2019 Pilgrimage to the Holy Land

Connecting with the sacred sites of our faith

Over the past few years, we have cultivated a culture of pilgrimages—of going out into the world to connect the narratives of scripture with the sacred sites of our faith.

2019 Pilgrimage to the Holy Land

Jerusalem Old City, Tower of David

November 3 - 15, 2019
This pilgrimage is a deep and profound adventure in faith, hope and love. And its qualities as a pilgrimage are truly special: it is a small group; it covers not just a wealth of biblical holy sites with profound spiritual and archeological insights into the life of Judaism, Jesus, and the Early Church, but also engages with issues of the Israel and Palestine conflict with great sensitivity and breadth of perspective. Fr. David

Pilgrimage Itinerary

  • SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 3, DAY 1: DEPART U.S. for the Holy Land.

  • MONDAY, NOVEMBER 4, DAY 2: ARRIVE BEN GURION AIRPORT / TRANSFER TO JERUSALEM Upon arrival in Tel Aviv, you will be met by your guide and transfer to our accommodations in Jerusalem.
    Dinner and overnight: St. George’s Cathedral Guest House

  • TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 5, DAY 3: HORIZONS OF JERUSALEM / HERODIUM Introductions, walk down to Damascus Gate to get the feel for the distance and our surrounding, Mt. Scopus, view the Judean desert, Mt. of Olives, City of David, Lunch, visit Herodium some 12 km. south of Jerusalem. On a hill shaped like a truncated cone that rises 758 m. above sea level, stood Herodium, the palace-fortress built by King Herod. It had a breathtaking view, overlooking the Judean Desert and the mountains of Moab to the east, and the Judean Hills to the west.
    Dinner and overnight: St. George’s Cathedral Guest House
    Guest Speaker: Contemporary Issues – A Palestinian Perspective

  • WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 6, DAY 4: OLD CITY / CHURCH OF THE HOLY SEPULCHRE GROUP PHOTO, Walk the Cardo to the Constantinian Entrance to the Church of the Resurrection to the Holy Sepulchre, Lunch, afternoon Holy Sepulchre, walk to the Armenian quarter where we will be able to observe Armenian Vespers.
    Dinner and overnight: St. George’s Cathedral Guest House
    Speaker: Lecture on Islam

  • THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 7, DAY 5: WESTERN WALL / DOME OF THE ROCK / ISRAEL MUSEUM We depart for the Western Wall near Elharam Esh Sharif (The Dome of The Rock and the Al-Aqsa Mosque), St. Anne’s Church and the pools of Bethesda. Lunch. Israel Museum and the Shrine of the Book, where the Dead Sea Scrolls are housed. We will also visit a scale model of the Old City of Jerusalem, portraying the city as it would have been during Jesus’ time.
    Dinner and overnight: St. George’s Cathedral Guest House

  • FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 8, DAY 6: JERICHO / NAZARETH (Eid Al Adha) Wadi Qelt early morning to watch the sunrise in the desert, depart for Jericho to hike up Mt. of Temptation and view Tell Jericho. Lunch in Nazareth, we will visit Mary’s Well, the site of the only spring-fed fountain in the city, and most likely the place where Mary would have gone to draw water. We then visit the Greek Orthodox Church of the Annunciation where we will have an opportunity to have an introduction to the Icon, we then follow on foot the path to the Latin Church of the Annunciation, the traditional site of the Angel Gabriel’s appearance to Mary, telling her she would conceive Jesus, the Emmanuel.
    Dinner and Overnight: Sisters of Nazareth Convent

    Today we depart for the Sea of Galilee-Lake Kinnereth. Stop at the Jordan River from the northern side for the renewal of baptismal vows. We then visit Capernaum where we see the Ancient Synagogue and St. Peter’s House. We continue to the Mount of Beatitudes, Lunch is by the Sea of Galilee, followed by a visit to Tabgha (Heptapegon), The Loaves and Fishes Church and the Chapel of St. Peter’s Primacy. Boat ride on the Sea of Galilee.
    Dinner and Overnight: Sisters of Nazareth Convent

    Sunday Eucharist at Saint George’s Cathedral, the liturgy will be celebrated in English and Arabic, the language of our Arabic Palestinian Christians in the Holy Land and the whole Middle East. Meet with Fr. Nael Abu Rahmoun at Christ Church in Nazareth Lunch. We depart for Sepphoris, where we explore the excavations of the Roman / Byzantine city the capital of Galilee at the time of Jesus.
    Dinner and Overnight: Sisters of Nazareth Convent

    Depart for Burqin. Jesus had passed through Burqin on his way to Jerusalem from Nazareth, and as he was passing by the village, he heard cries for help from ten lepers who were isolated in quarantine in a cave. Next we travel to Nablus to visit St. Photini the Greek Orthodox Monastery. St. Photini lived in first century Palestine, she was the Samaritan woman whom Christ visited at the well asking her for water, the church built over Jacob’s well where we will tour the church and drink from the well. Lunch and visit Taybeh, the only 100% Christian town in the Palestinian Authority, in the fourth century the Emperor Constantine and his mother St. Helen built the church of St. George in the village. Taybeh is also the home of the only Palestinian brewery in the Middle East.
    Dinner and overnight: St. George’s Cathedral Guest House

    We depart Jerusalem for Bethlehem and the Shepherds’ Field, visit a 1st century cave dwelling, lunch is in Beit Sahour (Shepherds’ Field), ‘ And in that region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night,’ Church of the Nativity located in Manger Square. It is the Oldest Church in Christendom, constructed by Constantine in AD 326 and the traditional site of the Nativity. Next we visit Sunbula. Founded in 1996, its mission is to support Palestinian women’s cooperatives and disabled peoples' self-help groups by providing marketing and sales opportunities for their products.
    Dinner and overnight: St. George’s Cathedral Guest House

    A free day to shop, revisit favorite sites in Jerusalem or to visit Masada, a fortified palace of Herod the Great which saw heavy fighting between Jewish rebels and Roman soldier’s in 73 A.D. You may also wish to visit Yad Vashem, site of the Holocaust Memorial, David’s Citadel and David’s Tower.
    Dinner and overnight: St. George’s Cathedral Guest House

    Walk the Palm Sunday Procession. We will stop at Pater Noster and Dominus Flevit (Latin for “The Lord wept”) where Jesus wept over the city. Afterward, we will walk to the Garden of Gethsemane and the Church of All Nations, Lunch/Dinner in Jericho at the Qumris.
    Dinner and overnight: St. George’s Cathedral Guest House

    Early this morning we walk and pray the Way of the Cross. Later we depart for Emmaus Nicopolis. We celebrate the Eucharist at the ruins of the Byzantine Church.
    Dinner and overnight: St. George’s Cathedral Guest House
    Transfer to the Tel Aviv airport for return flight to the U.S.

Jordon Extension

  • FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 15: Allenby- Salt-Petra
    Arrival Jordanian checkpoint. Entry formalities. Drive to Salt. Visit and have lunch at the Holy Land Institute for the Deaf. Drive to Petra, check-in at hotel, dinner and 2-night stay.
  • SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 16: Full day visit of Petra.
    Lunch inside Petra site (Basin). Petra This erosion-hewn masterpiece was rediscovered by a Swiss explorer in 1812. It can be accessed on a walk through a penetrative, narrow siq, is the hidden valley where the Rose City of Petra lies. Here you’ll come across the spectacular Treasury of Petra. One can enjoy an Indiana Jones moment as it was this building where the Holy Grail’s much coveted by Indy rested. Petra is full of ancient tombs and ruins. An incredible place, it’s like an eighth wonder. Dinner at hotel.
  • SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 17: Mt. Nebo, Madaba and Amman
    At Mt. Nebo, excellent views are offered of the Jordan River Valley, the Dead Sea and (on clear days) Jerusalem. A 6th century church marks the spot where Moses at the end of his life is said to have seen the Land of Canaan (he too enjoyed the view).
    Madaba the prime attractions of the venerable city of Madaba (it’s mentioned in the Old Testament) are its many 6th-century Byzantine mosaics. Perhaps the most impressive of these is an enormous 6th-century map of Palestine and Egypt that is located in St. George’s Greek Orthodox Church. A few blocks from the church is the town’s museum, which contains mosaics found in other parts of the region, as well as other ancient artifacts. The city of Amman offers a number of historical attractions including a 2,000-year-old Roman amphitheater, the Museum of Popular Traditions and the National Archaeological Museum. If you visit the Forum and Citadel Hill, you’ll see the few remaining Roman ruins of Amman (including a temple of Hercules). For newer attractions, the Jordan National Gallery displays modern Middle Eastern art. Don’t miss the enormous King Abdullah Mosque, completed in the late 1980s.
  • MONDAY, NOVEMBER 18: Departure Amman airport for return home.

Archived Pilgrimages


The cost for the pilgrimage is:

Double occupancy: $2,600

Single occupancy: $3,200

Included in this price:

  • Accommodations and breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Transportation in comfortable deluxe coach
  • Guide fee
  • All entrance fees on the itinerary Israeli and Palestinian speakers
  • Portage at all hotels
  • Tips for restaurant and hotel staff
  • Bus driver tips
  • Farewell dinner at the home of the pilgrimage guide


Air transportation is not included in the pilgrimage price. Currently roundtrip nonstop flights to Tel Aviv from regional international airports are running roughly $1,500 per person. On previous pilgrimages, we have attempted to have as many as care to fly on the same flight. In such a case, we can arrange for ground transportation as a group to and from the airport at an additional shared cost. Contact Karen King in the parish office at 717-397-4858 for information on the group flight.

If flying on your own, you will need to leave the United States on Sunday, November 3rd to arrive at Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv on Monday, November 4th. If at all possible, each pilgrim should be present at the Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv between 1:00 pm and 5:00 PM on Nov. 4. Your departure flight from Ben Gurion must be scheduled for Friday, November 15th.


Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months after your arrival date. If it is not, you will not be allowed into Israel.


You do not need to pay to register. You may pay in full now, at a later date or by installment payments. You can pay by credit or debit card or deduction from a bank account through Realm over the coming months. You can also pay by check (either in a lump sum or in installments). If you are paying in full later or by installment, please adhere to the following minimum deadlines:

  • July 1 - $500 trip deposit ($400 if you made a prior $100 deposit)
  • September 15 - any remaining balance*
*If you are unable to pay the full cost of the trip before the final payment deadline of September 15, Saint James is able to help a limited number of individuals finance a portion of the cost of their trip over a longer period. Please contact Nicolette Norris before registering if interested in this option.

Registration in Realm

We will be using Realm to register all travelers. Saint James parishioners must have an activated Realm account. If you are not a Saint James parishioner, we can easily set up a Realm account for your pilgrimage registration.

If you have never activated your account or have forgotten your password, please contact Nicolette Norris, Minister of Giving & Communications, for an activation link or password reset. While Realm will allow you to register as a guest, for the purposes of this trip, you must have an activated account for us to serve you best. Without an activated account, you will not be able to make installment payments, check your balance due, payment deadlines or receive important trip communications.

Click here to register for the pilgrimage.