November 7-17, 2022
Led by Fr. Richard Wall
Pilgrimages transform individuals and pilgrimages transform parishes: setting out on journeys unknown; discovering the heart of our salvation; experiencing renewal and new life in discipleship. I can safely assume that we live in a season where all souls are in sore need of freshness, transformation, and new life.
The Holy Land is the center of our faith, for here God’s greatest mysteries unfolded. As we see them with our own eyes these same mysteries will continue to unfold in us; we discover new truths about faith, God, and ourselves. Over ten days and from the shores of the Sea of Galilee to the very place of Christ’s Birth in Bethlehem to the ancient walls of Jerusalem, we will literally walk the Way of Jesus, and experience the Risen Christ. Following His Palm Sunday procession into Jerusalem and walking the Via Dolorosa are two moments that will never leave me or grow old: my own keeping of the Triduum will never again be the same.
Holy Land pilgrimages have a special significance for Anglo-Catholics, fluent as we are in understanding that God makes Himself known through the stuff of life – through bread, wine, water, oil – and also through particular places: “thin” places, where the veil between heaven and earth slips. Jerusalem is first amongst such shrines: grounded in gritty reality and humanity and yet, in some special sense, our soul’s truest home.
Pilgrimages are not vacations – they are altogether better and more glorious. But pilgrimages are also fun; and after the last two years fun is an elixir we all urgently need. Look forward to great food, happy times, and deeper relationships with friends known and unknown. If you are thinking about this, then I encourage you to step ahead: few people regret time spent in the Holy Land, and journeying deeper into this greatest mystery. This is open to anybody with an open heart, regardless of parish membership.
Jerusalem the golden, with milk and honey blest, beneath your contemplation sink heart and voice oppressed. I know not, O I know not, what social joys are there! What radiancy of glory, what light beyond compare!
- All airport departure & passenger taxes
- Hotel Accommodations
- Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
- Entrance fees & local government taxes
- Modern air-conditioned tour buses
- Single room supplement
- Travel insurance
- Any item of a personal nature
Day 1: monday, november 7
We meet in the evening at Dulles Airport for our overnight flight to London. Dinner will be served on board and we will have the chance to try and get a good night’s sleep.
Day 2: tuesday, november 8
Landing in London in the early morning, we change planes and fly onwards to Tel Aviv, where we touch down mid afternoon. After clearing formalities, we will be taken to our beautiful pilgrim guest house on the north shore of the Sea of Galilee, which will be our home for the next three nights.
Day 3: wednesday, november 9
We will begin our day by visiting Mount Tabor, believed to be the site of the Transfiguration. We will visit the basilica, and enjoy the breathtaking views from the mountain, and mark the start of our pilgrimage with an act of worship. After lunch, we come to Nazareth, the town in which the Good News of Jesus was first spoken by an angel to a young woman. We visit the Basilica of the Annunciation and the Synagogue Church, before stopping in Cana, to commemorate Jesus’ first sign, when he changed water to wine. We return home to our hotel for our evening meal.
Day 4: thursday, november 10
Today will be devoted to a leisurely exploration of the area that was the base for Jesus’ ministry by the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee. We will visit sites associated with the call of the first disciples, the multiplication of the loaves and fishes, the teaching of the Sermon Mount, and the village of Capernaum. We will also sail on a modern-day version of the kind of boat used for fishing at the time of Jesus and also see the remains of a similar boat which dates back to the early First 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 to freshen up before dinner.
Day 5: Friday, NOvember 11
Leaving the beauty and tranquility of the Galilee, we will journey through the heart of the West Bank to the major Palestinian city of Nablus. We will see the work of St Luke’s Episcopal Hospital, providing significant specialist medical care in the heart of the city, and visit Jacob’s Well, which was already a place of pilgrimage in the time of Jesus. After lunch we come to the Jordan River to renew our Baptismal Covenant, before arriving into the ‘little town’ of Bethlehem, situated behind the 27-foot high Separation Wall. We will stay here for two nights, in a delightful family-run hotel close to Manger Square.
Day 6: saturday, november 12
Today we will recall both the story of the Incarnation, and see how it is lived out in the city in which Christ was born. We will visit both the Shepherds Fields and the Church of the Nativity, marking the place where it is universally believed that Jesus was born. We will also visit the St Vincent Creche – the only Christian orphanage in the West Bank, offering nurture to around fifty abandoned babies and small children.
Day 7: Sunday, November 13
We check out of our hotel in Bethlehem after breakfast, and journey to Jerusalem to join the local Episcopal community for its Sunday Eucharist at St. George’s Cathedral, the seat of the Episcopal diocese of Jerusalem. Once we have had a chance to meet our sister and brother Episcopalians over coffee we will visit the Western Wall. After lunch, we drive to the summit of the Mount of Olives for a breathtaking view of the Old city and its surrounding medieval walls. From here we trace Jesus’ Palm Sunday journey from Bethphage, down the mountain, stopping at two churches on the way, before reaching the Garden of Gethsemane, and the profoundly moving Church of the Agony. From here it is but a short distance to our hotel in the Old City, which will be our home for the remaining nights of our pilgrimage.
Day 8: Monday, november 14
This morning we journey south from Jerusalem to the ancient city of Hebron, the burial place of Abraham and the patriarchs, where we will also see the hideous complexity of occupation and division in clear focus in the center of the city. Returning to Jerusalem, we visit the Israel Museum, to see a remarkable scale model of Jerusalem at the time of Christ, and the ‘Shrine of the Book’, which will inform us about the history of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Our final visit of the day will be to Mount Zion, to visit sites associated with the Last Supper, the Day of Pentecost and the falling asleep of Mary, and the church of St Peter in Gallicantu, recalling Peter’s betrayal of Jesus.
Day 9: tuesday, november 15
We will make an early start to visit the Western Wall and Temple Mount before coming to the start of the Via Dolorosa and walking the Way of the Cross through the crowded streets of the Old City towards the Church of the Holy Sepulchure. After a break for lunch we will have the choice a of a free afternoon to explore the Old City or the opportunity of visiting the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Museum and Park.
Day 10: wednesday, novebmer 16
We begin our final day of pilgrimage by celebrating the Resurrection in one of the possible sites of Emmaus, in the modern-day town of Abu Ghosh. After a final act of worship, we will visit Qumran and the Dead Sea (where you can float in the unique, mineral-laden waters of this unique lake). We will return to Jerusalem in time to freshen up before our final dinner together.
Day 11: thursday, november 17
We make an early start for Tel Aviv airport to catch our flight to London and connect onwards to Washington Dulles, where we are scheduled to land mid afternoon, ready to go our separate ways and tell our friends all that we have experienced in the Land of the Holy One…