Jerusalem, April 23, 2022
The Holy Fire has descended in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, as seen on the Studio Sami livestream.
The Holy Light descended at about 2:31 PM (7:31 AM Eastern Standard time).
It appeared in the edicule (the small chapel built over the burial place of Christ) after the Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem, Theophilos III, entered there at 2:25 PM (7:25 AM) to patiently pray and wait.
After the Fire’s descent, the Patriarch passed the holy gift to the faithful who lit from it their bundles of 33 candles, per the age of Christ at the time of His Crucifixion and Resurrection.
The descent of the Light was preceded by a complex ceremony: The doors of the Sepulchre were sealed with a large wax seal as a sign that its inspection had finished, and in it was found nothing that would allow the Patriarch of Jerusalem to light the Fire by any ordinary means.
Shortly before the arrival of Patriarch Theophilos, the seal was removed from the door of the edicule, and a large lampada and 33 candles were carried into the Tomb. Then the Patriarch entered and began to wait. Those present continually prayed for the granting of the Fire until the time of its appearing.
Attendance at the Holy Fire service was severely restricted the past two years due to COVID. This year, the Israeli police tried to restrict attendance after a crowd of people trampled dozens of people at a Jewish holiday last year, though the Jerusalem Patriarchate rejected the restrictions and opened the Church to thousands of pilgrims.