For the first time in ten centuries, the traditional consecration ceremony of the Holy fire in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem was held in private without the pilgrims
Photo: Dmitry Brikman
Because of the quarantine coronavirus present in the Church were only about ten of the priests representing various Christian denominations
Photo: Dmitry Brikman
The events were watched by a small group of photojournalists and cameramen
Photo: Dmitry Brikman
For the first time in ten centuries, the traditional consecration ceremony of the Holy fire in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem was held behind closed doors and without pilgrims. Because of the quarantine coronavirus present in the Church were only about ten of the priests representing various Christian denominations. The events were watched by a small group of photojournalists and cameramen.
After appearance of fire in the Shrine, the chapel over the Sepulchre, the Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilus III gave it to the Ministers of the Greek Church and other clergy, and they lit from this fire bundles of 33 candles – earthly age of Christ.
Then the lamps with the Holy fire brought to the Jaffa gate of the Old town and handed over to representatives of diplomatic missions and funds, ensuring the delivery of the light to their country. Was attended by representatives of Russia, Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova, and Greece.
In Russia, a particle of the Holy fire will be delivered by the delegation of the Fund of St. Andrew, which arrived Saturday in tel Aviv with the blessing of Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia Kirill.
Due to the existing limitations of the traditional meeting of the Holy fire in the capital’s Vnukovo airport will not be the motorcade will bring him to the temple of Christ the Saviour for Easter service to be held without the congregation, reports TASS. The transfer of fire to other Russian churches will be possible only after the abolition of the regime of self-isolation.
This year law enforcement bodies of Israel would not only ensure the safety of all participants of the ceremony of the descent of the Holy fire, but also followed the strict observance of the rules of quarantine, reports NEWSru.co.il. In the Old city of Jerusalem this Saturday there are about 100 police posts installed at all gates. The police ensure that everyone who is in the Old town, was in protective masks and keep a distance of two meters.
Christians believe that the Holy fire miraculously appears, and if he did not come, this marks the coming end of the world. However, the priests themselves claim that there is no connection between the descent of the Holy fire and Armageddon is not. In the sacred texts, this relationship is not mentioned neither in the gospel nor in the revelation to John.
“We even have a large study by Professor of the Petersburg Academy of the assumption, long since deceased. During the Soviet era, after the war he made an extensive report on the subject. Analysis of liturgical tradition. It shows that there is nothing in the ancient sources. But the people believe, let’s indulge people’s tastes… And they’re like, well, all gone, then the Antichrist this year will not come. Well, not so…” – said in an interview to “Komsomolskaya Pravda” teacher of biblical archaeology, priest Alexander Timofeev.
He also confirmed that the fire ignited from the lamps, although cases of “self-kindling the lamps of the convergence” is also recorded. Earlier that Holy fire is man-made and not of divine origin, told Armenian priest Samuel Agoan.
“When a direct question is asked by the Jerusalem Patriarch or hierarchs of the Jerusalem Church who know about it, they are witnesses directly, they answer: no, we light the fire from the lamps. He [the Patriarch] comes back, there is already a lamp lit. It is not extinguished at the Tomb of Jesus ever. So no need to spread rumors that he take a lighter and so on. He doesn’t need a lighter. There is already a lamp. Then the priest takes the candles and distributes” – described procedure Timofeev.
He explained that the temple is a “normal rite of kindling the lamps”, and the believers and the clergy pray for the consecration of the fire. Same as Holy fire, is sanctified, for example, water on the Theophany or the oil for the sacrament of Holy unction. “That is sanctified by prayer – asking for the descent of the Holy spirit,” said the priest.
He also refuted claims that the Holy fire does not burn. “Those who were in Jerusalem, saying: it burns, more like. Just when the fast sweep – does not burn. Enough of these rumors spread. I can also say that it burns. People like that a miracle occurs. Here and supported one after another false rumor,” stated Alexander’s father.