Palestinian Traditions & Rituals - Holy Fire
Palestinian Chrisitians mark the Holy Fire cereomny in Ramallah , The Holy Fire (Arabic سبت النور) 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.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 by some to be where 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. 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. While the Patriarch is inside the chapel kneeling in front of the stone, there is darkness but far from silence outside. 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. Thousands of pilgrims as well as local Christians of all denominations gather in Jerusalem to partake and witness this annual event.The Holy Fire is taken to certain Orthodox countries, such as Greece, Bulgaria and Serbia by special flights, being received by church and state leaders.
Photo ID: 10APRIL04RML05
Author: Osama Silwadi
Osama Silwadi / Palestine Image Bank
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