Christians of the Holy Land- On the way to Christmas

(FMC) Since the illumination of the Christmas tree in Bethlehem on December 6, Israel, Palestine and Jordan parishes are competing efforts to organize a moment of celebration for their city. The lighting of the Christmas tree is an opportunity to get together and rejoice. Christians take the opportunity to openly show their commitment to their religion and traditions: music, light, fireworks … hard to miss!

In Nazareth, the crowd moved on 17th December for the tree lighting, followed by fireworks worthy of its name in front of the Basilica of the Annunciation. On the evening December 18 the Christians of the Latin parish of Jerusalem, in its daughter church of Beit Hanina, celebrated their preparation for the feast of Nativity: a fanfare scouts arrival to the sound of their pipes and drums, Christmas songs and countdown to the lighting of the tree by the custodial vicar Fr. Dobromir Jasztal. In his speech, the latter emphasized the symbolism of light representing Jesus who came to enlighten and encourage us on the path of peace. Fr. Feras and Fr. Haitham, priest and vicar of the parish, took the floor to invite the congregation to pray for Christians around the world, especially for those in the Middle East.

Alongside these festivities, parishioners made sure to take care for each other, especially the most vulnerable. Thus, nearly 150 patients have received visits and Communion from the hands of the priests in the Latin parish of Jerusalem. The elderly and children were no exception. There were special celebrations for the first, varied activities, holidays and catechism for the latter, with little gifts for everyone. Scouts across the country repeated the pieces they’ll be playing on December 24 … Christmas is coming, and all are on the way to the child of Bethlehem who was sent to us!

(Hélène Morlet)