Feast of Palm Sunday solemnizes Jesus’s glorious entry to Jerusalem almost 2000 years ago and marks the beginning of the Holy Week, which commemorates the events which happened before Christ’s death and resurrection.

 

Join the Celebration

 

In the Holy Town of Jerusalem, where it all happened, Catholics annually celebrate the Palm Sunday procession to commemorate the great events of the past. Also this year 2013, on Sunday of the 24th of March, the joyful and colorful gathering will follow the way from Bethphage on the Mount of Olives to Saint Anne’s church on the Via Dolorosa. The march will start at 2:30 pm from in front of the Franciscan Church of Bethphage, located in the village where Jesus took the donkey to ride on it into Jerusalem.

 

Palm Sunday Travelujah

 

The Palm Sunday procession, during which people cary palm or olive tree branches, is commonly known for its full of singing and blessings joyous atmosphere. The rhythmical music of the local scouts usually accompanies the event.

 

This is an amazing spiritual and cultural experience for all the gathered to follow exactly the way Christ took to enter Jerusalem and meet the fellows in faith from all around the world.

 

The destination of the march, through the part of Via Dolorosa, is the Church of Saint Anne.

 

Palm Sunday Travelujah

 

Other Catholic mass services in Jerusalem on Palm Sunday 2013:

 

 

  • 6:30 am – Jerusalem – Holy Sepulchre: Procession with Palms and Pontifical Mass at Chapel of St. Mary Magdalene
  • 2:30 pm – Bethphage – Palm Sunday procession over Mt. of Olives to St. Anne’s Church
  • 4 pm – Jerusalem - Holy Sepulchre: Daily Procession

 

 

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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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