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In 2014, All Souls Day, November 2, fell on a Sunday. In Jerusalem, after holy mass in the Latin parish of St. Savior, led by parish priest Father Feras Hejazine and attended by many parishioners, the friars processed to the various Christian cemeteries on Mount Zion.
In a reverent atmosphere, accompanied by prayers and songs in Arabic and Latin, the procession went through the alleys of the Old City of Jerusalem, through the Jaffa Gate and the Armenian quarter to the first stop at the Franciscan cemetery located just outside the Zion Gate, beyond the walls of the Old City. The friars of the Custody of the Holy Land who died in Jerusalem are buried there.
In the two parish cemeteries—located beside each other—families gathered many around the graves of their dead, decorated with flowers, awaiting the arrival of the procession.
Fr. Feras Hejanzine, ofm, Pastor, Saint Savior—Jerusalem said, “Of course our prayer for all the dead is part of our faith in the risen Christ. And of course, today, Sunday, is a very significant because we remember all those who died on Sunday, the Lord’s Day. It is the day of our resurrection. For this reason, our prayers are for all of our loved ones with all of the saints in heaven, whose feast we celebrated yesterday. Our prayer is that God may give them rest, eternal rest with our Lord.”
Not far from Mount Zion within the walls of the Holy City, is the Holy Sepulcher. It is a place of pilgrimage for visitors from around the world. It is the place of the resurrection of the Lord, who revealed himself as “the resurrection and the life” and who said: “Anyone who believes in me, even though that person dies, will live, and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.”