A Travellerspoint blog

Nazareth

Day One

sunny 85 °F

The sound of music filled the night air in Nazareth as hundreds of pilgrims gathered in a candlelight procession singing hymns and praying. Our group walked to the basilica and must have looked quite American because an organizer came to ask if anyone would pray in English. Susan Pinkerton volunteered and then was rejected because she was not a Roman Catholic. “But we have a Catholic in our group,” said Susan as she went to find Beth Rocco. So our Beth participated as the only woman in a long procession, leading prayers and a decade of the rosary in English. Her clear voice was amplified over the city and we were all very proud.

We were also proud this morning as we worshipped at Christ Church, only a few steps from the convent where we are staying but way way above us in this hilly place. So we climbed up to meet with the Rector who spoke of the difficulties of being a Christian in the Holy Land where the Christian population has dropped below 2%. The hospitals and schools, the feeding programs and churches all have extremely limited resources and fewer and fewer people to maintain then. in addition, the local Christians have a serious commitment to maintaining the holy sites and providing hospitality to pilgrims - thank God - and they are thinly stretched. Before the service began the Rector asked if we had an ordained male with us. No, sorry, because Bill had stayed back with a bad cough. So our Molly Louden was asked to read the Gospel. At the time of the Communion, Father
Rahmoun sent for Susan Pinkerton who then served as the first woman to administer the chalice in that place. We may be making an impression here.

Bill and I were amused to see a young woman at Christ Church who was VERY seductively dressed. We looked at our photos from the fall of 2015, when we last worshipped here and recognized her as the quite seductively dressed acolyte of that time. But, hey, look, she is still going to church.

The group went on to Sepphoris in the afternoon. We stayed back to nurture Bill.

Posted by HopeEakins 03:57 Archived in Israel

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