Journey to the Holy Land – Day 4

by Elaine Wiatr

When one is well known enough that only his surname appears in bold letters on the cover of a musical program, we can assume that, at the very least, he has earned his fifteen minutes of fame.  Tonight I had the most wonderful opportunity to hear a Hungarian choir sing many selections of a very famous composer, Bartok 1881-1945.  After perusing the program, I did find out that he has a first name as well—Bela.  The choir, about 30 performers, was predominately female with a handful of male singers mixed in, all of whom were in their late teens or early 20s I would venture to say.

The acoustics in St. Catherine’s Church are phenomenal for music—not so great for speech—and fortunately there was little speech and much song.  I was delighted to see the Franciscan Friars, who have care and custody of the holy Christian sites in the Holy Land, at the concert.  Helped me to feel right at home!

If I didn’t mention it previously, St. Catherine’s is the Roman Catholic Church that is adjacent to the Church of the Nativity to the point that they share a wall in common.  The Christmas Eve Mass is broadcast from this site and I plan to watch it this year.   I will be able to do so at 5 p.m. since Bethlehem will be seven hours ahead of us at Christmas.

My lunch time jaunt again found me in Manger Square, and I went into the building called the Palestinian Peace Center.  There was a model of ancient Bethlehem and a very helpful woman at the information center who provided me with better street maps of Bethlehem and Beit Sahour (the name literally translates to “place of the Night Watch”) which reminds us of the shepherds tending their flocks on that wondrous night over 2000 years ago.  I am planning my free time for this weekend as there are so many interesting places to see that I did not have the opportunity to visit on my pilgrimage last November.

Tomorrow my work goal is to sit with Rania and get all of the documents I have been editing finalized.  Right now the process seems a bit chaotic so I must take the bull by the proverbial horns and finish the job—Inshallah—God willing.

Good night, my friends.  Peace and rest well.


Published in: on October 27, 2010 at 3:49 pm  Leave a Comment  

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