Christians welcome Holy Fire
03. April 2010. | 21:30
Christians from all over the world are looking forward to the promising message of Christ's Resurrection.
In a pious climate, the Greek Orthodox patriarch, Theophilos III, entered the Holy Sepulchre in the early afternoon, recited special prayers and waited in the darkened church at Jesus's tomb for the Holy Fire to light an oil lamp.
The crowd numbered 7 thousand and included delegates from Russia.They are to bring fire from the Flame to the overnight Easter vigil in Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Saviour.
They are to bring fire from the Flame to the overnight Easter vigil in Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Saviour.
Greece welcomed Saturday afternoon the Holy Fire from Jerusalem with state honours. Upon its arrival by a special flight at the Athens International Airport, a large crowd of worshippers had been waiting at a specially designed place to attend the ceremony.
The Holy Fire was then transferred to all corners of Greece by special flights. It was also transferred to Alexandria, Egypt.
The Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem, Theophilos III, exited the Holy Sepulchre holding the Holy Fire and entered the packed church.
As soon as the Patriarch exited the Holy Sepulchre, the crowds of pilgrims that had packed the church started celebrating Christ's resurrection.
Patriarch Theophilos III wished for peace in Jerusalem and in the wider region. He also wished Greece could overcome the crisis it has plunged into.
"We wished the Holy Fire enlightened the leaders so that they are interested in peace in the region and in Jerusalem. We hope it will lead and enhance the political and intellectual leaders in Greece so that they can rid the country of the plague of corruption."
Part of the Holy Fire was brought to Bulgaria.
The Bulgarian delegation was attended by the Metropolitan of Plovdiv Nikolay, the Metropolitan of Veliko Tarnovo Grigorii and the Metropolitan of Lovech Gavrail. The Fire was brought to the building of the Holy Synod in the capital from where it will be taken to the St Alexander Nevski Temple for the night service.
The Metropolitan of the town of Plovdiv brought the Holy Fire at Plovdiv airport, Radio FOCUS Plovdiv reporter informs. He was accompanied by the Metropolitan of Veliko Tarnovo Grigorii. Hundreds of priests and clerics were waiting to take part of the Holy Fire and to bring it to their eparchies.
“We are happy we are part of this great holiday, to enlighten through the light of this holy fire, to bring this fire to light the candles of faith in our hearts and souls,” he added.
Then he greeted people over Easter and gave part of the Holy Fire.
I hope that part of the Holy Fire will “light” the faith in many hearts, said the suffragan of the Smolyan clerical region bishop Antonii for Radio FOCUS Plovdiv. According to him the bringing of the Holy Fire is an act of the great Gods mercy and clement to the Bulgarian Orthodox nation. This year, too, the Bulgarians will have the opportunity to touch the part of the Holy Fire from Jarusalem, bishop Antonii said.
The head of the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem, Patriarch Patriarch Theophilos III of Jerusalem, was heard at 2.00pm /Bulgarian time/ and the Holy Fire went down to the center of the rotunda of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Then the fire was spread among the Christians.
The congregations washed up their faces and heads with the Holy Fire because it is believed then the Fire will not burn you.