Worshipers throng to Jerusalem for Palm Sunday
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Worshipers throng to Jerusalem for Palm Sunday

Crowds gather at Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Old City and Mount of Olives one week ahead of Easter

Christians hold candles and palm fonds during the Palm Sunday mass inside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, traditionally believed by many to be the site of the crucifixion and burial of Jesus, in Jerusalem's Old City, April 9, 2017 during Palm Sunday. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)
Christians hold candles and palm fonds during the Palm Sunday mass inside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, traditionally believed by many to be the site of the crucifixion and burial of Jesus, in Jerusalem's Old City, April 9, 2017 during Palm Sunday. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

Christians in the Holy Land celebrated Palm Sunday, the start of the Holy Week that leads up to Easter.

Crowds of faithful gathered at Jerusalem’s Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the traditional site of Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection. Many waved palm fronds to symbolize how worshipers greeted Jesus over 2,000 years ago, as he triumphantly entered Jerusalem.

Clergy and worshipers took part in the procession next to the newly restored tomb of Jesus. A Greek team has just completed a historic renovation of the Edicule, the shrine that tradition says houses the cave where Jesus was entombed and resurrected.

A 12th-century building sitting on 4th-century remains, the Church of the Holy Sepluchre is the only place where six Christian denominations practice their faith at the same site.

Christians priests hold holy books and palm fonds during the Palm Sunday mass inside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, traditionally believed by many to be the site of the crucifixion and burial of Jesus, in Jerusalem's Old City, April 9, 2017 during Palm Sunday. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)
Christians priests hold holy books and palm fonds during the Palm Sunday mass inside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, traditionally believed by many to be the site of the crucifixion and burial of Jesus, in Jerusalem’s Old City, April 9, 2017 during Palm Sunday. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)
The 22nd Coptic Metropolitan of Jerusalem and the Near East Metropolitan Anba Antonious (C) leads the Palm Sunday Easter procession at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem's Old City on April 9, 2017. (AFP Photo/Gali Tibbon)
The 22nd Coptic Metropolitan of Jerusalem and the Near East Metropolitan Anba Antonious (C) leads the Palm Sunday Easter procession at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem’s Old City on April 9, 2017. (AFP Photo/Gali Tibbon)
Christian Orthodox communities attend the Palm Sunday Easter procession at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem's Old City on April 9, 2017. (AFP Photo/Gali Tibbon)
Christian Orthodox communities attend the Palm Sunday Easter procession at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem’s Old City on April 9, 2017. (AFP Photo/Gali Tibbon)
Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos III (C) leads the Palm Sunday Easter procession at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem's Old City on April 9, 2017. (AFP Photo/Gali Tibbon)
Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos III (C) leads the Palm Sunday Easter procession at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem’s Old City on April 9, 2017. (AFP Photo/Gali Tibbon)
Christian pilgrims take part in the traditional Palm Sunday procession on the Mount of Olives, April 9, 2017. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)
Christian pilgrims take part in the traditional Palm Sunday procession on the Mount of Olives, April 9, 2017. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)
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