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Join us on this tour of the "Parables Home" in the Holy Land where the Gospel parables of Christ come to life!
In this video, Justin Daniel chronicles the final stages of his journey to witness the descent of the Holy Fire in Jerusalem on Holy Saturday, and his experience of the descent itself.
This video montage takes you through some of the highlights of Holy Week in the Holy City of Jerusalem. We start on Holy Monday morning with a Hierarchical Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts and proceed through the entire week to the Lamentations of Holy Friday. Celebrating Holy Week services in Jerusalem, where the historical events that inspired them took place, is like nothing else to behold or participate in...absolutely awe inspiring. This video is my longest but moves at a good pace, rewarding you with each new clip, making it well worth the journey! Please click "READ MORE" to launch the video...
This covers the entire celebration of Palm Sunday, from the gathering at Vespers in Bethpage to begin the procession of triumphal entry to Jerusalem on Saturday evening, to the Divine Liturgy Sunday morning and the procession of palms around the Tomb of Our Lord afterwards. It's very moving to see the great number of people take part, the piety and reverence of the Body of Christ in commemoration and prayer, and the joyous celebration in anticipation and foreshadowing of the Resurrection! Since Orthodox Pascha and Western Easter are on the same Sunday this year, during the Divine Liturgy for Palm Sunday in the Holy Sepulchre, one can hear the other three communities celebrate in the background who share rights to serve there. It is a very interesting experience! Please click "READ MORE" to launch video.
We celebrated Lazarus Saturday in Bethany, which was a very great blessing, and afterwards venerated his tomb! We attended services at the Bethany School run by the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission, as well as, at the the Convent of Saints Lazarus, Martha and Mary of the Jerusalem Patriarchate. It was a very special opportunity to celebrate this day in Bethany visiting the village where they lived, the site of their home, and concluding with a visit to the tomb where Jesus Christ raised Lazarus from the dead prefiguring his own Resurrection! Launch the video by clicking "READ MORE"...
On this last Friday evening, April 8th, we took in the service of the Akathist Hymn at the Holy Sepulchre, and my was it soul stirring and beautiful! As eloquently described on the Greek Archdiocese of America's website: "The Akathist Hymn is a profound, devotional poem, which sings the praises of the Holy Mother and Ever-Virgin Mary. It is one of the most beloved services in the Orthodox Church.... The Akathist hymn consists of praises directed to the Mother of God, beginning with the salutation of the Archangel Gabriel: "Rejoice." As the hymn is chanted all of the events related to our Lord's Incarnation pass before us for our contemplation. The Archangel Gabriel marvels at the Divine self-emptying and the renewal of creation which will occur when Christ comes to dwell in the Virgin's womb. The unborn John the Baptist prophetically rejoices. The shepherds recognize Christ as a blameless Lamb, and rejoice that in the Virgin "the things of earth join chorus with the heavens." The pagan Magi following the light of the star, praise Her for revealing the light of the world." Click "READ MORE" to launch the video.
On Thursday April 7th, (March 25th Old Calendar) we traveled to Nazareth to celebrate the Feast of the Annunciation conducted by the Jerusalem Patriarchate at the Church of the Annunciation. It is built over the site of the spring where the Archangel Gabriel appeared to the Virgin Mary and announced the birth of Christ (Luke 1:26-38). Having the opportunity to visit Nazareth and the spring is a great blessing, but to be here for the commemoration of this event with hundreds of other pilgrims is unbelievable and a dream come true! It was especially nice to celebrate this feast here with my mother since the Theotokos is her patron saint. Click "READ MORE" to launch the video.
This is the fourth part in a series of sites visited in and around Bethlehem, where I tour the Cave of the Holy Innocents right next to the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem. These were the children (numbering some 10,000) that King Herod ordered slaughtered out of fear, after receiving the three wise men who came to worship the "King of the Jews" (Matthew 2). After archaeological excavation and investigation in the 1960s, the cave was concluded to be the grave site of the Holy Innocents, used by early Christians as a crypt and catacombs with a Holy Table for Divine services. Most of the bones discovered were that of children under 2 years of age, but there were remains of older children as well believed to have been buried near the relics out of faith and piety. This is definitely one of the most moving sites to visit and meditate upon. Please "READ MORE..." below to launch the video.
This is the second part in a series of sites visited in and around Bethlehem, where I visited the Shepherd's Field in Beit Sahour, where the angels appeared to shepherds announcing the birth of the Christ. It is a very peaceful place, an oasis of prayer and stillness, which has been renovated beautifully in recent years by it's latest Superior. The 5th century underground chapel containing the tomb of the shepherds still remains! Please "READ MORE..." below to launch the video.
This is the first part in a series of sites visited in and around Bethlehem, where I took in the Divine Liturgy for the Sunday of St. John of the Ladder at the Cave and Church of St. Nicholas in Beit Jalla. It was a very moving service to worship and pray with the Palestinian Orthodox Christian faithful, as well as, hear about many well known contemporary miracles performed by St. Nicholas in the Beit Jalla area! Please "READ MORE..." below to launch the video.
Father Chris Metropulos had another chance to interview Justin Daniel about his ongoing assignment covering Lent in the Holy Land and the security situation. Click Read More below to watch the interview.
In this video blog, we take a quick look at the St. Mary Magdalene Convent, at the Garden of the Gethsemane. It includes some of the sights and sounds from an evening Panikhida (memorial service for the departed) in their main church served by their Archbishop Mark of Germany. Three nuns were tonsured at the end of this service, but since this is such a private affair for the community I wasn't blessed to film it. Access the video by the link "READ MORE..." below.
This video blog presents a montage of the sights and sounds of the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts celebrated at Golgotha in the Holy Sepulchre, March 30, 2011. Please "READ MORE..." below to launch the video.
This video blog provides an explanation of the history and use of the title or name "Hadji" or "Hadzis" in the Eastern Orthodox tradition, as well as, a brief discussion of a few of the miracles known to occur every year in the Holy Land. These occur at the historical sites we celebrate the Great Feasts of our Lord, such as Theophany, Transfiguration, and of course the Holy Light & Fire before Pascha! Please "Read More" below to access the video...
I wanted to give you an update on the current state of affairs here in the Holy Land since the bus bombing last week, as well as, a recap of my wonderful weekend spent with my new Palestinian Orthodox Christian friends and family in Galilee. Click Read More below to watch the interview.
Video blog update for Tuesday March 22nd (March 9 Old Style) covering the Hierarchical Liturgy for the Patriarch Theophilos' namesday at the Church of the Resurrection of the Holy Sepulchre, followed by the rest of the day's highlights. Please see "Read More..." to access the video.
I spent a couple of days running around Jerusalem trying to get my iPhone ready for an Israeli SIM card, and the burnt out pixels on my brand new Canon camera fixed, being afforded an authentic, organic experience of a day in the life of what it'd be like to live here in Jerusalem. As I stumbled down Jaffa Street, I also stumbled upon a carnivale celebration of the Jewish holiday of Purim. Please enjoy the sites and sounds of the celebration of Purim in Jerusalem. The video will appear by selecting "Read More..."
This is the Bishops entrance and Cherubic Hymn from the Divine Liturgy for the Sunday of St. Gregory Palamas at the Holy Sepulchre. There were 6x Bishops serving with at least 20 priests, including an ordination! Quite an experience with beautiful chanting and readings done in both Greek & Slavonic! Click Read More below to watch the interview.
Today, Saturday through Sunday of St. Gregory Palamas, was an absolutely unexpected, amazing, grace filled day of blessings! It included a Baptism, Ordination, and midnight Divine Liturgy at the Tomb of our Lord in the Holy Sepulchre! Watch the video after the jump at the bottom of this post!
A Lenten Journey through the Holy Land from the Orthodox Christian Network continues as our field reporter, Justin Daniel, posts this first daily video. This video covers his arrival in the Holy Land with introductory & background information. The images of the Mount of Olives are stunning. Watch the video after the jump at the bottom of this post.
Justin Daniel is safe and sound in the Holy Land. This video is an introduction to the blog series which will feature photos, videos, and blogs! His first video from the Holy Land has been successfully uploaded. Watch the video after the jump at the bottom of this post.
The Orthodox Christian Network is excited to offer a new travel blog that will take you to the Holy Land for Lent, Holy Week, Pascha and Bright Week.