In the Holy Land thousands of Christian pilgrims took part in rituals marking the crucifixion of Jesus Christ on Good Friday (24 March) -- despite Middle East tensions and the uncertainties of day to day life in Israel and the occupied territories.
GV & CU People gathered before start of procession (4 shots)
GV Precession through streets and people chanting
SV People coming through narrow alleyway
SV People carrying cross along Via Dolorosa
GV People entering church
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Background: In the Holy Land thousands of Christian pilgrims took part in rituals marking the crucifixion of Jesus Christ on Good Friday (24 March) -- despite Middle East tensions and the uncertainties of day to day life in Israel and the occupied territories.
SYNOPSIS: Extra security guards were on patrol throughout the old city of Jerusalem and in the eastern sector, but hotels reported that they were almost full, with devout christians flocking to the city undeterred by the recent fighting in southern Lebanon. On Friday the pilgrims gathered at the start of the Via Dolorosa -- the Way of the Cross -- for the annual procession following Christ's journey to the place of his crucifixion.
According to tradition they carried a replica of the cross. Another practice involved in the ritual is a stop at each "Station of the Cross" to hear stories about Christ's suffering and the final events of his life.
Although some pilgrims were put off by cold winds and rainy weather, there were still many thousands who re-lived the drama of the most solemn moments of the Christian calendar. Another ceremony traditional to Good Friday in Jerusalem is the celebration of High Mass in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Western and orthodox Christians take part in their own ceremonies at different times as the orthodox church adheres to the Julian calendar, which puts Easter one week later.
Although the mood of Good Friday is sorrowful two days later, on Easter Sunday, it is transformed into joy as the faithful celebrate Christ's resurrection from the dead.