Source: Stillwater News Press
May 21, 2017
Each year, thousands of Christians gather at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem to witness a miracle that sparks a flame of faith they share with believers around the world.
The members of St. Nino Equal to the Apostles Orthodox Christian Church in Stillwater are sharing in that miracle this year.
It begins in a unique church complex located in the Old City of Jerusalem that surrounds two of the holiest spots in Christianity: Golgotha, the hill where Jesus of Nazareth is said to have been crucified and the rock tomb where he was buried.
The site is shared by the Greek Orthodox, Armenian Apostolic, Roman Catholic, Coptic Orthodox, Ethiopian Orthodox and Syrian Orthodox churches in a sometimes uneasy partnership.
The Holy Fire is said to appear miraculously in the tomb of the resurrected Jesus each year on the Saturday before Pascha or Easter, as celebrated according to the Orthodox calendar.
The Patriarch of Jerusalem, one of the leaders of the Eastern Orthodox Church, enters the tomb, prays and waits until the Holy Fire manifests itself on the stone where the body of Jesus was wrapped.
The faithful light candles from the flame to carry to their homes and churches. They say the flame doesn’t burn when you touch it for about the first 30 minutes and photos taken in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher show smiling people holding their faces and hands in the flame.
The flame then begins its journey around the world.
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