Top 10 Easter in the Holy Land Tips

1.Celebrate Palm Sunday and Good Friday

Participate in the Palm Sunday and the Good Friday Processions which commemorates the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem.

Approximately 5,000 to 10,000 people are expected to join this event. The procession is led by the Latin Patriarchate and begins at Bethphage and continues into the Old City entering through the St. Stephen’s Gate and ending at the Church of St. Anne.

The Good Friday procession (Via Crucis) is led by the Franciscan Friars and begins at the First Station of the Cross in the Old City. The walk follows the path that Jesus took on the day of his death, known as the Way of the Cross on the Via Dolorosa. This procession is unique and a very special experience for any Christian.

2. Participate in a Passover Seder

Increasingly, many Christians are seeking to understand the roots of Christianity and one of the best ways to delve deeper is to study the Torah and celebrate a Passover seder. Unlike Easter which is celebrated by attending mass, the Passover Seder is a true family celebration. If you have an opportunity to attend a seder it can be a wonderfully meaningful experience.

3. Visit the Holy Sepulcher on Good Friday or on Easter Sunday

Visit the Holy Sepulcher on Good Friday. This shrine is where the last five Stations of the Cross are located. No Easter in the Holy Land is complete without exploring this historic shrine. The Good Friday services: 8.00 a.m. – Celebration of the Passion of the Lord, Calvary. The doors will remain opened.4.00 p.m. – The Liturgy of the Hours. 8.10 p.m. – “Funeral” Procession.

On Easter Sunday the services are as follows
7:30 a.m. – Entry into the Basilica by the Latin Patriarch
8:00 a.m. – Solemn Mass of Resurrection and Procession around the Rotunda
5:00 p.m. – Daily Procession

4. Tour Mt. Zion

To have a truly authentic experience, visit the Upper Room located at Mount Zion and while you are there make sure you read about the resurrection in the Gospels. Jesus’s appearance to the Apostles occurred in the Upper Room. The Upper Room is open daily from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 pm. On Holy Thursday at 3:30 p.m. there is a Pilgrimage to the Cenacle and to the Church of St. James

5. Attend “Resurrection Sunday” at the Garden Tomb

Easter Sunday, also  referred to as “Resurrection Sunday”,  is a special day at the Garden Tomb and services are held at at 6:30 am and 9:30  in English, Scandanavian at 11 and Korean at 12. Moreover the  Garden Tomb also holds its annual Arabic Easter event which coincides with Orthodox Easter and which brings together 500 to 600 Arab and Israeli believers. Seeing both Israelis and Palestinians together in prayer makes this an even more spiritually significant event.  Call 02-539-8100 for details.

6. Wake up early and attend Holy Fire Ceremony

The Holy Fire Ceremony is part of the Orthodox tradition and is a special festivity that only happens in Jerusalem, inside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.   Orthodox Christians gather very early in the morning at the Church of the Sepulchre for the annual Holy Fire Ceremony.

7. Attend the Priestly Blessing at the Western Wall

During the Passover holiday a special priestly blessing, known as the Bircat Cohanim is recited at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, first at 9 am during the morning service and again at 10 am during the Musaf service. You will hear the leader of the service reciting the blessing over the loudspeaker in order that everyone can follow and recite the blessing in unison. Our Travelujah tip: bring water!

8. Enjoy free entrance to many museums

Celebrate Passover by enjoying free entrance to many museums around the country during the intermediate days of Passover. Check Bank Hapoalim’s website closer to the holiday to see what museums will be complimentary.

9. Dead Sea Music Festival
Every year, Israelis and tourists from abroad descend to the Dead Sea for this highly anticipated rock music festival where they will enjoy performances by top Israeli artists.

10. Experience the Samaritan Passover

The 760 Samaritans that live primarily in Holon and Mt. Gerazim begin their Passover celebration according to the year that Joshua Bin-Nun entered Israel as their first year. Consequently, leap years are not parallel resulting in a Samaritan celebration occurring on a different date (most of the time).

For further information on Passover and Easter in the Holy Land email info@travelujah.com

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