The Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem Monseigneur Beltritti, conducted Christmas midnight High Mass in the Catherine Church of Bethlehem, built over the grotto where, according to tradition, the Infant Jesus was born.
TV Patriarch Beltritti conducting Mass
SCU Nuns during Mass
SCU Choir boys
SV Patriarch gives blessing
MV Congregation (2 shots)
MV Patriarch blessing instruments of Communion (2 shots)
STV Mitre placed on Patriarch's head
MV Congregation & choir boys (2 shots)
MV Patriarch during Mass(2 shots)
SV Organ, balcony & lights PAN DOWN TO altar
Initials LD/BOB/SGM/0218 LD/BOB/SGM/0236
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Background: The Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem Monseigneur Beltritti, conducted Christmas midnight High Mass in the Catherine Church of Bethlehem, built over the grotto where, according to tradition, the Infant Jesus was born.
Pilgrims, diplomats, tourists and members of religious orders from all over the world had gathered for the solemn Pontifical Mass at the cradle of Christianity - but not everything was as peaceful as appeared within the confines of the Church, Only a few hours earlier Arab guerrillas once more marked their hostility against Israel's occupation of the West Bank of Jordan by hurling a grenade just south of Bethlehem. It was the first Christmas incident in the area for these years, but it underlined the continuing strife in the land. And, outside in Manger Square more than 2,000 people followed the service on a large television screen...while armed Israeli soldiers manned the rooftops facing the Church.
The Midnight Mass was the climax of the Christmas celebration in the town of Bethlehem.