A small group of Israeli tour guides met with some Church people in order to formulate a page with some simple instructions for the Israelis who visit churches on Christmas eve. We publish here the page:
Announcement to Israeli Tourists
Over the past years, Christmas Eve has become a focal point of attraction for thousands of curious Israelis who would like to view the events of the Christian holiday.
When visiting churches, the Israeli tourist should understand that s/he is a guest, allowed to enter a private space during a religious ceremony that is a tremendous personal, spiritual experience for the congregation of believers. It is not self evident that the presence of visitors be permitted on such occasions.
If you have entered a church during the prayer service, please take into consideration the faithful. Do not occupy the seats, especially those in the front of the church, but leave them free for the members of the congregation. Do not push to the front but rather stay at the back of the church.
Unsuitable behavior like: speaking, moving chairs, leaving the church before the prayer is over, taking photographs, activating mobile telephones, etc. disturbs the congregation in prayer and provokes distress for the person who has come to pray at a peak moment in the year.
Dear visitor, remember how the congregation might feel. Avoid behavior that might be considered disrespectful and insulting by your hosts, in their own home.
Dear visitor! Stop a moment and consider your behavior during your visit. You have the ability to influence things. Do so in a positive way!
Tour guides in Jerusalem
with the collaboration of
representatives of the Christian community
* Saint Savior's Church (the Latin parish church at New Gate) closes its doors to visitors during the Christmas eve services because there is not enough space in the church for the local community, whose right it is to be able to participate in the service on the holiday.