Pilgrims walk the Via Dolorosa

Thursday March 24th 2011

The Connor pilgrims have walked the route that Christ followed as he carried the cross to his death. On their second day in the Holy Land, the 85 pilgrims climbed through the narrow Via Dolorosa, lined today with market stalls and shops, to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

Here the recalled Jesus death at Calgary, touched the spot making the site of the crucifixion, and visited the Garden Tomb.

As the pilgrims are in two groups, their itineraries varied, but in the course of a wet and very chilly day (the weather in Ballymena was discovered to be several degrees higher than Jerusalem where it also rained most of the day!) they visited the Wailing Wall, the Dome of the Rock on Temple Mount (where we understand the gold cladding on the dome itself was done by Co Antrim company Mivan), and prayed by the Pool of Bethesda.

A highlight of the morning was hymn singing in the Church of St Anne’s, a memorable experience due to the fantastic acoustics. Samer, one of the group’s guides, also sang for the pilgrims in Arabic.

Lunch was delicious and was taken in an Armenian restaurant.

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