We start our day with one of the most magnificent views in the world: ancient Jerusalem as seen from the top of the Mount of Olives. There we visit the church of Pater Noster, where the prayer “Our Father” is inscribed in dozens of languages, and the Church of the Ascension, marking the place where Jesus ascended to Heaven. We take the “Palm Sunday Walk” down the Mount of Olives in the footsteps of Jesus. On the way, we stop at Dominus Flevit Church, marking the site of Jesus’ weeping over the city (Luke 19: 37-42). At the Garden of Gethsemane at the base of the mountain, we can spend time pondering and praying about the time Jesus spent here with his disciples before his arrest. Then we enter the Old City via Lion’s Gate, also known as St. Stephen’s Gate, to the Pools of Bethesda, where Jesus healed a paralytic (John 5: 2-9). Walking up through the Old City streets, we stop at the Sisters of Zion Convent, built over the Praetorium, where Jesus was judged by Pontius Pilate and took up the cross. This site marks the beginning of the Via Dolorosa, the Way of Sorrows, which tradition says Jesus walked with the cross to Calvary. Today, it passes through the colorful Old City markets to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. This is the site venerated by the Roman Catholic and the Orthodox world as the place of crucifixion, death, burial and resurrection of Jesus.
Our day will end with an optional visit in the Garden Tomb, which was discovered approximately 130 years ago by the British General Charles Gordon, and has become a moving site in which to recall the crucifixion and burial of Jesus, and spend time in these peaceful garden surroundings in prayer, song, fellowship and communion.