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April 23: Paschal Greetings

Dear Friends of St. George Taybeh,

"Come ye and receive light from the unwaning Light and glorify Christ, Who arose from the dead."

Christ is Risen! Truly He is Risen!

On this Great and Holy Saturday we have just celebrated the Miracle of the Holy Fire from the Life Giving Tomb of Christ which appeared approximately at two in the afternoon local time in Jerusalem. Huge celebrations took place in Ramallah with over ten Scout groups both Christian and Muslim where my husband as Mayor of Taybeh and I went to wait for the Holy fire joining the Mayor of Ramallah, Jannette Michael, a faithful Orthodox Christian. The local protocol calls for the Ramallah governor to be present and as a Muslim woman, Dr. Laila Ghanam was holding the flame from the Miracle of the Holy Fire in respect to our Christian traditions marching in the streets of Ramallah. It was a great honor for the first time in the Holy Fire celebrations to have His Excellency the Prime Minister of Palestine, Dr. Salam Fayyad join the entire Christian community with other ministers from the Palestinian Parliament and on behalf of the President of Palestine, Mahmoud Abbas. This amazing day reflects a great hope for our Christian presence in the Holy Land. At about 5:30 pm the Light of Christ reached our village of Taybeh and we placed it on the altar of St. George Orthodox Church following a beautiful ecumenical procession of chanting and more scout groups. Truly the Lord is Risen!

May you always be guided by the True Light of Christ that we witnessed on this holy day.

With sincere wishes for a most blessed Holy Pascha to all of you, Maria