Kalendarium hierosolymitanum (7th–8th c.)

By means of the Kalendarium hierosolymitanum (Jerusalem Calendar) composed in the 7th and 8th centuries, it is possible to document the liturgical uses and the holidays that were celebrated in the different sanctuaries.

The document indicates that in Bethlehem the Solemnity of Christmas began with the Vigil on the 24th of December in which a pilgrimage was made to Shepherds’ Field. In addition to Christmas, also mentioned are the liturgical moments dedicated to the Holy Places in the immediate vicinity of the church.


24 December. Vigil of the Lord’s Nativity. The feast begins with the procession to the Shepherd’s Field located to the east of Bethlehem; at about the sixth hour in that same place Synaxis is celebrated and then, after returning to the Grotto of the Nativity, Vespers and the evening service with its Liturgy are held.

25 December. Solemn Synaxis in Bethlehem: Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

31 May.Dedication in Bethlehem [Church of the Nativity].

18 July. On the way to Bethlehem at the tomb of Rachel, whose memory…

13 August. On the way to Bethlehem, at the third milestone, at the Kathisma in the hamlet of Bethebre, in the church of the Theotokos, Dedication.

3 December. On the way to Bethlehem, at the third milestone, at the Kathisma church, Dedication.

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