During the Holy week, we went to Ecce Homo to celebrate the Paschal Triduum. This was our second experience living this special week in the Holy Land. It is incredible how after we visited some of the holy places the reading of Scriptures became alive and deeper in our heart and minds.
Besides, this time in Ecce Homo was so wonderful because of the sharing with ConecSion; Sr. Leah and Beth from Philippines, Wafaa from Egypt, Cida D. Joshelia, Cida A. from Brazil and all the Ecce Homo community, Sr. Margaret Zdunich from Canada and Sr. Clare from the CLT, volunteers and friends. Our Sion family was a big and an enthusiastic group. It made the preparation and celebration of the liturgies full of life and joy.
On Good Friday early in the morning at 5:45 we walked the “Way of the Cross”. It was beautiful to see many groups from everywhere walking to the Holy Sepulcher following the way of the Cross. People were expressing their personal and communitarian intensions with so much faith and devotion.
After the Way of the Cross, we had some free time until 11:00 am when we had our singing practice for the celebration of the Lord’s Passion. The celebration took place in the Lithostrotos, a sacred site held by Christian tradition to be the place where Jesus was scourged and condemned to death:
“So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and purple robe. Pilate said to them, Here is the man!” (Ecce Homo in Latin) John 19,5
In the Lithostrotos, people can see excavations that show paving stones from the time of Hadrian with the games of the soldiers carved into the stones. Some of these ancient stones were moved here from the Antonio Fortress.
At 3:00 o’clock Fr. Russell McDougall, rector of the Tantur Ecumenical Institute in Jerusalem, presided the celebration of the Lord’s Passion. Through solemn liturgy pilgrims, volunteers and Sion’s communities commemorated and contemplated God’s love expressed by Jesus giving his life for all.
“Let your face shine upon your servant; save me in your kindness. Take courage and be stouthearted, all you who hope in the LORD.” Psalm 31,24-25
We are very grateful with God for this Holy Week lived in Ecce Hommo and with the Sion community who welcomed us for these feasts.
Nancy Mena Fernandez NDS, Novice
Congregational Novitiate Ein Karem, Jerusalem