This was the most memorable Valentine’s Day for us, which started with the renewal of our wedding vows at Cana, a wedding reception at Mount of Temptation Restaurant in Jericho, then our honeymoon in Jerusalem.
We’ve been married for 11 years, and this was the perfect marriage renewal for us. If you’re planning to renew your vows soon, it’s worth considering doing it in Cana in Israel, by going on a Holy Land pilgrimage.
Here’s the photo essay of our Valentine’s Wedding Day at Cana…
We were dropped off the main street, and it was a long walk through narrow streets to the church in Kafr Kanna, an Arab town in the Northern part of Israel. Be sure to wear comfortable shoes.
This is the entrance to the Wedding Church in Cana, with John 2:1-10 inscribed on the wall.
(John 2:1-10) Jesus Changes Water Into Wine
1 On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, 2 and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. 3 When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no more wine.”
4 “Woman, why do you involve me?” Jesus replied. “My hour has not yet come.”
5 His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”
6 Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons.
7 Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water”; so they filled them to the brim.
8 Then he told them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.”
They did so, 9 and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside 10 and said, “Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.”
The couples were asked to wear white during the wedding. I later on realized how nice it would have been to be in a suit or barong. Some of the brides actually had a special dress made for this special day.
The flock assigned for the day was the single flock, and they assisted the couples in bringing their bags and keeping them secure. They were also the official photographers for the wedding. THANK YOU! (with Joan Wong and Ma-ann Gonzales)
Fr. Joel serenaded the couples with a beautiful song to end the homily.
Rache renewing her marriage vows…nakakakilig! 🙂
The supposed one hour wedding turned into two hours because the wedding certificates and picture taking took a long time. The pilgrim group from the next wedding mass was eagerly waiting for us to finish.
MOUNT OF TEMPTATION RESTAURANT RECEPTION @ JERICHO
Joshua 6: Jericho
1 Now the gates of Jericho were securely barred because of the Israelites. No one went out and no one came in.
2 Then the Lord said to Joshua, “See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its king and its fighting men. 3 March around the city once with all the armed men. Do this for six days. 4 Have seven priests carry trumpets of rams’ horns in front of the ark. On the seventh day, march around the city seven times, with the priests blowing the trumpets. 5 When you hear them sound a long blaston the trumpets, have the whole army give a loud shout; then the wall of the city will collapse and the army will go up, everyone straight in.”
6 So Joshua son of Nun called the priests and said to them, “Take up the ark of the covenant of theLord and have seven priests carry trumpets in front of it.” 7 And he ordered the army, “Advance! March around the city, with an armed guard going ahead of the ark of the Lord.”
8 When Joshua had spoken to the people, the seven priests carrying the seven trumpets before theLord went forward, blowing their trumpets, and the ark of the Lord’s covenant followed them. 9 The armed guard marched ahead of the priests who blew the trumpets, and the rear guard followed the ark. All this time the trumpets were sounding. 10 But Joshua had commanded the army, “Do not give a war cry, do not raise your voices, do not say a word until the day I tell you to shout. Then shout!”11 So he had the ark of the Lord carried around the city, circling it once. Then the army returned to camp and spent the night there.
12 Joshua got up early the next morning and the priests took up the ark of the Lord. 13 The seven priests carrying the seven trumpets went forward, marching before the ark of the Lord and blowing the trumpets. The armed men went ahead of them and the rear guard followed the ark of the Lord, while the trumpets kept sounding. 14 So on the second day they marched around the city once and returned to the camp. They did this for six days.
15 On the seventh day, they got up at daybreak and marched around the city seven times in the same manner, except that on that day they circled the city seven times. 16 The seventh time around, when the priests sounded the trumpet blast, Joshua commanded the army, “Shout! For the Lord has given you the city! 17 The city and all that is in it are to be devoted to the Lord. Only Rahab the prostituteand all who are with her in her house shall be spared, because she hid the spies we sent. 18 But keep away from the devoted things, so that you will not bring about your own destruction by taking any of them. Otherwise you will make the camp of Israel liable to destruction and bring trouble on it. 19 All the silver and gold and the articles of bronze and iron are sacred to the Lord and must go into his treasury.”
20 When the trumpets sounded, the army shouted, and at the sound of the trumpet, when the men gave a loud shout, the wall collapsed; so everyone charged straight in, and they took the city. 21 They devoted the city to the Lord and destroyed with the sword every living thing in it—men and women, young and old, cattle, sheep and donkeys.
22 Joshua said to the two men who had spied out the land, “Go into the prostitute’s house and bring her out and all who belong to her, in accordance with your oath to her.” 23 So the young men who had done the spying went in and brought out Rahab, her father and mother, her brothers and sisters and all who belonged to her. They brought out her entire family and put them in a place outside the camp of Israel.
24 Then they burned the whole city and everything in it, but they put the silver and gold and the articles of bronze and iron into the treasury of the Lord’s house. 25 But Joshua spared Rahab the prostitute, with her family and all who belonged to her, because she hid the men Joshua had sent as spies to Jericho—and she lives among the Israelites to this day.
26 At that time Joshua pronounced this solemn oath: “Cursed before the Lord is the one who undertakes to rebuild this city, Jericho:
“At the cost of his firstborn son
he will lay its foundations;
at the cost of his youngest
he will set up its gates.”
27 So the Lord was with Joshua, and his fame spread throughout the land.
MOUNT OF TEMPTATION
(Matthew 4:1-11) Jesus Is Tested in the Wilderness
1 Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3 The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”
4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
5 Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple.
6 “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written:
“‘He will command his angels concerning you,
and they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’”
7 Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’”
8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. 9 “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.”
10 Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’”
11 Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.
EN ROUTE TO JERUSALEM
1 Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. 2 A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. 3 He wanted to see who Jesus was, but because he was short he could not see over the crowd. 4 So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way.
5 When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” 6 So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly.
7 All the people saw this and began to mutter, “He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.”
8 But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.”
9 Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”
CROWNE PLAZA HOTEL @ JERUSALEM CITY
We arrived at around 6.00pm for our honeymoon stay at Crowne Plaza in Jerusalem.
The elevator operation was a bit complicated on Shabbat. Since the Jews are not allowed to operate electronic stuff, two elevators are assigned to open and stop automatically on even and non-even floors.
To be continued…
HOLY LAND PILGRIMAGE with BRO. BO SANCHEZ
- ISRAEL: “Enroute to the Holy Land” (Day 0. MNL ✈ HKG ✈ TLV)
- HOLY LAND (Day 1 – Nazareth): “Kosher Breakfast, Mount Carmel, and Maria di Nazareth”
- HOLY LAND (Day 2 – Tiberias): “Mount Tabor, Capernaum and Mount of Beatitudes”
- HOLY LAND (Day 3 – Sea of Galilee): “River Jordan Baptism & Sea of Galilee Boat Worship”
- HOLY LAND (Day 4 – Cana): “Wedding at Cana”
- HOLY LAND (Day 5 – Bethelem): “Christmas at Bethlehem”
- HOLY LAND (Day 6 – Old Jerusalem): “Via Dolorosa, Golgotha, and Church of Holy Sepulchre”
- HOLY LAND (Day 7 – Dead Sea): “Ein Karem, Qumran, and Dead Sea”
- HOLY LAND (Day 8/9 – TLV ✈ HKG ✈ MNL): “Genesis Land and Enroute Back to Manila”
- ISRAEL: 8 Tips to Experence an Awesome Holy Land Pilgrimage
Disclosure: We paid for our Holy Land Trip. Read Our Awesome Planet Complete Disclosure Policy here.
P.S. The Next Holy Land Pilgrimage by Bro. Bo Sanchez is on February 10-19, 2015. For more info, you can email Tita Beckie at [email protected]
P.P.S. The pilgrimage tour costs P340,108 (exchange rate P44.65 – $1) for a couple, broken down into the following:
- Tour Cost: $2,995.00 x 2 = $5,990
- Airline/ Other Taxes: $495 x 2 = $980
- Tip Fund: $100 x 2 = $200
- Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner: $130 x 2 = $260
- Travel Insurance: $45 x 2 = $90
- Philippine Travel Tax: P1,620 x 2 = P3,240
- Airport Tax: P550 x 2 = P1,100
Note: There’s a $300/person non-refundable reservation for the trip, which is deductable from the total amount.
Overall, the Pilgrimage tour with Bro. Bo Sanchez is relatively more expensive than the other pilgrimage trips organized with Executive Resources. But it is the best experience for us because of The Feast (Community Worship Gathering) and the Feast Builders who make the trip awesome. 🙂
TIP: You can decide to book your own airfare if you plan to visit other countries after your pilgrimage.