Thousands of Christians Gather for Holy Fire Ceremony

Thousands of Christians Gather for Holy Fire Ceremony

Thousands of Christians gathered at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem on Saturday in order to witness the Holy Fire that emerges from the tomb of Jesus Christ

The Holy Fire sparks inside the Edicule, a chapel built over the burial place of Jesus Christ. Following the fire's descent, Patriarch Theophilos III of Jerusalem passed the holy fire over to believers who lit their candles.

A Lebanese delegation brought the Holy Fire in a special capsule to Beirut on Saturday night.

According to Orthodox tradition, the stone on which Jesus was buried, in what is now the Sepulchre church, emits a light that bursts into flames initially cool enough to touch before turning scalding hot.

During the ceremony, the Greek Orthodox patriarch of Jerusalem enters the Edicule – the newly restored structure that encases the tomb – kneels before the light and then carries it out to the 10,000 expectant pilgrims who greet the appearance of the flames with expressions of joy and wonder.

Prior to the event, the Edicule is searched to ensure there are no lit flames.

Source: Kataeb.org and Agencies