Stunning Holy Fire Ritual at the Tomb of Jesus in Jerusalem
07 April, 2018
Stunning Holy Fire Ritual at the Tomb of Jesus in Jerusalem
The annual ritual of Holy Fire has has been observed at the tomb of Jesus Christ in Jerusalem. According to the parishoners and pilgrims attending the ceremony, the Holy Fire has descended upon the Tomb of Jesus Christ at the Church of the Resurrection in Jerusalem today.

Thousands of Christians have gathered at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem for an ancient fire ceremony that celebrates Jesus' resurrection.

In a ritual dating back at least 1,200 years, Christians
flocked on Saturday into the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, where Christian tradition holds that Jesus was crucified, buried and resurrected.
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Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem Metropolitan Theophilos walks during Easter service

As reported, the divine light appeared at 15:17 PM on Saturday, and was passed from candle to candle around the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
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As reported, the divine light appeared at 15:17 PM on Saturday

The Holy Fire, expected by the parish that gathered around the sepulcher since morning, was brought out by Patriarch Theophilos III of Jerusalem. Thousands of believers have distributed the fire among themselves.
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A child holds a candle next to eggs and Kulich cakes

For more than 1,200 years the ritual of the Holy Fire has been performed in Jerusalem every Easter. According to the Christians, the flame "miraculously" appears at the darkened tomb of Jesus to symbolise the Resurrection.
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For more than 1,200 years the ritual of the Holy Fire has been performed in Jerusalem every Easter

In past centuries, the Holy Fire was carried from Jerusalem all through the Orthodox world.
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Ethiopian Orthodox worshippers dance during the Holy Fire ceremony

The Holy Fire is described by Orthodox Christians as a miracle that occurs every year at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem on Great Saturday, or Holy Saturday, the day preceding Orthodox Easter.
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The Holy Fire is described by Orthodox Christians as a miracle

Orthodox tradition holds that the Holy Fire happens annually on the day preceding Orthodox Easter, in which a blue light emanates within Jesus Christ's tomb (usually rising from the marble slab covering the stone bed believed to be that upon which Jesus' body was placed for burial) now in the Holy Sepulchre, which eventually forms a column containing a form of fire, from which candles are lit, which are then used to light the candles of the clergy and pilgrims in attendance.

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Holy Fire happens annually on the day preceding Orthodox Easter

The fire is also said to spontaneously light other lamps and candles around the church. Pilgrims and clergy claim that the Holy Fire does not burn them.
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The tomb of Jesus Christ

During the annual ceremony, top Eastern Orthodox clerics enter the Edicule, the small chamber marking the site of Jesus' tomb.
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An Ethiopian boy holds candles during the Holy Fire ceremony

While the Patriarch is inside the chapel kneeling in front of the stone, there is absolute silence inside the church. One hears a rather loud mumbling, and the atmosphere is very tense. When the Patriarch comes out with the two candles lit and shining brightly in the darkness, a roar of jubilation resounds in the Church.
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Pilgrims make their way to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre to light their candles

Thousands of pilgrims as well as local Christians gather in Jerusalem to take part and witness this annual event. The Holy Fire is taken to certain Orthodox countries, such as Greece, Georgia, Ukraine, etc by special flights, being received by church and state leaders.
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Thousands of pilgrims as well as local Christians gather in Jerusalem

As it is reported, the miracle took place for the first time in II century A.D. According to the legend, when the church wardens were about to fill the lamps to make them ready to celebrate the resurrection of Christ, they noticed that there was no more oil left to fill the lamps with. Upon this, Bishop Narcissus of Jerusalem ordered them to be filled with water. He then told the wardens to ignite them. Suddenly, before the eyes of all present, every single lamp burned as if filled with pure oil and the flames persisted for the entirety of the celebration.
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Ethiopian Orthodox Christian pilgrims hold candles during the procession of the Holy Fire

On Easter Sunday, Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ on the third day after his crucifixion. It also marks the end of the 40-day period of penance called Lent. Easter is considered to be the most important season of the Christian year. Christianity is one of the world's largest religions, with approximately two billion followers around the world.

Related stories:

Christian Orthodox World waiting for ascension of holy fire at Savior’s tomb

Holy Fire descends upon the Tomb of the Jesus in Jerusalem

Georgian inscriptions on the tomb of Jesus Christ and the Holy Land

Georgian Orthodox church marks Great Friday – What happened on this day?
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