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Rev. Boyd from the United States together with the interfaith committee in Jerusalem last year instituted Christmas prayers at the Western Wall, holiest site of Judaism, as a sign of solidarity with the Jewish people. Wearing a skullcap as Jews do during prayer and at holy sites, Rev. Boyd addressed the group of Christmas pilgrims before placing, as is Jewish custom, a chit of paper with a wish, a prayer, into one of the niches of the Western Wall; together with a student of the Ecumenical Council Institute, he left his congregation, placed the chitty into one of the slots between the huge stones, left-vers of the Western Wall of the Second Temple and then said a silent prayer, as is Jewish custom - Rev. Boyd hopes to make this custom into a permanent institution.
Monsignor Beltritti, Patriarch of Jerusalem of the Latin Church, arrived at Bethlehem at 13.30hrs, at the end of a procession which started at the Latin Patriarchate in Jerusalem's Old City. In Manger Square his holiness was greeted by Mayor Freij of Bethlehem, notables of the surrounding towns and villages, the Military Governor of Bethlehem and Bethlehem Police commander and after donning his special cape and headcover the procession slowly moved into the Church and the route was lined by more than 1000 Arab scouts. Whilst security measures in Bethlehem were as stringent as ever, a much larger crowd than usual watched the procession. Priests and nuns, pilgrims and regular tourists and the local population in their thousands enjoyed the colourful ritual under a clear winter sun.
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