Friday, May 15, 2009

Final post on our big day with the Pope

This whole week has been exciting, both in Jerusalem and for this blog, having Pope Benedict XVI in town.
Tuesday the blog showed him celebrating Mass.
Today we continue showing the mood in the flock who came to the Kidron Valley.

Click on any of the photos to see them full screen.

We had three hours before Mass began.
Meanwhile, the Arab Catholic Scouts marched and played lively music on the bagpipes and drums.

The tradition, hundreds of years old, is that several Muslim men like these in the old Ottoman Turkish garb lead the way for special ceremonial processions of Christian clergy, tapping the ground with their staffs as they walk.
They are called kawassim

I'm not sure this man is a monk, at least not yet.
He had no full recognizable habit on. And the tonsure on the head is not done much these days.

These monks are from a monastery not far from Jerusalem.

The Carthusian order lives in silence and solitude. This event was a real field day for them.

Just above the two Carthusian brothers is a surprising sight: someone waving an Israeli flag and a Vatican flag bound together on one pole, with a little Palestinian flag on the top.

More nuns! (The others are in Thursday's post.  And for full coverage of this papal visit see all my posts here.)

Israeli TV televised live to the world every appearance of the Pope.
 (He was at 22 different sites in Israel in only 5 days.)
Two big screens let us see close-ups of the clergy near the altar.
A few viewers sat in olive trees, reminding me of the Zacchaeus story in Luke 19.

This is a freebie I missed. It must have been the Ministry of Tourism that gave the T shirts "I'm with the Pope in Jerusalem."
 For the Papal Mass yesterday the shirts said "I'm with the Pope in Nazareth."
 Whether the Palestinian Authority gave out anything to commemorate Wednesday's Mass in Bethlehem, I cannot know since I am not allowed into Bethlehem.

This cameraman from Pax TV, Lima, Peru, was directing the local kids.
 All were having fun.

Behind the long boom with the TV camera, you can see the Magnificat Choir.

Security personnel were everywhere, but in an unobtrusive manner.
These two men are police sappers.
Thank God that all went perfectly this week.

As the sun got lower and lower, the gold crosses on the Russian Orthodox Convent and Church of St. Mary Magdalene on the Mount of Olives began glowing with blinding light.
As if saying Shalom to the Catholic Pope below in the valley.
Symbolic of this blessed week of ecumenical  and interfaith dialogue.


Mike G. said...

Great Photos,thanks for sharing these.

Cloudia said...

Another amazing & stirring post, Dina!

The joined flags, the golden domes....I'd LOVE to see the magnifi-CAT! ;-)

Shalom Salaam Aloha & Peace to Jerusalem....all the way from Hawaii ;-)

Katney said...

Many thoughts go through my head. How do the Carthusians keep their habits white? The other day there were nuns with baseball caps, what are today's nuns wearing on top of their veils? I have pleasant memories--distant thogh they be they come back to me often when I visit your blog--of walking in the Kedron Valley. I remember those Russian domes. Of course, I saw many more like them on our journey across Russia.

Anonymous said...

Super duper glowey gold.

I like the photo with the handsome security guard who seems to have a eagle eye focused on you.

Pietro said...

Dina, this is a very interesting and well-organized post: I would say it's like watching a documentary film. I'm glad you've had some great days with the visit of the Pope.
Have a good weekend!

roentarre said...

Seriously amazing photojournalism

I am very impressed with the culture seen in the shots

Dina said...

Mike, Cloudia, Pietro, Roentarre, thank you so much for your encouraging comments!

Pasadena Adjacent, yes. Whenever I take something metal (the camera) out of my bag and raise it to eye level, I try to do it slowly so as not to scare any watchful security personnel.

Katney, the nuns with the strange head covering, well, actually I'm not sure. I think the order is based in one of the Eastern European countries. I wish there were an illustrated guide to nuns and monks.
Good question, how do the Carthusians keep their habit white. Well, at work, there could be an apron over it. But I read that "A Carthusian community consists of cloistered monks, priests or those destined to become priests (Fathers) and monks converse or donate (Brothers). Cloistered monks live in the strictest of solitude. They do not leave their cells other than when allowed by the rule. They occupy their time with prayer, readings, and work (sawing wood to heat themselves during winter, gardening, transcribing, pottery, etc.) The Brothers ensure that the various needs of the monastery are met by their work outside of the cells (cooking, carpentry, laundry, work in the woods)."
So, I guess your answer is that the Brothers do the laundry of the monks.

GreensboroDailyPhoto said...

Your photos capture the sense that Jerusalem is quite a religious epicenter!

Still pondering those salt mummies you shared earlier. Your job and location must be so exciting.

FA said...

Great post, Dina. It's really great to have your perspective. I like the people pictures a lot - lots of stories there. The Nuns that Katney and you wrote about are Brigittine Nuns. They wear a white crown over their veils. I'm not sure what the significance is, but a quick internet search should reveal something. Thanks for sharing this great event!

Tash said...

Amazing collection of photos. I feel like I'm there.
(I liked the helmets in yesterday's post & Annie Dillard's quote - I've read most of her books, although it's been quite a few years now. My fave is American Childhood. - I'm so glad you and PA are connected & I had a good reminder to stop by.)

Cairo Typ0 said...

I still remember when JP2 visited Toronto when i was kid. Mass was said at a local airport and people had to be bussed in. It was crazy!

Awesome photos.

Sara said...

What an incredible place Jerusalem is! I love it.

Gretchen said...

Sounds like you had quite the time being there. He's not my religious leader, but it would be something to just say "I was there." Just like any foreign dignatary. I might not believe in what they're preaching, but it's still exciting just to see.