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Week of January 3 2021

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Feast of Epiphany (C)

For Catholics, the feast of Epiphany recalls the visit of the Wise Men at Bethlehem, and other Biblical manifestations of Jesus. The Magi followed a star to the Nativity Cave, where they found Baby Jesus and presented him with gifts.

Highlights of the feast
Bethlehem*: Church of the Nativity - On the 5th, a Solemn Entry (procession) into Bethlehem to Manger Square. On the 6th - a morning Mass, followed by a procession - a “visitation” (imitating the Magi’s visitation) to the Grotto of the Nativity.

Related sites worth visiting:
Herodion - the palace / fortress and tomb of Herod the Great.
Shepherds’ Field - The sanctuary of the “Gloria in Excelsis” in Bet-Sahur*.
The Milk Grotto in Bethlehem*.

 

*Under the jurisdiction of the Palestinian Authority.
Visiting the site/s may require special arrangements, including coordination for transportation and guides.

 

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Nativity, Christmas (O,Cp,Syr,Eth)

 

“…And while they were there, the time came for her to be delivered. And she gave birth to her first-born son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths, and laid him in a manger…”

(Luke 2:6-7)

 

Highlights of the feast

Morning of the 6th: the Patriarchal procession from the Old City to the Monastery of Mar Elias and thence to the Church of the Nativity*

via the Bethlehem checkpoint.

Midnight - Divine Liturgy is held at the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem*.

 

Related sites worth visiting:

•           Shepherds Field - The sanctuary of “Kenisater-Ruwat” in Bet-Sahur*.

•           The Milk Grotto in Bethlehem*.

•           Mar Elias Monastery on the main road, halfway between Jerusalem and Bethlehem.

 

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Week of Prayer in the Holy land for Christian Unity

Joint prayers are a call of unity among all Christians in the Holy Land.

Highlights of the festivity
On each day of the week, Christians belonging to the various Christian communities congregate in a church of a different denomination and pray together. Every year, the Christian Information Center publishes a list of participating churches.

Related sites worth visiting:
The “Living Stones” - The centers of the local Christian communities, (e.g., the Greek Catholic Patriarchate, which hosts the final evening of prayer).

 

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