Saturday, 18 March 2017

Ain Karem - The Church of the Visitation

The visitation church in the village of Ein Kerem, on the west side of Jerusalem, is named after the visit of the virgin Mary to Elizabeth in the summer house owned by Zechariah and Elizabeth. Ein Kerem,  is according to tradition, the birthplace of John the Baptist.

According to Christian tradition, in the village was a summer house for Zacharias and Elizabeth, parents of John the Baptist. The village was called "city of Judea".

Elizabeth was the cousin of Mary, the mother of Jesus. Mary visited Elizabeth when both were pregnant (hence the name - Church of visitation). During the visit, the baby leaped with joy in Elizabeth's womb and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.  

John is an important figure in Christianity , and regarded as the "forerunner" to Jesus - since John Baptized Jesus, and proclaimed Jesus as the Messiah.  "Behold Him who takes away the sins of the world."

According to tradition, Mary met her cousin Elizabeth and sang a hymn of praise (the Magnificat), a song of gratitude to God.

We celebrated Mass in the Church of the Visitation - a beautiful church with amazing acoustics.  Father Noel and Bishop Michael wore vestments from the Church of the Visitation.

Though reasonably small in number, the Harvest Pilgrimage group raised the roof with our prayers and our song.  When you attend Mass do you actively participate in the Mass?

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