Holy Fire has descended in Church of Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem

The Holy Fire has descended in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, as seen on the live stream on the Facebook page of the Jerusalem Patriarchate.

The Holy Light descended at about 2:15 PM.

A delegation of the Romanian Patriarchate, headed by His Grace Bishop Timotei of Prahova, will bring the Holy Fire to be distributed to every church across the country.

The Holy Fire appeared in the edicule (the small chapel built over the burial place of Christ) just a few minutes after the Orthodox patriarch of Jerusalem, Theophilos III, entered there to patiently pray and wait.

The edicule was newly-restored for the first time in centuries just in time for the Holy Fire service and Pascha last year, and was consecrated on March 22 last year after nine months of work.

After the fire’s descent, the Patriarch passed the holy gift to the faithful who lit from it their bundles of thirty-three candles, per the age of Christ at the time of His Crucifixion and Resurrection.

The descent of the fire was preceded by a complex ceremony: the doors of the sepulchre were sealed by with a large wax seal as a sign that its inspection had finished, and in it was found nothing that would allow the Patriarch of Jerusalem to light the fire by any ordinary means.

By this time the church was, as always, filled to overflowing with believers—both local Arab Orthodox and pilgrims from various countries.

Large groups of believers traditionally arrive to the Holy Land during these days from different countries. All came to supplicate the Lord to grant them the Holy Fire, which descends only upon the prayers of the Orthodox patriarch of Jerusalem.

Shortly before the arrival of Patriarch Theophilos the seal was removed from the door of the edicule, and a large lampada and thirty-three candles were carried into the tomb. Then the patriarch entered and began to wait. Those present continually prayed for the granting of the Fire until the time of its appearing.

Delegations from Local Orthodox Churches, including the Russian, Serbian, Greek, Bulgarian  will also take part in the ceremony and receive the Holy Fire to take it back to their own Churches.

English article: Orthochristian

Photo: Orthodoxy Cognate

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