Friday, 8 January 2010

Epiphany in Bethlehem

The solemnity of the Epiphany was kept with great splendour in Bethlehem on the 6th January. The day before the Custos arrived solemnly in the city of David at noon and was received by the Christians of Bethlehem, Beit Sahour and Beit Jalla and welcomed by the Palestinian Authority police and ecumenical representitives. In the afternoon, the Custos celebrated the first Vespers.
Office of Readings was celebrated at Midnight and in the morning, after Lauds, the Custos celebrated the Solemn Mass.
The second Vespers is the moment awaited by many as after its celebration the procession goes to the place of the Nativity where prayers are said. From there the sacred and venerated image of the Divine Infant is processed to the Church of St Catherine. In front of the Custos three priests in cope represent the Magi and process carrying the gifts of incense, myrrh and gold. When the procession arrives in its destination, the faithful venerate the hallowed image. Enjoy the pics that come from the Custody of the Holy Land.

The Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem in Bethlehem celebrating Christmas as the Latins celebrate Epiphany. This happens as the Orthodox follow the Julian Calendar. The Armenians, which follow the ancient Julian Calendar, will celebrate Christmas between the 19 - 20 January.

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