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Sunday in Holy Land 
Monday, June 9, 2008, 10:20 AM
Great day Saturday and Sunday. Sunday, we got to see the stations of the cross. They are much better presented in any of the many Catholic churches and monestaries I've attended. It was surprising how close the stations were, how close everything is!

The markets which surround some of the stations are amazing. We have a farmer's market in Hartville, Ohio. It is like 10 times the stuff in 1/2 of the space. And the merchants are the 3-d version of email spam, constantly after you to see their store, to take their card, to have a free gift. I wonder if these guys to mass emails.

We were also at the western wall with the orthodox Jews during their Sabbath. It was overwhelming to see the mass of religious folks praying alone together at the wall. There are chairs and small stands to read from. A scroll or three were present, I believe readers take turns reading from it continiously. There isn't any pictures, because it is a holy time. Writing is also forbidden (it is work I'm guessing)

Men and women are separated by a partition, men fill about 3/4 of the space and the women have the remainer. A young girl came over and nudged her brother(?) in the men's side. He was not ready to stop reading aloud and gave her the universal dismissal of an older sibling to a younger. Some things transcend language and religion.

Yesterday (Sunday) we went early to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre the Crusaders name for the church of the resurrection, containing the traditional tomb of Jesus and the rock of Golgatha. If memroy serves, we started with the Ethiopian service (those guys can sing and chant!) , and went to the Coptic (Egyptian), Syrian, Armenian, and Greek Orthodox. We also went to the local Greek Orthodox. All of these meet in small chapels and go on about the same time. (The Greek Orthodox have a large room, at is the exception.) We couldn't understand the words, but we recognized the faith. Incense, candles, song, chants, readings, and procession (with accompany bells from the tower) were all included.

Thanks to the CF Foundation for this trip. Pray for the Holy Land!
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