Easter Week Events in Jerusalem
PHOTO: Jerusalem. (photo by David Cogswell)
Thousands of Christians flock to Jerusalem during Easter Week, a pilgrimage to the Holy Land to see the words of the New Testament come to life and pay tribute to Jesus’ life.
There are many opportunities for faith-based travel in Israel for religious reasons during this holy time. Many denominations of Christians can find events that honor the crucifixion, burial and resurrection of Jesus throughout the region.
Orthodox and Catholic Christians frequently gather at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. At this house of worship, many people of varied faiths have come together to mark the events of this holy week since the fourth century.
Protestants head to Sunrise Service at the Garden Tomb. This site is believed by many to be the garden of Joseph of Arimathea, where Jesus is said to have been buried after the crucifixion.
This year, the Catholic Holy Week begins on March 20 and there is a celebration of Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. On this sacred day, there is a solemn mass at the Basilica of the Holy Sepulcher with the Blessing of the Palms as well as the traditional palm procession. The services begin at 2:30 p.m., beginning at the Church of Bethpage and proceeding down the western slope of the Mount of Olives. It then heads across Kidron Valley and into the Old City. Christians from around the world attend this special march.
On Holy Monday, March 21, there are several different masses that take place. At the Basilica of the Holy Sepulcher, the Parish mass on Calvary is at 6 a.m., the daily solemn mass is at 7 a.m. at the Holy Tomb and there is a procession at 4 p.m.
Holy Tuesday events begin at the Flagellation Convent with a solemn mass and the singing of the Passion at 8 a.m. There is a mass at 7 a.m. at the Basilica of the Holy Sepulcher and the daily procession begins at 4 p.m.
On Holy Wednesday, mass begins at 7 a.m. The Veneration of the Flagellation Column takes place throughout the day in the Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament, beginning at 9 a.m. The Tenebrae, a service that means "darkness," takes place at 3 p.m. and symbolizes the death of Jesus.
This day commemorates the Maundy and the Last Supper of Jesus. At the Basilica of the Holy Sepulcher on Holy Thursday, the Pontifical mass with the Washing of the Feet is celebrated by the Latin patriarch. A procession and prayer begins at 1:45 p.m.
Other Maundy Thursday events take place on Mount Sion with the Pilgrimage from Saint Savior’s Church to the Cenacle, St. James and St. Mark.
In Gethsemene, at the Basilica of the Agony, Holy Hour begins at 9 p.m. in several different languages and there is private prayer in silence from 10 p.m. to midnight.
One of the most significant days of the Easter Week is Good Friday. At the Basilica of the Holy Sepulcher, the Celebration of the Passion of the Lord on Calvary takes place at 8 a.m. This is followed by the Way of the Cross, a pilgrimage also known as the Stations of the Cross — 14 sights that are believed to depict the path that Jesus walked to Mount Calvary. This begins at 11:30 a.m. and the funeral procession begins at 8:10 p.m.
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The Easter Vigil begins at 7:30 a.m. at the Basilica of the Holy Sepulcher. At 3:15 p.m. the solemn procession takes place and at 6 p.m., there is evening prayer in front of the Holy Tomb.
At 11:30 p.m. the pontifical celebration of the Liturgy of Hours begins and takes place in front of the Holy Tomb.
More by Janeen Christoff
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