The Holy Week and Easter Celebrations in the Holy Land
What’s a better place to celebrate Easter in than the actual birthplace of Our Lord and Savior? Celebrating Easter in the Holy Land is a spiritual experience in itself, and especially in Jerusalem, the great city. The world’s attention turns to the city of Christ’s passion where it marks the path that Jesus walked towards his own death. This time of the year is filled with pilgrims from all over who join the local Christians to celebrate the Holy Week. Celebrating the Holy Week of Easter in the Holy Land is a dream come true for many Christian pilgrims, for it s is a priceless and remarkable spiritual experience.
Easter in the Holy land starts with fasting as our Savior did for forty days. The fasting symbolizes the compassion and sympathy of the great sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Easter is our time to remember that Jesus bore the stripes of pain and suffering, he bowed under the weight of the cross, he shed his blood, and he entered the tomb.
Visiting the Holy Land especially on holidays like Easter or Christmas leaves a priceless and remarkable spiritual impact. So, If you’re looking for an astounding, budget-friendly pilgrimage that covers most of the Holy sites in the Holy Land, these pilgrimages are for you.
The Holy Week celebrations starts with Palm Sunday. This year it took place on March 25 where pilgrims and local Christians climbed Jerusalem’s Mount of Olives to re-enact Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem.
After that, the faithful crowd, as they do every year, goes down to the Church of All Nations, and then they visit Saint Anne Church, St. Steven’s Gate, the Old City, and finally walk down the Via Dolorosa. The Palm Sunday parade is a very riveting and colorful procession!
On March 30, all of the streets and alleys of the Old City of Jerusalem were packed with pilgrims, creating one of the most sensational sights, where thousands trace the footsteps of Jesus and his last moments with songs and blessings. They walk the 14 stations of the cross in a street within the Old City of Jerusalem, where Jesus walked up to Golgotha to be crucified. Without a doubt, this procession is something you don’t want to miss!
Holy Saturday commemorates the day that Jesus Christ lay in the tomb after his death. It is the day after Good Friday and the day before Easter Sunday. Holy Saturday is the last day of the Holy Week which ends the season of Lent. Pilgrims typically gather in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. Most sites will be very busy on this day.
It’s the first celebration of Easter. The much anticipated great Easter Vigil is a service held in the traditional churches as the first official celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus. During this service, people are baptized. It is held in the hours of darkness between sunset on Holy Saturday and sunrise on Easter Day.
Easter Vigil will be held on Saturday morning in the Basilica of the Resurrection, followed by the solemn entry of the Patriarch in the afternoon, and recitation of vespers in the evening.
This is the climax of the Holy Week. Easter Sunday will take place on April 1 to celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ on the third day after his crucifixion. It is the most important time of the Christian liturgical year.
Celebrate the resurrection of our Savior Jesus Christ by decorating your house and hearts with our olive hand-carved Easter items.
On Easter Sunday, Mass will be celebrated in the morning with a procession around Jesus’ tomb, and then the daily procession will take place in the afternoon.
Celebrating the greatest events of salvation history and of Jesus’ life at the very sites where they occurred is a moving and unforgettable experience of faith for all believers.
May you feel His presence today, and may joy overwhelm you. God's not dead. And we are not alone. Jesus has risen from the grave, paving the way for us to have new life with Him. Jesus has made all things new. He breathes new life, so that we can live free. Contemplate on that thought this week and let it soak deep. He has risen!
"For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit" - (1 Peter 3:18).
Happy Easter everyone!
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