On the evening of Sunday, November 27, 2022, the ceremony of lighting the Christmas tree took place at the “Terra Sancta” Franciscan school inside the Old City and in its inner garden next to Damascus Gate.
This ceremony was attended by the Custos of the Holy Land, Fr Francis Paton, his deputy, Fr Ibrahim Faltas, the Director of the Department of Christian Affairs, Mr. César Marjieh, the President of the Supreme Palestinian Ecclesiastical Mission, Mr. Ramzi Khouri, along with a crowd of about 2000 people, greeting the lighting of the tree.
At this ceremony, Patriarch Theophilos of Jerusalem delivered the following address:
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. In him was life? and life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness? and the darkness comprehended it not” (John 1:1, 4-5).
Dear brothers and friends,
This light of life rose in the city of Bethlehem from the Sun of Righteousness, that is, of Christ, and shone in the holy city of Jerusalem in the monument of hope, namely of the Resurrection.
And we today, as children of the light of the Sun of Righteousness and the hope of the Resurrection of Christ, bless the lighting of this Christmas tree, praying that this light shines in the hearts and minds of those who hold the world and those who govern our region, so that peace, justice, and settlement may reign. “To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself” (2 Cor. 5:19), Saint Paul says.
Many happy returns, a peaceful and blessed Christmas.
Source: Patriarchate of Jerusalem