The Holy Fire from the empty tomb of our resurrected Lord Jesus Christ in Jerusalem, was delivered to St Nino Equal to the Apostles Orthodox Church in Stillwater, OK, on Sunday morning, May 07, 2017 at 8:30am.
One handsome young altar server is shone here carrying the fire in front of him and that is also Holy Fire behind him.
The Holy Fire is a miracle that occurs every year at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem on Holy Saturday, the day preceding Pascha. It is considered by many to be the longest-attested annual miracle in the Christian world, the event has been documented consecutively since 1106. In many Orthodox countries around the world the event is televised live.
The ceremony begins at noon when the Patriarch of Jerusalem or another Orthodox Archbishop recites a specific prayer. The faithful gathered will then chant “Lord, have mercy” (Kyrie eleison in Greek) until the Holy Fire miraculously descends on a lamp of olive oil held by the patriarch while he is alone in the tomb chamber of Jesus Christ. The patriarch will then emerge from the tomb chamber, recite some prayers, and light either 33 or 12 candles to distribute to the faithful.
The Fire is also spontaneously lights other lamps and candles around the church. Pilgrims say the Holy Fire will not burn hair, faces, etc., in the first 33 minutes after it is ignited. Before entering the Lord’s Tomb, the patriarch or presiding archbishop is inspected by Israeli authorities to prove that he does not carry the technical means to light a fire.
If you are unfamiliar with the Holy Fire, you can learn more here:
and here: www.holyfire.org
How did the Holy Fire get to America?
The Holy Fire will be kept alive at several Orthodox parishes in Oklahoma in perpetuity.
For those who are skeptical of this manifestation of God’s Providence, please consider the following explanation by Fr. John Oliver:
THE HOLY FIRE: REALLY?
Is the miracle of the Holy Fire possible? It depends on what kind of God in whom one believes.
If the God in whom you believe used the bones of Elisha to restore a dead man to life (II Kings 13), and the handkerchiefs of Paul to heal the sick (Acts 19);
if your God opened the sky to drop bread (Exodus 16), and changed bread into His body (Matthew 26);
if your God used a rock to produce water (Exodus 17), and changed water into wine (John 2), and changed wine into His blood (Matthew 26);
if your God multiplied oil to save a widow (II Kings 4) and loaves and fishes to feed five thousand (Matthew 14);
if your God can cover a bush with fire without the bush being consumed (Exodus 3) and cover three young men with fire without the men being consumed (Daniel 3);
if your God took up residence in the womb of a young woman, even a virgin (Luke 2); and left the residence of a tomb, risen, having been dead three days (John 20);
in short, if your God used His material creation to communicate His spiritual glory, and overturned the order of nature when and where He willed, and if your God is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13),
then your God can use fire to remind us that there is a God and that miracles still happen. Today.