As we move into the last week of Lent, the Holy Land gears up for a splendid array of Easter celebrations. Whatג€™s more, as this year the Christian calendars overlap, all Christian pilgrims will be coming to Jerusalem at the same time, making this yearג€™s Holy Week celebrations all the more vibrant and meaningful.
The celebrations begin on Palm Sunday, with the traditional procession from the Mount of Olives into the Old City. Following in the footsteps of Jesus as he returned to Jerusalem, pilgrims march waving palm fronds and olive branches. On Good Friday, pilgrims walk down the Via Dolorosa. With many carrying large wooden crosses, they reenact the march along the fourteen Stations of the Cross.
On Easter Sunday a unique spirit fills the air as special masses, vigils and services are held throughout Jerusalem, including over 20 separate masses conducted within 24 hours at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher: Roman Catholic, Armenian Orthodox, Greek Orthodox, Egyptian Coptic, Ethiopian and Syrian Orthodox traditions are all represented.