Going on any holy pilgrimage is not another travelling, hence it is not an aimless wandering from city to city seeking fun. It is a journey with a spiritual purpose. That purpose according to the Catholic is to honour Almighty God.
Going on Christian pilgrimage from Nigeria connotes devotion and dedication to your belief without anyone compelling you. It means a lot to much Christian faithful. It is the easiest way of getting closer to one’s Creator. It’s always a special feeling reaching the foundation of your faith. This is how to perform Christian pilgrimage to Jerusalem from Nigeria.
There are 3 conventional ways to achieve the goal of reaching the holy land, provided you have the means:
- 1. TRAVELLING ALONE: By getting an international passport and applying for Italian or Israeli visa singlehandedly. Explaining clearly your willingness to undertake Christian pilgrimage to Rome or Jerusalem. Especially for experienced travellers.
The advantage of this system of arrangement is that the pilgrim will have freedom of movement according to his own free will, without any restrictions or gagging associated with group travel.
However, the other side of travelling alone could be weighty, expensive and maybe costly at the end.
- 2. THE GROUP TRAVEL OPTION: It is possible for a group of friends or church members to organise themselves in order to perform Christian pilgrimage to Jerusalem from Nigeria. All they need do is to prepare a group application on an official letter headed paper, and apply for a visa at the Israeli Embassy in Nigeria with their international passports and the required documents. The same process applies if Rome is included In their itinerary, the Italian Embassy in Nigeria must be informed.
- 3. THE THIRD OPTION IS TO FOLLOW THE NIGERIA CHRISTIAN PILGRIM COMMISSION
The third option is to surrender your freedom a little, by going with the Nigeria Christian Pilgrim Commission (NCPC). This is an organisation established by the Nigeria Government to see to the welfare of Nigerian would be Christian pilgrims. It is their function to make pilgrimage accessible, reachable and cheaper to Nigerian citizens. Going with them, a pilgrim is guaranteed smooth and affordable journey to the holy land of Vatican and Jerusalem thereby eliminating or reducing diplomatic embarrassment and waste associated with an uncoordinated individual arrangement. To enjoy that a pilgrim must play by the rules.
HOW TO PERFORM CHRISTIAN PILGRIMAGE TO JERUSALEM FROM NIGERIA
- The first step is to apply to the Nigerian Christian Pilgrim Commission in your locality by signifying your intention in performing Christian pilgrimage to the holy land.
- The second step is to choose the period of the year to perform the pilgrimage.
Please note that the NCPC organise Pilgrimage to Jerusalem two times in a year.
- EASTER PILGRIMAGE: Between March and April.
- THE GENERAL PILGRIMAGE: Between October and December
- 1. EASTER PILGRIMAGE: If you choose the Easter period you will definitely enjoy the middle eastern weather. Note that the Middle East is generally very hot all year round. But March to June offers bearable weather.
Secondly, the period coincides with the Good Friday Procession in Jerusalem. Also, you will experience a special celebration of Easter in the City of Bethlehem (the city of meat) in Palestine and the birthplace of Jesus.
Furthermore, the Sunrise Service at the Garden Tomb takes place during the Easter celebration.
- 2. THE GENERAL PILGRIMAGE: If you choose to go during the General Pilgrimage you will be there live to witness the way those in holy land celebrate Christmas. Commencing from Jerusalem to Bethlehem where Jesus was born, you have the opportunity of visiting the great Church of Nativity located at the Bethlehem city centre. Pay a visit to Nazaret where Jesus grew up.
It is a unique feeling which is difficult to describe, you will be glad to be among the few faithful presents in the city of peace -Jerusalem.
STILL ON HOW TO PERFORM CHRISTIAN PILGRIMAGE TO JERUSALEM FROM NIGERIA
Having equipped yourself with the basic knowledge of what the trip is all about, with the believed that you definitely know where you’re heading. The next step is to collect and complete the NCPC Application form.
- 1. Due to the comprehensive nature of the form, it is advisable to complete the process online. Or realistically, complete the form offline and append your signature.
- 2. Fill in all your particulars and complete all the declarations formality.
- 3. Attach the following documents:
- 1. An International passport with at least 3 months validity.
- 2. A recently acquired passport-sized photograph.
- 3. Present a letter of introduction each from two referees. Please note that one must be a pastor.
- 4. Submit a letter of the guarantor from a person who must be in good standing in the country. Such as High Court Judge, Senior Civil Servant, or an ordained church official.
(Please note that you must attach the photocopy of your guarantor’s international passport data page)
- 5. Pay an application processing fee of two thousand naira.
- 6. Be ready to go through a screening formality.
- 7. A married woman travelling alone needs a letter of consent from the husband, vice versa.
IMPORTANT PLACES TO VISIT ON YOUR PILGRIMAGE JOURNEY
As you’re making final preparations to leave for the holy land let’s remind you of some historical sites to visit:
- 1 BETHLEHEM: According to a BBC analysis Bethlehem enables Christians to share their faith with others around the world. Christians of different denominations are represented in Bethlehem.
- 2. NAZARETH: This is a place where Jesus grew up. Pilgrims have the opportunity of visiting and praying at Church of Annunciation and the Church of Saint Joseph where Joseph had his Carpentry workshop and have the opportunity of praying in the church.
- 3. JERUSALEM: This is the foundation and the main place to be. The historical places of interest include:
- (a) The Garden of Gethsemane – where Jesus did the last prayer before his arrest. It is a place to visit for contemplation and prayer.
- (b) Church of the Holy Sepulchre: The Church was built on the site of the crucifixion.
- (c) Via Dolorosa: This is believed to be the very path that Jesus carrying his cross.
- (d) Church of the Ascension.
- 4. THE SHRINE OF OUR LADY, WALSINGHAM: This place is in Nazareth. Where it is believed that the Angel Gabriel promised Mary that she would give birth to a son, Jesus.
- 5. The Garden Tomb: A must-see site especially with Evangelical and Protestant Christians.
- FINALLY, if you choose the option of following the Nigeria Christian Pilgrim Commission, the current total cost for the pilgrimage is Seven hundred and twenty-five thousand nairas (#725,000) and you will stay in the holy land for twelve days.
That’s all about, How To Perform Christian Pilgrimage To Jerusalem From Nigeria.
Have a wonderful pilgrimage.
Currently coronavirus pandemic is ravaging the world. Italy is badly affected. While the Middle East is equally vulnerable and affected, and it is unwise to go on Pilgrimage in the meantime, therefore, it is advisable to put you pilgrimage plan on hold, believing that everything will be alright in due course.
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