What I Saw In Bethlehem Yesterday (A Photo Essay)

Bethlehem_Advent_2014

Christmas is coming to the City of David.*

I’ll be honest with you and tell you that yesterday was a very emotional day. And when I say that, I mean emotional in a good way. There were tears, surely. But they were tears of awe, wonder, and joy.

Our pilgrimage wound it’s way through security points and ventured into the City of David. What follows is a little photo essay of what we saw there.

 

We started off the day with Mass at the Church of the Annunciation in Bethlehem.

We started off the day with Mass at the Church of the Annunciation in Bethlehem.

 

Church of the Ascension, Bethlehem

And lo, I saw a star in the heavens above us…

 

choir

And a choir of students in the local parish school sang hymns for us in Arabic. It was so beautiful that I couldn’t keep from crying. All throughout the Mass, the tears flowed. Perhaps it was a gift?

 

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Did I mention that while sitting in the pews I checked to see which direction we were facing? People were facing East.

 

Consecration

Mass was celebrated in English and in Arabic. The young men sitting on the left are seminarians. Look closely, and you will see Our Eucharistic Lord there, ready to feed his lambs.

 

Shepheard's_Grotto

Speaking of lambs, we went to The Shepherd’s Field afterwards and saw the grotto in which the shepherds rested when they were not on watch.

 

A rainbow over The Shepherd's Field is a pretty good sign.

How’s this for a good sign? After a brief shower, there was a rainbow over the Shepherd’s Field.

 

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We then headed to the Church of the Nativity to see where Christ was born. Many pilgrims from around the world were there. Thousands upon thousands of prayers were being lifted to the heavens from there.

 

Cave of the Nativity

Inside the cave, pilgrims venerated the site where the Christ, the one who came into the world, made his literal advent.

 

*awed silence*

*awed silence*

 

Ain Karem Church

Shortly thereafter, we paid a visit to the church in the hills of Ain Karem…

 

JtB

Where Jesus’s cousin, the greatest of all of those born of women, arrived six months before He did.

 

There was no crowd when we paid homage to St. John the Baptist. Nevertheless, he is praying for us.

There was no crowd when we paid homage to St. John the Baptist. Nevertheless, he is praying for us all now. Thanks be to God.

There are also many other things that were seen in Bethlehem yesterday, but if these photographs were uploaded individually, I do not think the whole world would contain the memory capacity that would be needed to share them.

Peace be with you.

*All photographs in this post belong to the author.

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