- Title: MIDDLE EAST: Church services in Middle East mark Palm Sunday
- Date: 2nd April 2012
- Summary: PRIESTS LEADING MASS WIDE VIEW OF PALM SUNDAY MASS IN CHURCH OF NATIVITY
- Embargoed: 17th April 2012 13:00
- Location: Jerusalem, West bank
- Country: Palestinian Territories
- Topics: People,Religion
- Reuters ID: LVA3C8MOJ3AXIQ6OIPZ1U2L21JUK
- Aspect Ratio:
- Story Text: Hundreds of Catholic Christians attended church services in Jerusalem and Bethlehem to mark the beginning of the holy week ahead of Easter on Sunday (April 1).
Palm Sunday, a moveable feast that is marked on the Sunday before Easter, is celebrated throughout the Christian world to commemorate Jesus' entry into Jerusalem on a donkey, a symbol of peace in the ancient world.
Priests in Jerusalem's Church of the Holy Sepulchre held palm branches during the special morning mass to symbolise the occasion as described in the holy scriptures.
In the West Bank town of Bethlehem, worshippers purchased palm branches outside the Church of the Nativity.
"I am coming to the church to pray for Palm Sunday, when Jesus came from Beit Faji to Jerusalem where they (the residents) welcomed him with palm and olive branches," said Wadee Slibi, a child who took part in the morning mass.
Later on Sunday, Christian worshippers are scheduled to march down Jerusalem's Mount of Olives and towards the Old City in the annual Palm Sunday procession. Local Christians will be joined by pilgrims from around the world for the procession in which they will chant and hold palm branches as an emblem of joy and victory over enemies.
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