For the first time, the Christmas Eve mass at the Bethlehem site believed to be the birthplace of Jesus will be streamed live for people around the world to watch.
IPrayTv, a faith-based internet broadcast provider, is making the famous midnight mass on Christmas Eve at the Church of the Nativity available online on their Web site, at no cost. Streaming of the service will begin at 4:30 p.m. (EDT) on Christmas Eve and will be replayed throughout the following 48 hours to allow viewers to access the video in all time zones.
Another feed from Nativity Square will also be available along with the one within the church.
The famous Church of the Nativity is one of the oldest continuously operating churches in the world. It is built over the cave that tradition says is the birthplace of Christ, and is considered sacred by followers of Christianity.
Inside the church is the Grotto of the Nativity, an underground cave located beneath the basilica, where the site, believed to be where Jesus was born, lies. The exact spot of his birth is marked by a 14-point silver star set into the marble floor and surrounded by silver lamps. An altar is placed over the star.
"Since the [Web] site was launched two months ago, we've seen a strong desire among believers around the world to strengthen their connection with Israel and the Holy sites," said Mike Peros, founder and CEO of IPrayTV.
"All year the service can be a valuable tool to believer's world-wide. All the more so on Christmas, we are honored to help people build their connection to the true reason for the season from the Church of the Nativity," he said.
IPrayTV seeks to link ministries to Jerusalem and the Holy sites through its simulcast technology. It is the first provider of internet broadcast services to faith-based organizations linking ministries to the Holy sites through simulcast.
In the past, services have included streaming videos 24/7 from key Christian holy sites in Jerusalem including Calvary, Mount of Olives, the Eastern Gate, the City of David, and the city of Jerusalem. The site launched in October 2008.
On the Web: www.IPrayTV.com