Holy Fire Descends in Jerusalem, Travels to Bulgaria on Holy SaturdaySociety | April 11, 2015, Saturday // 16:07| views
The Church of the Holy Sepulchre, where the Holy Fire descends upon Jerusalem on Easter. File photo
Huge crowds gathered at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem to witness the miraculous descent of the Holy Fire, which occurs on the day before the Orthodox Easter.
The church is believed to be built on the the site where Jesus was crucified, buried and resurrected.
The Holy Fire is considered a miracle, which occurs on Holy Saturday, the day preceding the Orthodox Easter.
The ceremony starts with a procession around the church after which all the candles are extinguished before the entrance of the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem, who carries several candles.
When the Patriarch emerges, the candles are believed to be ignited by a miraculous flame, which descends from above.
The Patriarch then lights the candles of the congregation, which will be then transported to Orthodox countries, including Bulgaria.
Both pilgrims and clergy claim that the Holy Fire does not burn them in the first moments after its descent.
According to beliefs, the failure of the Holy Fire to descend on Holy Saturday will signify the last day on Earth and the Second Coming.
The Holy Fire is expected to arrive at Sofia Airport in the evening with a flight conducted by the government Falcon plane.
It will be then handed over to all churches around the country for use in the midnight service, which will be attended by Bulgarians celebrating the Orthodox Easter.
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