Christian pilgrims from around the globe make their way to Old City Jerusalem during Holy Week. Christian’s of all denominations come together in prayer and thanksgiving for the huge sacrifice that Jesus made for His followers. Now, over 2000 years later, His followers take the same path Jesus did during Holy Week to worship and experience the Holy Land and the true birth of Christianity, in conjunction.
Jerusalem’s Holy Week festivities begin on Palm Sunday, which occurs one week before Easter Sunday. Christian pilgrim’s walk the path that Jesus took by donkey, from the Mount of Olives into Jerusalem’s Old City. Pilgrim’s usually carry palms or olive branches with them.
On Good Friday, believers travel down the cobble stone road of Via Dolorosa, which is Latin for “Way of Grief” or “Way of Suffering.” This is the path Jesus followed, bearing His cross, to the place of His crucifixion. Many pilgrims stop to pray at The Stations of the Cross along Via Dolorosa. It is not uncommon to see pilgrims carrying large wooden crosses during this reenactment walk. The walk starts at the Sanctuary of the Flagellation, which is where Jesus was judged and sentenced. It ends at the Church of Holy Sepulcher, which is where Jesus was unclothed, nailed to His cross, and died a slow and painful death.
Different denominations disagree on where Jesus was buried. However, many denominations believe He was buried at the Church of Holy Sepulcher, which makes it a huge gathering point for pilgrims during Holy Week. Other denominations believe He was buried at the Garden Tomb, located nearby.
On Easter Sunday, believers of all denominations gather in peace to celebrate Jesus’ resurrection and rebirth. Services are held at churches throughout Jerusalem to celebrate, praise and give thanks. The Church of the Holy Sepulcher holds several services for a full 24 hours. Nearby, in Bethlehem, a candlelight vigil is held at the Church of the Nativity.
The Holy Land, specifically Jerusalem, the Mount of Olives, Bethlehem, and the surrounding areas are magnificent places to visit during Holy Week. If you are interested in having this awe inspiring experience, contact us today to make your travel and tour plans!