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Thousands of pilgrims to the tomb of our Savior Jesus Christ have witnessed and received the Holy Light in Jerusalem today, April 11th 2015. The Holy Fire came down at 14:15 local time. The Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos the III together with hierarchy, priests and faithful surrounded in procession thrice the Holy Sepulcher. While they chanted “Oh Joyful Light”, the Patriarch undressed of his vestments, and after allowing himself to be searched by the police to prove that he is not carrying any device that can light up any candle inside the Holy Tomb, he entered into the Holy Sepulchre, and keeled before the marble slab covering the tomb, where an unlit candle and a prayer booklet for the invocation of the Holy Fire were waiting for him.

The Patriarch came out of the Holy Sepulchre caring the Holy Light and sharing it with the priests and the faithful that were waiting outside the Holy Sepulcher.

CHRIST IS RISEN!

The Holy Light is not simply a miracle. It is the wonder of wonders

Patriarch Irenaeus the Ist was ordained a deacon in Jerusalem in 1969 and held the patriarchal seat between 2001 and 2005. In a discourse we had in June 2009, he described very clearly those moments he lived as a patriarh during the ceremony of the Holy Light. The most important part of the dialogue that we had, is as follows:

– Your Beatitude, does the miracle take place after you finish reading the special prayer (the prayer for the invocation of the Holy Light) or during the prayer?

– Sometimes while I’m still saying the prayer.

– What happens in that moment?

– Suddenly, the entire tomb is filled with light. It is a pale blue light. It is a very moving moment, you lose yourself… It is a blue flame that fly and fills the entire Tomb … It is not easy to express it in words.

– How do the candle bundles you hold in your hands lit up?

– The moment I extol the four bundles of 33 candles each, they immediately ignite from the blue flame that spreads through the air. After few minutes the blue flame becomes a ordinary yellow flame.

– It is true that in those moments the Holy Fire does not burn?

– Indeed!. The Holy Fire does not burn at all in those first moments. During the time I attended the ceremony as a patriarch, no hair from my beard was ever burned. Unfortunately, there are those who mock this wonder. Among them are some with cassocks. As the iconoclasts once existed, so today we have the aghiofotomahii (those that fight against the Holy Fire). May God grant them repentance to cease to blaspheme against it. The Holy Light is not simply a miracle. It is the wonder of wonders.

From Haralambos K. Skarlakidis, The Holy Light. The miracle of Holy Saturday at the Tomb of Christ

icoana de Ioan Popa

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In the ancient times, it was customary for the hermit’ monks who during Great Lent withdrew in the desert to fully dedicate themselves to prayer, to meet again on Palm Sunday at their hermitage in the Church to celebrate together the Passion Week and the Resurrection of our Lord. In memory of this old tradition on the eve of Palm Sunday at Vespers it is sung: Today the grace of the Holy Spirit gathered us together, and taking Thy cross, we sing: “Blessed is He that cometh in the Name of the Lord, Hosanna in the highest!’ The byzantine choir: ,,Tropos” sings the idiom ,,Today the Grace of the Holy Spirit”, melos by Pétros Filanthídis, in the 6th tone:

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