Christmas in Bethlehem
“Suddenly, a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger.” Luke 2: 13-16
Those are the shepherds that hurried off to find Him on whom God’s favor rests, celebrate this Christmas in Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus, on a special Christmas Pilgrimage to the Holy Land.
Christmas in the Holy Land is a completely different experience than Christmas in any other part of the world. Here there is the opportunity to spend Christmas in the ancient and beautiful city of Jerusalem, to visit Bethlehem, participate in Christmas Mass in the Basilica of the Annunciation in Nazareth along with many other meaningful places throughout the country.
The iconic Bethlehem Christmas midnight mass at the Church of St. Catherine and the Church of the Nativity, the basilica where Christian denominations widely believe Jesus was born, attracts thousands of pilgrims every year.
Shannon Russell knew he had to come to the Holy Land for Christmas.
“Before I came here I didn’t know that you could tangibly put your hand on the biblical characters and the places they were,” Russell explained. “It always seems like it’s just stories but here it’s real and that’s awesome.”
“You grow up learning about how Jerusalem is the home of the Passion of the Christ, and that Bethlehem is the place Jesus was born,” Aliga Bialek, a visitor from Poland, said while standing to pray at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem on Christmas Eve.
”You sing about these places and you make nativity scenes and you talk so much about the stories, but you never think that you will actually go here. I cannot say that I am the most religious, but just to be here on this day is significant,” Bialek explained.
After some time in Jerusalem, most pilgrims head over to Bethlehem for Christmas Eve mass. They visited the Church of the Nativity or pray in Shepherd’s Field. Those on pilgrimage often refer to Bethlehem as the “perfect place,” as both David and Jesus Christ were born in the holy city.
“When they come here they want to experience something special,” our turist guide said. “Jerusalem is very special, but at Christmastime it’s much more special to visit Bethlehem, because it’s where Jesus was born, so most pilgrims go there on Christmas.”
Want to learn more?
Even if you cannot be there, Praysonal offers you to experience the excitement at your own home, surrounded by your loved ones with special and unique gifts from Bethlehem itself, from the birthplace of the Christ.