Tuesday, January 25, 2011

JERUSALEM ~~ THE HOLYLAND


Perhaps the holiest city on our planet is Jerusalem. It cradles religious significance to three major religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. This constitutes a large percentage of faithful around the world. The history and traditions of this small area of only 49 square miles is unbelievable.

Jerusalem, by virtue of the number and diversity of people who have held it sacred, may be considered the most holy city in the world.

Jerusalem is important to the Jewish people because it is Ir Ha-Kodesh (the Holy City), the Biblical Zion, the City of David, the site of Salomon's Temple, and the eternal capital of the Israelite nation.

Jerusalem is important to Christians because it is where the young Jesus impressed the sages at the Jewish Temple, where he spent the last days of his ministry, and where the Last Supper, the Crucifixion and the Resurrection took place.

Jerusalem is important to Muslims because it is where the prophet Muhammad ascended to heaven. After the holy sites of Mecca and Medina, Jerusalem is the third most sacred place of Islam.

Church of the Holy Sepulchre, also called the Church of the Resurrection by Eastern Christians.

Followers of these three religions dream to visit this Holy Land in their life time. I can say that I am one of those blessed people who not only has visited this Holy City but I performed a liturgy in the Christian Church of the Holy Sepulchre, also called the Church of the Resurrection by Eastern Christians. 

This is a church within the walled Old City of Jerusalem. There are two Christian churches, one for the Catholic church and one for the Greek Orthodox Eastern Church. Arrangements had been made with the Greek Orthodox Archbishop in Jerusalem to for me to celebrate liturgy there. What an experience. Maybe a handful of priests in the world get this privilege.



The Wailing Wall or Western Wall of the Temple is considered by Jews to be the holiest place on earth. It has been a site for Jewish prayer and pilgrimage for centuries.

Prayers are written on paper which which are then folded and placed in one of the voluminous small cracks in  the wall in hopes that the prayers will be answered.

I led a tour group to the Holy Land and Greece when I was a Greek Orthodox priest. Here are some photos of me, my group with the Archbishop of Jerusalem. In this photo I am standing in the back row to the far left, looking at the photo. I am also seen giving a donation to the Archdiocese for the orphanage in Jerusalem. 


 May you be blessed as I was to visit this Holy land!






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