In Pictures: Christians celebrate Holy Fire in Jerusalem

Thousands of Christian worshipers pack into Church of the Holy Sepulchre for lighting ceremony on Easter's eve.

By REUTERS
April 19, 2014 20:46
1 minute read.
Holy Fire

Worshippers take part in the Christian Orthodox Holy Fire ceremony at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem.. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

Thousands of Christian worshipers on Saturday celebrated Easter's Holy Fire ceremony at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem.

The Holy Fire is considered a miracle occurring every year on Holy Saturday, the day preceding Orthodox Easter Sunday.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


Thousands of worshipers packed into the ancient church, believed to be built on the site of Jesus' crucifixion, burial and resurrection.

The Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem, Theophilos III, entered the small tomb structure of Jesus at the Holy Sepulchre Church in the Old City of Jerusalem. At exactly 2 p.m. local time, a sun beam is believed to shine through the window in the ceiling of the church and light a lamp placed in the tomb.

Church lights are switched off and the silence of anticipation follows.

The Patriarch then lights a few candles with the holy fire, and passes them on to worshipers inside the church.

Seconds after the Orthodox patriarch reveals the Holy Fire, it is rapidly spread throughout the church as worshipers light each other's candles. The fire is then passed on to the worshipers who are waiting outside.



In past centuries, worshipers were expected to bring the flame back to their villages around Russia and Eastern Europe.

Traditionally, an olive lamp lit by the "Holy Fire" is transferred soon after the ceremony to the West Bank town of Bethlehem, revered as the birthplace of Jesus.

Related Content

Riot
August 31, 2014
Rioting resumes throughout east Jerusalem Saturday night

By DANIEL K. EISENBUD