Christians planning a special trip to Israel for Easter can opt to take a number of tours which include religious ceremonies, touring religious sites and seeing the rest of the country. The highlight of an Easter pilgrim tour is the Palm Sunday Procession. If you are taking an Israel tour during Easter then make sure the Palm Sunday procession is included in your itinerary. As Israel is a Jewish country the Easter holiday is not a national holiday – there is no school vacation or day off work for Israelis over Easter. However in the cities with significant Christian populations there are celebrations and religious services. The cities with the highest concentration of Christians in Israel are Nazareth and Jerusalem.
Easter Christian Pilgrim Tours
Make sure your Easter pilgrim tour includes visiting major sites in Israel like the Dead Sea, the Sea of Galilee and Tel Aviv. However you will find that most Easter activity takes place in Jerusalem. Easter celebrates the resurrection of Christ. All the events of Passion Week leading up to Jesus crucifixion and resurrection took place in Jerusalem. On a pilgrim Israel tour you will visit sites where Biblical events took place during Passion Week. If you are interested in a fantastic Christian-orientated Easter pilgrim tour which combines religious ceremonies, the Palm Sunday Procession and top attraction in Israel then contact Bein Harim Tours.
The Palm Sunday Procession – Jesus entered Jerusalem
Palm Sunday is celebrated by Protestants and Catholics with a procession which goes from the Mount of Olives to the Old City retracing the route Jesus would have taken as he entered Jerusalem. On an Easter pilgrim Israel tour you can join in the procession and with other Christians you can wave palm fronds, sing and pray. The procession culminates at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in the Old city. This church was built over the site where Jesus was crucified and where he was laid to rest. At the end of the procession the Orthodox and Armenian Christians together with other denominations continue the procession inside the Holy Sepulchre.
Maundy Thursday – Jesus ate the Last Supper with the disciples
An Easter pilgrim tour will take you to the Room of the Last Supper on Mount Zion where Jesus and his disciples ate.
Good Friday – Jesus carried his cross along the Via Dolorosa to Golgotha
On Good Friday it is traditional for Christians to join others along the Via Dolorosa where prayers are held at the Stations of the Cross. The procession is led by Franciscan Friars. Some denominations hold ceremonies at the Garden Tomb on Good Friday.
On Holy Friday there is a very unique event, the Ceremony of the Holy Fire. During this ceremony one of the religious leaders goes into the Tomb of the Holy Sepulchre and lights a candle. When he emerges the light is passed from person to person in the crowd as they each light a candle.
On Easter Sunday and Easter Monday there are religious services in churches across Israel. The most important being those of the Holy Sepulchre. A sunrise service is held for Protestants at the Garden Tomb.