May 17-29, 2020
Led by Fr. Jason Prati
All Saints, New Albany, OH
“The word “pilgrim,” derived from the Latin peregrinum, conveys the idea of wandering over a distance, but it is not just aimless wandering.
It is a journey with a purpose, and that purpose is to honor God.
A pilgrimage to the Holy Land is a special time of spiritual journey for Christians. It is a time when we recommit ourselves to living a Christian life as a life of pilgrimage. For us, going on pilgrimage to the Holy Land is an especially appropriate way to come to know the land where Jesus was born, where he preached and healed, suffered, died and rose again. Just as the Gospels are continued in the Book of Acts, so too pilgrimages are made complete by encounters with the living Church in the Holy Land. The Church of Jerusalem was the Mother Church for us all. It was from Jerusalem that the apostles went forth to spread the Gospel. It was to the Church in Jerusalem that other early communities of faith looked for guidance. Pilgrimages to the Holy Land are also occasions to build solidarity between American pilgrims and the Church in the Holy Land whose center today is Jerusalem.
This Holy Land pilgrimage is a unique religious undertaking. Pilgrims are changed by the experience. Hearts and minds transformed for ever, pilgrims have returned home with a new sense of their Christian calling to take up a new way of life. I too was transformed on my trip to the Holy Land walking in the footsteps of the Messiah. I encourage you to join us in this visit to the Holy Land in the spirit of true pilgrims, to walk prayerfully and devoutly in the steps of our Lord and with openness to the movement of the Spirit of Jesus in your life. Come and pilgrimage with us in this awesome time of grace!
Please complete and send the enclosed booking form together with a deposit of $500 per person no later than November 8, 2019. The balance of the tour cost is payable no later than February 28, 2020.
- Airfare Including all taxes
- Hotel Accommodations
- Tour Guides
- All Meals
- All Tipping
- Single Room Supplement
- Travel Insurance
- Laundry and items of a personal nature
Day 1: Sunday, May 17
We meet at Columbus Airport in the morning for our short flight to Chicago, where we change planes for our afternoon flight on to London. There should be time to purchase lunch during the lay-over at, and dinner will be served on board the flight to England.
Day 2: Monday, May 18
We land in London in the early morning, and change planes for Tel Aviv, where we land in the afternoon. Once we have cleared Customs and immigration formalities, we will make our way north to the Galilee to our pilgrim guest house on the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee, which will be our home for the next three nights.
Day 3: Tuesday, May 19
We begin our Pilgrimage with the celebration of the Eucharist at Dalmanutha on the shore of the Sea of Galilee. We will spend the rest of the day visiting the sites around the Sea of Galilee associated with Jesus’ ministry of miracles and teaching set around the lake. We will have the chance to visit the Mount of Beatitudes, the ruins of Capernaum, the Church of the Multiplication and the Church of Peter’s Primacy. We will also have an opportunity to experience our own boat ride on the lake, as well as seeing the First Century fishing boat discovered towards the end of the last century. We will also visit the recently excavated first century synagogue at Magdala, the birthplace of Mary Magdalene, before returning to our hotel in good time freshen up before dinner. Overnight stay by the Sea of Galilee.
Day 4: Wednesday, May 20
This morning, leaving the hotel we drive in a westerly direction crossing the fertile Valley of Jezreel and the Biblical scene of Armageddon to visit the Basilica on summit of Mount Tabor, believed by many to be the site of the Transfiguration. We will celebrate the Eucharist here before descending the mountain. We then drive to Nazareth, the town where Jesus grew to visit the Basilica of the Annunciation, built over the traditional site of Mary’s home and Mary’s Well before breaking for lunch. We then continue to the nearby village of Cana, the site of Jesus’ first “sign” according to St John. Finally we return to the Sea of Galilee and our lakeside hotel to relax before dinner. Overnight by the Sea of Galilee.
Day 5: Thursday, May 21
This morning after packing our bags we bid farewell to the Sea of Galilee and journey south. We will drive through the heart of the West Bank to the city of Nablus. Here we will visit the ancient holy site of Jacob’s Well, where the Fourth Gospel records Jesus’ encounter with the Samaritan Woman. We then proceed to visit St Luke’s hospital. Leaving Nablus we drive down to the Jordan Valley and onto the oasis city of Jericho, “the city of palms” and break for lunch. In the afternoon we will stop for a view of the Mount of temptation before continuing to Qasr al Yehud on the River Jordan near to the place where it is believed Jesus was baptized by John. After renewing our own baptismal vows we drive up through the hills of the Judean Wilderness towards Jerusalem and on south towards Bethlehem passing through the separation wall where we will spend the next two nights staying at a Pilgrim Hotel on Manger Square. Dinner and overnight stay in Bethlehem.
Day 6: Friday, May 22
Our day will be devoted to learning more fully about the Incarnation and its implications for Christians today. During the day we will visit the Shepherds’ Fields at Beit Sahour, where it is believed the angels appeared to the shepherds, and we will also visit the Church of the Nativity, built over the place where all the churches believe that Jesus was born. In addition to these shrines that speak of what happened some 2000 years ago, we will also visit the St Vincent Creche/Orphanage (the only Christian facility of its kind in the West Bank), and the International Center of Bethlehem, and see how the gift of abundant life is offered by Christians today in the ‘little town’ of Bethlehem. We will return to our guest house in good time to freshen up for dinner.
Day 7: Saturday, May 23
Today we drive back through the separation wall and drive on to Jerusalem and to the summit of the Mount of Olives where we will stop for a breathtaking view of the Old City and its beautiful surrounding medieval walls. We then walk down the slopes of the Mount that will take us from Bethphage, the start of the traditional Palm Sunday route to the churches of Pater Noster and Dominus Flevit, and finally to the Church of All Nations, in the Garden of Gethsemane. After a break for lunch we will drive to the Israel Museum to visit the Shrine of the book which houses the remnants of the Dead Sea Scrolls and a beautiful scaled model of Jerusalem based around the time of Jesus before finally checking in to our hotel situated within the Old Walled City. Dinner and overnight stay in Jerusalem.
Day 8: Sunday, May 24
We leave our hotel after breakfast to attend the principal Sunday Eucharist at St George’s Episcopal Cathedral. After coffee with members of the congregation we make our way to the Western Wall the holiest site in Judaism. After a break for lunch we drive to the Haddasah hospital synagogue to view the famous Marc Chagall windows that depict the Twelve Tribes of Israel. We then drive on to the village of Ein Karem, believed to have been the home of Zechariah and Elizabeth and thus the site of the birth of John the Baptist and of the encounter between Elizabeth and Mary, when Magnificat was first sung. We then return to Jerusalem and our hotel in good time for dinner. Overnight stay in Jerusalem.
Day 9: Monday, May 25
Today we head south after breakfast to visit the Old Testament city of Hebron, a city of crucial importance to the three Abrahamic faiths. We will see the occupied and highly conflicted H2 zone in the city center, visiting the Tombs of the Patriarchs, and seeing for ourselves the effects of the Occupation. After a break for lunch at the Tent Restaurant in Bethlehem we return to Jerusalem and ascend Mount Zion to visit sites associated with the Last Supper, the Day of Pentecost and the falling asleep of Mary, before finishing our day at the church of St Peter in Gallicantu built at the top of an ancient set of steps which leads up from the City of David to what is believed to have been the residence of the High Priest. Many believe that Jesus himself was led up these steps to His trial by the authorities after His arrest. Here we recall not only Jesus’ incarceration over the last night of his life, but also Peter’s faithless threefold denial of Jesus. We then return to our hotel in good time to relax before dinner. Overnight stay in Jerusalem.
Day 10: Tuesday, May 26
We begin our day by driving to the Dung Gate and we enter the Old City and ascend the Temple Mount (if permitted) to enjoy a close-up view of the Dome of the Rock and Al Aqsa Mosque. Exiting the Temple Mount we visit the church of St Anne by the Pools of Bethesda, close to the start of the Via Dolorosa. From where we will prayerfully walk the Way of the Cross through the winding alleys of the “Via Dolorosa” until we come to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, built over what every generation has believed is the place of Jesus’ crucifixion, burial and resurrection. After a break for lunch we will have the option of a free afternoon to explore the old city or drive down to the Dead Sea to visit Qumran, the site where the Dead Sea scrolls were discovered and led to the excavations of the nearby Essene Monastery where the scrolls may have originated. We will also have the opportunity to bathe in the unique mineral laden waters of the Dead Sea. Return to Jerusalem in good time to freshen up before dinner. Overnight stay in Jerusalem.
Day 11: Wednesday, May 27
On this, our final full day in the Holy Land, we will visit one of the sites associated with biblical Emmaus, the village of Abu Ghosh, where we will pray together as pilgrims one last time. From here, like the two disciples who encountered the risen Christ, we will return to Jerusalem, to enjoy the rest of the day as free time to revisit favorite sites, pray, shop or just rest. In the evening we have our final pilgrimage dinner together.
Day 12: Thursday, May 28
We make an early start for Tel Aviv airport for our flights home, via London and Chicago. Although it will be a long day of travel, we can rest and sleep on the planes, and look forward to our return home, to share with those around us all we have learned in the Land of the Holy One.