Lauryn's Trip

Lauryn, one of our Readers visited the Holy Land over Easter 2016, and provided us with regular updates:

Easter Sunday He is risen! All day people greeted one another with the Easter acclamation. Our Tantur group worshipped at Orthodox, Catholic, Anglican, Benedictine, Dormitian, and Lutheran churches. This week I have worshipped in Latin, English, Hebrew and Arabic. Fellow students, staff, and shopkeepers and even some miscellaneous people in the streets in Bethlehem proclaimed: "He is risen!"
Good Friday Being In Jerusalem is an obvious reminder that our faith is deeply rooted in Judaism. Today, Friday, is also the Festival of Purim, so the city was full of Christians on the Via Delarosa, Muslims en route to prayers, and Jews dressed in costume, carrying baskets of food, and praying at the Western Wall. I was privileged to join a group called Women of the Wall who held a reading of Esther. "Let us pray for God's ancient people, the Jews, the first to hear his word, for greater understanding between Christians and Jews, for the removal of our blindness and bitterness of heart, that God will grant us grace to be faithful to his covenant and to grow in the live of his name."
Maundy Thursday II Maundy Thursday was celebrated in the beautiful church of Ecce Homo. Our liturgy and worship were all the more beautiful for the sound of the Muslim call to prayer which wove in and out of our prayer.

We then followed Christ, walking to Gethsemane, on through the Kidron Valley, and up to the Church of St Peter Gallicantu, the site where Jesus was brought before Pilate, and where Peter denied him.

Maundy Thursday I Easter in the Holy Land... This beautiful wall mosaic is from the chapel at Ecce Homo, where the Tantur group I am with will be celebrating Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and The Easter Vigil on Saturday.

For the non Anglo-Catholics amongst us, these three days are "the Triduum". The site traditionally was thought to be the place where Jesus was brought before Pilate, who proclaimed, "Behold the man!" (Ecce homo"). It probably isn't the precise site, but one can still see a stone pavement etched with games played by Roman guards, including the 'Kings game', the goal of which was to execute a mock King.

Palm Sunday Palm Sunday in Jerusalem : thousands of people gathered at Bethphage to walk to Jerusalem. The Patriarch asked us to pray for the peace of Jerusalem, the peace of the world, and the conversion of our hearts.
Approaching Holy Week "Do you see these great buildings? Not one stone will be left here upon another; all will be thrown down." As we approach Holy Week, we move toward Jerusalem, and this reminder of the intersection of history and faith. Pray for Jerusalem.

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