Thursday, May 24, 2012

Happy Ascension Day

It was a day of much incense on the Mount of Olives this morning!
Greek Orthodox, Russian, Armenian, Coptic, and Syrian clergymen were all swinging incense in the smallish walled area surrounding the Chapel of the Ascension.
For this one day of Ascension Day the Muslim owners of the chapel let these historical Christian communities erect altars and tents in order to conduct their separate Divine Liturgies concurrently, side by side.

It was all very colorful and when I've made order in my hundreds of photos I'll be showing you the clergy in their best vestments.

The present chapel is about 800 years old, although the first Byzantine rotunda was there already in the 4th century.

As you see in the "wall" painting on the wall of one of the tents, the apostles were sky-watching on this very spot almost 2,000 years ago as the right foot of Jesus took his last step of earth.

The New Testament book of Acts (1:9-11) says
He was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight. They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. "Men of Galilee," they said, "why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven."

And inside the Chapel of the Ascension the faithful kneel and kiss the stone that (tradition says) bears the footprint of his right foot.
(Linking to inSPIREd Sunday.)


Gary said...

Great post!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

Gemma Wiseman said...

Lovely, interesting photos of a very special day! Love the perspective of the gold gowns and incense + the upward perspective of the mosque!

Anonymous said...

The energy, that was able to be felt, must have been amazing. Thank you for this great adventure. Please have a good Friday.

Anonymous said...

I'm a recent Jew by choice (conversion in Feb, 2012), and am looking forward to going to Israel next year.
I love your blog, and your pictures are wonderful. Just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy the inside look at Jerusalem!

Emille said...

Love your word play on sky watch! The robes of the clergy in your first pic are beautiful! Wow, the round tower in Roman architecture is old!

mirae said...

ah what a masterpeice beautiful Dina, the natural source of the skylight juxtaposed with the word made flesh inside the chapel.
love and light.shalom.

Jim said...

Great post.
Sydney - City and Suburbs

Francisca said...

I am touched by the peaceful shared celebration among religions. How it should be; but this is not what we typically see in standard media. We have Dina to show us how it really is. Your firt photo is wonderful!

Sara said...

Shalom certainly have a front row seat there in Jerusalem for all the events that go on all year long. I look forward to seeing more of all that color.

thomas said...

Interesting to be able to see this event,
happy sky watching.

Dina said...

Thank you friends, glad to see that you share the excitement of this day.

Lou, welcome to the fold! Happy Shavuot.
Do you have a blog?
There is a fine blog by a recent convert called You're Not Crazy. at

VP said...

Picturesque, in the good sense of the term, and always interesting.

JM said...

Beautiful composition on top, Dina!

Tom said...

for my Amish friends, Ascension Day is an important day

The Greenockian said...

Beautiful - love the first photograph!

Bill Nicholls said...

Never knew about that, interesting