Choir Concert, Procession Welcome Christmas in the Holy Land

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NEW YORK -- Christmas in the Holy Land will feature observances in two cities of importance to Christians.

In Jerusalem, international choirs will perform classical, popular and folk songs of their native countries at the Jerusalem Theater on Dec. 25. To purchase tickets for the Jerusalem concert or for other details about holiday observances there, agents can call the ministry's InfoCenter at (888) 77-ISRAEL.

In Nazareth, 15,000 people are expected to attend celebrations that will begin with a parade at 3 p.m. on Dec. 24. Marchers will include local scout groups, religious leaders, government officials, choirs and orchestras. Tourists are invited to participate.

The procession will begin at the center of town and end at the Basilica of the Annunciation, where tradition holds that the angel Gabriel told Mary she would conceive a son and name him Jesus. Blessings will be offered there by the heads of the Greek Orthodox, Anglican and Latin churches, and the International Christmas Assembly will sing carols.

There will be a fireworks display at sundown, about 5:30 p.m., and a Mass in the Basilica at 7:30 p.m. On Dec. 27, local choirs and groups from Ukraine, Czechoslovakia, Greenland and the U.S. will sing liturgical compositions and carols at the Salesian Church, starting at 6:30 p.m. General information on events can be found on the Web, at http://www.goisrael.com.

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