Holy Land Pilgrimage 2018: Jerusalem

April 23, 2018

Bishop Sudarshana Devadhar led a group of 52 clergy and laity on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land from Feb. 19 to March 1, 2018. Since the pilgrims returned, we have been sharing a series of stories and photos from that journey. 
This album of photos (click the link at right) from the 2018 Pilgrimage to the Holy Land includes a number of sites in Jerusalem – including views of the old city from the Mount of Olives, the Via Dolorosa, the teaching steps and more.

Church of Saint Peter in Gallicantu 
Church of Saint Peter in Gallicantu is a Roman Catholic church on Mount Zion, just outside the Old City of Jerusalem. Gallicantu is Latin for cock's-crow – referencing Peter's triple rejection of Jesus. “But Jesus said to him, ‘I assure you that on this very night, before the rooster crows twice, you will deny me three times.’” – Mark 14:30. This spot is also believed to be the location of the High Priest Caiaphas' palace.

Mount of Olives
The Mount of Olives is frequently mentioned in the New Testament as part of the route from Jerusalem to Bethany – it is the traditional starting point of Jesus’ entry to Jerusalem (Matthew 21:1-11) marked by Palm Sunday. The Garden of Gethsemane is at the foot of the Mount of Olives.

Via Dolorosa 
The Via Dolorosa (in Latin "Way of Grief") is a street within the Old City of Jerusalem believed to be the path that Jesus walked on the way to his crucifixion. It includes nine Stations of the Cross (see below); five stations are inside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, one of two possible sites of Christ’s tomb; the other is the Garden Tomb.
  1. Pilate condemns Jesus to die
  2. Jesus accepts his cross
  3. Jesus falls for the first time
  4. Jesus meets his mother, Mary
  5. Simon helps carry the cross
  6. Veronica wipes the face of Jesus
  7. Jesus falls for the second time
  8. Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem
  9. Jesus falls for the third time
  10. Jesus is stripped of his clothes
  11. Jesus is nailed to the cross
  12. Jesus dies on the cross
  13. Jesus is taken down from the cross
  14. Jesus is placed in the tomb
Church of Saint Anne 
The Church of St. Anne is located at the beginning of the Via Dolorosa, just inside Lions Gate. The Basilica grounds also include the ruins of the Byzantine and Crusader churches. (Click the link to see photos). It marks the traditional site of the home of Jesus' maternal grandparents. St. Anne's is known for its extraordinary acoustics. Watch and listen as the pilgrims sing:

2018 Holy Land Pilgrimage: St. Anne's Basilica from New England Conference UMC on Vimeo.

Western Wall
The Western Wall encases the Temple Mount, the holiest site in Judaism, and a holy site for Muslims as well. The Temple Mount or Mount Moriah is the site where God told Abraham to bring Isaac (Genesis 22:1–14) and where temples were built by Solomon (2 Chronicles 3:1), Zerubbabel and Herod.

Teaching Steps
It is believed Jesus would often teach on these steps at the southern end of the Temple Mount when he was in Jerusalem.

Garden Tomb
The pilgrims worshiped at the Garden Tomb. It is one of two possible sites for Christ's tomb - the other is the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Bishop Devadhar also referred to this worship service in his 2018 Easter letter. Watch this excerpt from the worship service:

Holy Land Pilgrimage 2018: Worship at the Garden Tomb from New England Conference UMC on Vimeo.