For centuries the Custody of the Holy Land could only express itself in the language of prayer and liturgical celebrations.
There was not much space for evangelisation or pastoral ministry. In recent times, thanks be to God, we have more room to reflect the multiform nature of our mission.
Nevertheless, the liturgy remains a fundamental dimension of the Custody’s service. We are referring particularly to the pilgrimages and liturgical celebrations at the Holy Sepulchre and at the Basilica of the Annunciation.
Pilgrimages are perhaps the most typical aspect of the liturgical life of the Custody.
These "peregrinations" to Jordan, Emmaus, Bethpage, Bethany, the site of the Ascension, the Pater Noster, Dominus Flevit, Ein Karem and the Cenacle have for centuries breathed new life into old stones.
The Holy Sepulchre: Every day of the year, even when their numbers are reduced, the friars move in procession from station to station, following the steps of Christ’s last paschal journey.
To experience this slow, prayerful movement once in your life is easy, but every day! The same can be said for the daily liturgies at the Bethlehem Basilica. We leave it to you to imagine the spiritual riches, but also the burden, of this liturgical activity during the special times of the liturgical year, especially Holy Week and Easter.