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Description of a Pilgrimage to Jerusalem

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A pilgrimage is a journey because of a belief. Usually it is a journey to a holy place that is of importance to the pilgrim's religion. The journey could be physical or purely spiritual, but is usually of benefit in some way to the pilgrim. Pilgrimage was a social, spiritual and economic element even in the pre-Reformation church. Churches were built and inns made wealthy from the gifts or payments of pilgrims. Today it is an opportunity for spiritual refreshment, to strengthen faith, or find healing for body, mind or spirit. Many will perform a pilgrimage as a form of penance and commitment, to give thanks or find the roots of their faith. Christian traditions are kept alive by reenacting or following the past in fellowship with others. In this piece of work I will endeavour to describe, explain and evaluate Christian pilgrimage. A Description of a Pilgrimage to Jerusalem One Christian pilgrimage that is carried out by millions of pilgrims is to Jerusalem. There is a lot to see on this particular pilgrimage as it is mostly visiting the places where Jesus was all those years ago. You can visit places from the bible and celebrate Mass at each of them. It is possible to see in the church of the Holy Nativity the site of Jesus' birth and walk in the fields where the shepherds were visited by the angels. I interviewed some people who had been to the Holy Land as well as looking in books and on the internet, to find out what happens in a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. ...read more.


Pilgrims may do some or all of this while they are there. Jerusalem is place of great importance to the Christian faith, it allows opportunity for strengthening of faith, spiritual refreshment and time for Christian fellowship as the past is explored. Why some Christians go on Pilgrimage and the effect it has on them There are many reasons why people go on pilgrimages. These can range from curiosity to desperation. One reason could be spiritual discipline; people may want to show God that they are devoted to him and want to know him better. For some it could be that they want to increase their faith and back it up, they visit scenes that portray their faith so that they can see why they believe what they do. Visiting biblical sites, especially in Jerusalem, can help the pilgrim to picture scenes more clearly and so understand the bible more. A pilgrimage can also be a break from everyday life give time for a person with a busy life to concentrate on their faith for a while and then try to fit what they discover onto their home lives. It can also give people who are insecure about their faith a confidence boost, as they can meet up with others who share their beliefs. It could also just be that they want to pray for themselves or others, and feel that a pilgrimage is the perfect time to do so. ...read more.


People are disillusioned by religion and quick to identify minority opinions, possibly displaying ridicule or even violence towards them. In some countries it is still dangerous to declare a Christian faith. For these reasons, pilgrimages are important. However, some people believe that there is no biblical evidence to support the need for pilgrimage. They believe that it is rather self-indulgent to seek such help when a Christian should be serving others. There is also the argument that some of the pilgrimage sites are based on 'flimsy' evidence - one person's word. Even some of the sights in Jerusalem cannot be historically proven to be exact. This is a quote from Discoveries from the time of Jesus ' Once more, the verdict on the Holy Sepulchre has to be - possible but not certain.' The importance that some people used to give to pilgrimage no longer really exists, as the devotion was in the walking of many miles to a holy site. Nowadays the package tours do the work for the pilgrim. Having considered the many opinions, I, personally, still believe that pilgrimage is not the most important thing for a Christian to do, but there are many good reasons to take part in one. A Christian is striving to serve others and spread the word of God, and they may be strengthened in these aims by making a pilgrimage, especially to Jerusalem. In conclusion, one could say that there are more important things for Christians to do than to go on pilgrimage, but pilgrimage itself could actually help a Christian to do those things. ...read more.

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