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Orthodox Easter

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Belfast, United...
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Orthodox Easter

I will be in Jerusalem from 1st - 6th May. I have read that the Christian Orthodox church, which I understand most Israeli Christians belong to, celebrates Easter on 3rd - 5th May this year.

Will all Christian churches be closed to tourists and will there be huge crowds in Jerusalem during this time?

Thank you

Israel
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1. Re: Orthodox Easter

In general churches are closed to tourist visits on Christian holidays unless you are attending mass. Orthodox churches are no different. You can visit them any other day you are in the country if your plan is to visit them

Chana

Israel

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2. Re: Orthodox Easter

Starting this year, all Catholic churches in the Holy Land (Israel and Jordan) outside of Jerusalem and Bethlehem were going to have Easter on the same day as the Christian Orthodox Church

Edited: 10:54 am, January 08, 2013
Belfast, United...
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3. Re: Orthodox Easter

Thanks Chana and anmejoshme, we are not religious but brought up Christian (protestant) and know the stories, we also love churches.

Do either of you know if the Orthodox follow the same structure as the Non Orthodox i.e. Holy Week and is this week considered a Christian Holiday or are then only closed on the Friday and the Sunday?

The churches we will be interested in are; Church of Holy Sepulchre, St Anne's, The churches on the Mount of Olives route and the churches in the Galilee and Nazareth, the latter we will do as a tour from Jerusalem on the Saturday and the tour is on and available - will the churches be closed as it is Holy Week?

We could change our arrangements and go to Jerusalem first and then Tel Aviv but I really want to spend the Sabbath evening in Jerusalem (loved the quiet and laughter etc the last time I visited) and although we are not Jewish we would like to go to the Western Wall on the Friday evening.

Thanks

Tel Aviv, Israel
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4. Re: Orthodox Easter

Orthodox Christians observe a Holy Week just like Roman Catholics. Holy Saturday at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre is a MAJOR religious event. Expect the church to be mobbed with pilgrims anxious to see the Holy Fire.

Israel
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5. Re: Orthodox Easter

The Churches are closed on Easter except for mass participants, but you may be able to visit the Church of the Holy Sepulchure when there is no mass. The tomb may not be open to the public that day but you should have access to the rest of the church. Regarding the churches on the Mt. of Olives and the Galilee, they are not open to the public during regular weeks on Sunday.

The Christian Information Center publishes exact schedules of opening times of the churches and specifically during the Christian holidays. This can be found at: http://www.cicts.org/ Right this minute the sites seems to be down or just extremely slow and thus I cannot write specifics.

I suggest taking a tour of Nazareth and the Galilee from Tel Aviv if you are doing a regular daily tour. This will allow you to sleep a bit more in the morning as they depart from Jerusalem around 6:00 a.m.

Chana

Israel

Belfast, United...
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6. Re: Orthodox Easter

I spent so much time making sure that our visit did not co-inside with Passover, Easter or the other holidays in Israel in April, the Orthodox Easter did not occur to me.

Dave, we will be visiting the Church of the Holy Sepulchre on the Wednesday of Holy Week not the Saturday but will it still be mobbed?

On the Saturday the tour is from the Abraham Hostel and unguided, it is a mini bus and leaves at 07,00am. It does not pick up in TA.

As the Church in Nazareth and churches in Galilee are not connected with the death of Jesus I assume they will not be so crowded and will be open?

We are going to the Dead Sea, Masada, and Ein Gedi on the Thursday again with the Abraham Hostel so Friday.Sunday and Monday morning we will visit the Jewish sights and New Jerusalem.

7. Re: Orthodox Easter

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