A picture is worth a thousand words.. This is how the Christians of southern Lebanon defied the war and bombing!

Despite the atmosphere of war and bombing, members of Christian sects that follow the Western calendar in the border villages of southern Lebanon insisted on celebrating the holidays. Last week, the Christians of the border towns celebrated Palm Sunday, and the celebrations were not absent from the towns in clear defiance of the status quo, and today, on Good Friday, the attendance was great in these border countries.

In the towns and villages of the Marjayoun district, the Christian sects that follow the Western calendar commemorated the rite of burial of the crucified, with masses and processions that spread throughout the churches of the region, which were crowded with believers, accompanied by the internal security forces, the army, and the municipal police.

In Jdeidet Marjayoun, the burial of Christ was held in the Maronite Church of Our Lady of Salvation, with the participation of a large crowd of believers.

The believers participated in the procession of the cross, where parishioners carried the Holy Cross, and roamed the neighborhoods and internal streets of the town, embodying the sufferings of Jesus Christ, led by the parish priest, Father Hanna Al-Khoury, and the parish priests in the town, to the sound of hymns for Good Friday and the ringing of the bells of the town’s churches. As every year, the march headed first to the National Evangelical Church in the center of the town, and from there to the Greek Orthodox Church of St. George, then it moved to the Roman Catholic Cathedral of St. Peter, where they were received by the Archbishops of Caesarea Philippi and Marjayoun and their Melkite Greek Catholic vassals, Metropolitan George Haddad and a group of priests, and they unloaded The statue of Jesus Christ from the cross, and they placed it inside the casket decorated with flowers, and the stages of the Passion of Jesus Christ were concluded in the Maronite Church of Our Lady of Salvation, with the rite of burial of the crucified.

Also in St. Peter’s Cathedral in Jdeidet Marjayoun, Metropolitan Haddad presided over the rite of Christ’s burial, assisted by a group of priests, and served by the parish choir, in the presence of a large crowd of believers from the town and neighborhood, who carried the coffin on their hands and entered the church with it.

The town of Qalaia also commemorated the Good Friday liturgy in the Church of Saint George in the town, where a massive march of believers began from Saint George Roundabout in the center of the town to embody the fourteen stages of the Passion, headed by the parish priest, Father Pierre Al-Rahi, and a group of priests, pioneers, knights of the Virgin, and the Marian Brotherhood, with the participation of Representatives Melhem Khalaf and Firas Hamdan, and the participants took turns carrying the cross, all the way to St. George Church, where the cross was placed on the palms, under a scattering of flowers and religious hymns from the parish choir. In conclusion, the believers were blessed by the casket before placing it in the grave.

Burial and Good Friday ceremonies were also held in the Tower of the Kings and the Monastery of Mimas.

As for the border town of Khiam, it was not possible to celebrate the burial of the crucified, given the current conditions and the town’s exposure to Israeli aggression.

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