Orthodox Easter in Jerusalem

The Orthodox Churches base their dates on the Julian calendar unlike the Roman Catholics and western countries which use the Gregorian calendar. For this reason the Orthodox churches celebrate Easter on different dates to the Roman Catholic Church and in Jerusalem these celebrations are marked by unique ceremonies in historic churches throughout the Old City. You can join in the prayer services and Passion Week religions ceremonies on an Easter pilgrimage to the Holy Land.

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Orthodox Easter Sunday Dates
2016 – May 1
2017 – April 16
2018 – April 8
2019 – April 28
2020 – April 19

Friday 22 April 2016
Greek Orthodox: the church holds a procession at 2:30pm from the Mount of Olives and another at 6pm.
Lazarus Saturday 23 April 2016
Greek Orthodox: The Liturgy in the Sanctuary of the Ascension on the Mount of Olives at 6;45am; a procession from the Greek Orthodox Monastery in Bethany at 9:30am; services at 2pm in Bethany at Lazarus’ Tomb and services in Betphage at 5pm.
Armenian Orthodox: 2:50pm Entry of the Patriarch into the Holy Sepulchre and services in the Armenian Gallery.
Russian Orthodox: 8am Divine Liturgy and at 3pm a Night Vigil begins and consecration of Palm Sunday.

Palm Sunday 24 April 2016
Greek Orthodox: 7am Entry of the Patriarch in to the Holy Sepulchre.
Armenian Orthodox: 5:45am Entry of the Patriarchal Vicar into the Holy Sepulchre, services held in the Armenian Gallery in the morning and evening. 9am Entry of the Patriarch into the Holy Sepulchre, Holy Mass in the Armenian Gallery and 11:15am procession three times around the Rotunda.
Coptic Orthodox: 7am-11:30am Mass in the Holy Sepulchre followed by a procession at 11:30am.
Ethiopian: 1pm-4pm Mahlet using ancient musical instruments in the Chapel of Deir Sultan Monastery; 7am-9am Qeddase, the Divine Liturgy; 9am-10:30am procession three times around the Dome of St. Helena’s Chapel and reading of the four gospels.
Syrian Orthodox: 12:30pm Procession three times around the Rotunda and 6:30pm Prayer of the Five Candles of the Wise Virgins at St. Mark’s Church.
Russian Orthodox: 8am Divine Liturgy in the Holy Trinity Cathedral.
Romanian Orthodox: 9am Holy Liturgy and 7pm Easter Vigil (Denie). The Easter Vigil is held daily at 7pm throughout Passion Week.

Holy Monday 25 April 2016
Coptic Orthodox: 6am-7:30am; 12 noon-2pm and 5pm-8pm Bascha Prayer of the Holy Week in St. Anthony’s Church at the 9th Station of the Cross.

Holy Tuesday 26 April 2016
Armenian Orthodox: 8:15am Holy Mass in the Chapel of St. John (Parvis of the Basilica).
Coptic Orthodox: 6am-7:30am; 12 noon-2pm and 5pm-8pm Bascha prayer of the Holy Week in St. Anthony’s Church at the 9th Station of the Cross.
Russian Orthodox: 8am Divine Liturgy.

Spy Wednesday 27 April 2016
Coptic Orthodox: 6am-7:30am Bascha Prayer of the Holy Week in St. Mary’s Church at Gethsemane; 12 noon-4pm Bascha pPrayer of the Holy Week in St. Anthony’s at 9th Station of the Cross and 5pm-8pm Bascha Prayer of the Holy Week in St. Anthony’s.
Russian Orthodox: 8am Vespers with liturgy and 5pm matins lasting one hour.

Holy Thursday 28 April 2016
Greek Orthodox: 5:30am Holy Liturgy in St. James Church (next to the Holy Sepulchre) and 8am Washing of the Feet in the Parvis of the Holy Sepulchre.
Armenian Orthodox: 9am Solemn Episcopal Mass in St. James Cathedral in the Armenian Quarter; 2:30pm Washing of the Feet in St. James Cathedral; 4:30pm Procession from Deir Ez-Zeitun via Sion Gate to the House of Caiphas in the Armenian Monastery and back again. 7pm Solemn Mourning Service in St. James Cathedral.
Coptic Orthodox: 6:30am-2pm Ceremony of the Washing of the Feet and mass at St. Anthony’s Church.
Ethiopian Orthodox: 11am Washing of the Feet Ceremony and 1pm-3pm Qeddase – the Divine Liturgy.
Syrian Orthodox: 4:30pm Washing of the Feet at St. Mark’s Church.
Russian Orthodox: 6am vespers with Divine Liturgy and 5pm matins with the reading of the twelve Gospels.
Romanian Orthodox: Easter Vigil (Denie) at 6pm.

Good Friday 29 April 2016
Greek Orthodox: 8:30am Services in Calvary in the Holy Sepulchre; 9am Way of the Cross procession from the Praetorium to the Holy Sepulchre; 7:30 Holy Parvis; 8pm procession in the Holy Sepulchre and three times around the Rotunda.
Armenian Orthodox: 12:15pm Service of the Holy Crucifixion at Golgotha and 4:30pm Solemn Burial Service in St. James Cathedral.
Coptic Orthodox: 11am-4pm Bascha and Burial Prayers in the Holy Sepulchre; 6pm-8pm Procession of the Stations of the Cross within the Holy Sepulchre and 11pm to 7am the next morning Abu-Galamsees service.
EthiopianOrthodox: 9:30am Procession of the Crucifixion from the House of Pilate to Golgotha (Deir Sultan).
Syrian Orthodox: 5pm Burial Procession in the Holy Sepulchre and 7pm Burial Procession in St. Mark’s Church.
Russian Orthodox: 7am Royal Hours and 7pm matins with the Ceremony of the Lord’s Burial.
Romanian Orthodox: 2pm-5pm Vespers and Vigil (Denie).

Holy Saturday 30 April 2016
Greek Orthodox: 1pm Ceremony of the Holy Fire in the Holy Sepulchre; 11pm Patriarch enters the Holy Sepulchre and at midnight a procession goes three times around the Rotunda for the Holy Liturgy of the Resurrection.
Armenian Orthodox: 8:30am Solemn Opening of the door of the Holy Sepulchre by the Armenians; 10:30am entry of the Armenian Patriarch into the Holy Sepulchre; 11am Ceremony of the Sealing of the Tomb and the Armenian Prelate enters the Tomb after the Greek Patriarch for the Ceremony of the Holy Fire followed by a procession three times around the Rotunda. 2:45pm Holy Mass in the Armenian Gallery and at 5pm Holy Mass in St. James Cathedral.
Coptic Orthodox: 1pm Holy Fire Ceremony; 7pm vespers at the Coptic Chapel in the Holy Sepulchre and at 11pm entrance into the Holy Sepulchre and Easter Vigli.
Ethiopian Orthodox: 7am Qetema reeds blessed by the Archbishop in the Deir el-Sultan courtyard and distributed to the congregation. 6pm Procession from the Archbishop’s residence to Deir Sultan; 7:30pm Official opening of Easter Sunday prayer service under the tent (Dei res-Sultan); 8pm procession around the Dome; 9pm-midnight Mahlet (Laudes) and midnight to 3am the next morning Qeddase – The Devine Liturgy.
Syrian Orthodox: 1pm Ceremony of the Holy Fire; 1:30pm Second Procession three times around the Rotunda and at 11:30pm service in the Chapel of St. Nicodemus in the Holy Sepulchre.
Russian Orthodox: 1am Vespers with Divine Liturgy; 2:30pm Holy Fire Ceremony and 11pm reading of the Acts of the Apostles.

Easter Sunday May 1, 2016
Greek Orthodox: 12 Noon procession from the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate to the Holy Sepulchre. Christians gather at the Garden Tomb for the annual Arabic Easter event and prayer. The Greek Orthodox Patriarchate leads a procession to the Holy Sepulchre.
Armenian Orthodox: 1:30pm Entrance of the Patriarchal Vicar into the Holy Sepulchre followed by services at Golgotha. 4pm Service at St. James Cathedral. Armenians hold High Mass at the Tomb of Christ then join the Greek Orthodox for the Solemn Procession.
Coptic Orthodox: The Easter Vigli ends at 5am with the Easter procession in the Holy Sepulchre.
Ethiopian Orthodox: 3am End of the service.
Syrian Orthodox: 2am Service in the Chapel of St. Nicodemus in the Holy Sepulchre, High Mass; 4am Third Procession three times around the Rotunda and at 5am the ceremony ends.
Russian Orthodox: Midnight procession and Easter matins; 1am Divine Liturgy and 6pm Great Vespers.
Romanian Orthodox: Noon Vigil and Easter Holy Liturgy with 3pm Easter Vespers.

Easter Monday 2 May 2016
Syrian Orthodox: 9:30am Solemn Mass at St. Mark’s Church.
Romanian Orthodox: 9am Holy Liturgy and 7pm vespers.
All events and prayer services listed for the Church of the Holy Sepulchre may occur an hour later in 2016 – check the Christian Information Center website for updates.

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