Easter in the Holy Land

On Palm Sunday (March 29), Catholic and Protestant pilgrims come streaming down the Mount of Olives singing hymns and bearing palm fronds, reenacting Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem.

The Orthodox denominations follow the Patriarch, bearing palm fronds, in a colorful procession to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher and back to the Patriarchate. Other processions from the Armenian, Coptic and Syrian denominations are also held.

Another highlight is Maundy Thursday (April 2), when the faithful commemorate the Last Supper and the washing of the apostle's feet by Jesus and Christ's last hours prior to his arrest in Gethsemane. The Latin Patriarch washes the feet of his priests in the church of the Holy Sepulcher, the Custodian of the Holy Sites in the Room of the Last Supper and later at Saint Saviour's Church. The Anglican, Lutheran and Protestant denominations hold a procession from St. George's Cathedral to the Redeemer's Church and Christ Church, ending at Gethsemane.

The Orthodox denominations celebrate with a washing of the feet ceremony in the courtyard of the Holy Sepulcher and in the respective churches in the Old City.

On Good Friday (April 3), the day Jesus was crucified and buried, a procession of thousands bearing crosses and led by the Patriarch, the Custodian of the Holy Sites and other independent groups mark the Stations of the Cross along the Via Dolorosa in Jerusalem's Old City to the Calvary in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.

On Holy or Great Saturday (April 4), Orthodox Christians celebrate the spectacular Ceremony of the Holy Fire, when thousands gather inside and outside the Church of the Holy Sepulcher to await the miraculous lighting of the Patriarch’s candle from within the tomb.

On Easter Sunday (April 5), when the faithful celebrate Jesus' resurrection, the Latin Patriarch heads a procession to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher for a multilingual reading of the Gospel of Resurrection and celebration of the Easter Masses. For the Lutherans, the Easter day Eucharist takes place on the Mount of Olives, and Protestants can partake in the Easter services at the Garden Tomb and several Protestant churches in Jerusalem.

Orthodox denominations celebrate Easter Sunday from midnight on Saturday with a Patriarchal procession to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher and celebrations of the Easter Divine Liturgy in the Orthodox Old City churches.

On Easter Monday, (April 6), the celebrations move to Emmaus to commemorate when the resurrected Jesus appeared before two of his disciples and broke bread with them at Emmaus outside Jerusalem.

 

Curch of the Holy Sepulchre
Curch of the Holy Sepulchre

 

Service details:

Latin Easter Services

Saturday,28th March 2015 (Vigil)

Betfage - Franciscan Church

9.00 Solemn mass (Commemoration of Jesus' entry into Jerusalem)

 

Jerusalem - Basilica of the Holy Sepulcher

8.00 Solemn mass

15.00 Solemn entry of the Latin Patriarch, H.B. Fouad Twal and procession

00.40 Vigil in the Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament presided by Fr. Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Custos of the Holy Land

 

Sunday, 29th March 2015 (Feast day)

Jerusalem - Basilica of the Holy Sepulcher

8.00 Procession with palms and pontifical mass at the Altar of Mary Magdalene

17.00 Daily procession

 

Mount of Olives (starting from Betfage)

14.30 Procession with palms

 

Holy Thursday, 2nd April 2015

In the Basilica of the Holy Sepulcher

8.00 Pontifical mass with the Washing of the Feet celebrated by the Latin Patriarch and procession

14.45 Prayer

 

On Mount Sion

15.10 Pilgrimage from St. Savior's Church (from the entrance from St. Francis Street) to the Cenacle, St. James and St. Mark

15.30 Service with washing of the feet

 

In the Gethsemane - Basilica of the Agony

9.00 p.m. Holy Hour in different languages

10.00 p.m. - 00.00 a.m. Private prayer in silence.

 

Good Friday, 3rd April 2015

In the Basilica of Holy Sepulcher

7.15 Celebration of the Passion of the Lord on Calvary

11.30 Way of the Cross from the I. Station (Omarije School) to the Holy Sepulchre with the Fransiscan fathers

20.10 "Funeral" Procession

 

Holy or Great Saturday, 4th April 2015

In the Basilica of the Holy Sepulcher

7.30 Easter Vigil

15.30 Entry and solemn procession

18.00 Evening prayer in front of the Holy Tomb

23.30 Pontifical celebration of the Liturgy of the Hours in front of the Holy Tomb presided by Custos of the Holy Land

 

Easter Sunday, 5th April 2015

Basilica of the Holy Sepulcher

7.30 Entry of the Latin Patriarch, H.B. Fouad Twal

8.00 Pontifical mass and solemn procession

17.00 Daily procession

 

Easter Monday, 6th April 2015

Emmaus, Qubeibeh - Franciscan Church

10.00 Pontifical mass celebrated by Fr. Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Custos of the Holy Land

14.30 Vespers and Eucharistic Adoration

 

Jerusalem - Basilica of the Holy Sepulcher

8.00 Solemn mass

17.00 Daily procession

 

Jerusalem - Emmaus walk on Easter Monday, 6th of April 2015.

 

- Departure at 6.00 a.m. from the Cenacle (Mount Zion);

- There is the possibility to join for half walk at Neve Illan between 12.00 p.m. and 1.00 p.m.

- Approximate arrival time at Emmaus at 4.00 p.m. The arrival time depends on the group.

 

- 17.00 Solemn mass celebrated by H.B. Fouad Twal, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem

 

The Crusaders’ Church - Abu Gosh, St Anthony’s - Tel Aviv-Jaffa, St Peter’s Church - Tiberias are some of the other churches holding mass on Easter Sunday.

 

Protestants and Anglican Services:

 

At The Garden Tomb:

Good Friday, 3rd April 2015

9.00-10.00  Good Friday meditative service (English, Doors open 8.30)

10.00-17.30  Garden open all day for private prayer and meditation

(NO organized tour groups all day)

 

Holy or Great Saturday, 4th April 2015

8.30-15.30  Garden Open as normal with organized and private visits

 

Easter Sunday, 5th April 2015

6.30-7.30  Sunrise Resurrection Service (English, Doors open 6.00)

9.30-10.30  Resurrection Service (English, Doors open 9.00)

11.00-12.00  Resurrection Service (Scandinavian, Doors open 10.45)

Garden closed for the rest of the day

 

Easter Monday, 6th April 2015

 

8.30-17.30  Garden Tomb open as normal

 

Throughout the rest of the Easter period the Garden Tomb is open as normal:

Monday to Saturday 8.30-17.30 http://www.gardentomb.com/easter-2015

 

Further detailed information on Easter services and celebrations: http://www.cicts.org

 

Lutheran Church of the Redeemer