THE CEREMONY OF THE HOLY LIGHT AT THE PATRIARCHATE
At noon of the Holy Saturday, the 7th/19th of April 2014, the ceremony of the Holy Light took place at the Patriarchate of Jerusalem in accordance with its typical order.
This particular ceremony ranks among the most emotive and significant held at the Patriarchate.
To officiate at the ceremony, His Beatitude Theophilos, Patriarch of Jerusalem, proceeded along St James’ steps, accompanied by Hagiotaphite Fathers, clerics from other Churches, the Greek Church delegation under the Most Reverend Georgios, Metropolitan of Thivae and Levadeia, and the Greek State delegation under His Eminence the Under-Secretary of the Interior, in order to receive the Holy Light.
His Beatitude entered the Holy Bema, followed by Armenian and Coptic clerics, who were to receive the Patriarch’s blessing.
There, His Beatitude was also greeted by missions from the Orthodox Churches of Russia, Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria, Cyprus and Poland, intended to receive the Holy Light.
The Church of the Resurrection was since the early morning hours replete with pilgrims.
Exiting the Holy Bema, His Beatitude blessed the Holy Entrance, upon which a procession began thrice around the Holy Sepulcher, amidst chanting of Resurrection troparia.
After the third procession, His Beatitude removed His attire and, wearing only the alb, entered the Aedicula and the interior of the Holy Sepulcher, followed by the Armenian cleric, who waited at the Angel’s Stone.
In prayer, His Beatitude offered the Holy Light to father Issa, the Arab-speaking Orthodox priest of St James. Running, the priest offered the light to the faithful waiting under the seven arches and in the Holy Bema.
Then, His Beatitude, holding candles, offered the light to the faithful from the gates of the Holy Aedicula. The faithful received the light with anticipation and enthusiasm, so that through it they would be blessed to approach the light of Christ’s Resurrection.
From the Secretariat-General