Welcome the day with one of the most magnificent views in the world: ancient Jerusalem as seen from the top of the Mount of Olives. Allow some time to visit the various churches on the summit, among them: Pater Noster, where the prayer “Our Father” is inscribed in dozens of languages, and the Church of Ascension, marking the place where Jesus ascended to Heaven.
Take the “Palm Sunday Walk” down the Mount of Olives in the footsteps of Jesus. On the way, stop at Dominus Flevit Church (The Lord Wept), marking the site of Jesus’ weeping over the city (Luke 19: 37-42). At the Garden of Gethsemane at the base of the mountain, you can spend time pondering and praying about the time Jesus spent here with his disciples before his arrest.
Enter the Old City via Lion’s Gate, also known as St. Stephen’s Gate to the Pools of Bethesda, where Jesus healed a paralytic (John 5: 2-9). Christian groups love to raise their voices in song at the adjacent Church of St. Anne.
Walking up through the Old City streets, your next stop can be the Sisters of Zion Convent, built over the Praetorium, where Jesus was judged by Pontius Pilate and took up the cross, marked by the Ecce Homo (“Here is the Man” - John 19:5) Arch over the street. This site marks the beginning of the Via Dolorosa, the Way of Sorrows, which tradition says Jesus went with the cross to Calvary. Today, it passes through the colorful Old City markets to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. This is the site venerated by the Roman Catholic and the Orthodox world as the place of crucifixion, death, burial and resurrection of Jesus.
The day will end with a visit to the Garden Tomb. Located 500 meters to the north of Damascus Gate, this ancient cemetery discovered approximately 130 years ago by the British General Charles Gordon has become a moving site in which to recall the crucifixion and burial of Jesus, and spend time in these peaceful garden surroundings in prayer, song, fellowship and communion.
Overnight in Jerusalem