An important date in the Catholic calendar, Palm Sunday celebrates the Passover day — many thousands of years ago — when Galilean pilgrims were believed to have gathered to meet Jesus, the local preacher and miracle maker. According to biblical legend, crowds of Jesus’ followers gathered at Bethpage on the Mount of Olives to meet their revered hero.
After leaving your Tel Aviv hotel, travel to nearby Jerusalem by coach and head inside the church at Bethpage on the Mount of Olives to attend Palm Sunday mass. Once the service has finished, join the thousands of pilgrims and local Christians on the streets outside to follow the annual Palm Sunday procession from Bethpage along the Via Dolorosa pilgrimage route.
Walk in Jesus’ footsteps, seeing the ground where worshipers were said to have laid garments and olive branches, as you stroll down from the sunny Mount of Olives. The procession is a real spectacle in Jerusalem, and upbeat hymns, prayers and joyful cries of ‘Hosana’ resonate through the crowds.
Pass the Chapel of Ascension, where Jesus is believed to have ascended into heaven, and see the eye-catching Dominus Flevit Church set against the walls of Jerusalem’s Old City. Descend into Kidron Valley, admire the famous Garden of Gethsemane, and then enter the Old City itself via Lion’s Gate (also known as St Stephen’s Gate).
Head inside the Church of St Anne, where the procession draws to a close, and then enjoy a final visit to the Pool of Bethesda, a nearby landmark described in the Gospel of St John. Return to your coach after visiting the Pool of Bethesda, and then finish your Palm Sunday experience with a hotel drop-off in Tel Aviv.
Please note: although no time set aside for lunch on this experience, the route of the procession passes several small shops which are likely to be busy, it is recommended to bring food and drinks, if you wish.