Let there be Light: Eastern Orthodox Christians light candles to represent the resurrection of Christ During Midnight Mass to Celebrate Easter

Let there be light: Eastern Orthodox Christians light candles to represent the resurrection of Christ during midnight mass to celebrate Easter

  • Thousands of Eastern Orthodox Christians packed into the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem 
  • The pilgrims were marking the Eastern Orthodox Easter in the Old City which is calculated on a different calendar 
  • During the ceremony, clerics enter the small chamber where it is claimed Jesus Christ was buried after Crucifixion
  • Following this weekend’s celebration, the Church is going to undergo a major refurbishment before next year 

Thousands of Christians have gathered in Jerusalem for an ancient fire ceremony that celebrates Jesus’ resurrection.

In a ritual dating back at least 1,200 years, they crowded on Saturday into the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, where Christian tradition holds that Jesus was crucified, buried and resurrected.

During the annual ceremony, top Eastern Orthodox clerics enter the Edicule, the small chamber marking the site of Jesus’ tomb.

Scroll down for video 

An Ethiopian boy holds candles during the Holy Fire ceremony at the Ethiopian section of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem

An Ethiopian boy holds candles during the Holy Fire ceremony at the Ethiopian section of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem

Macedonian Orthodox Christians hold candles as they take part in midnight Easter services at the Saint Jovan Bigorski monastery

Macedonian Orthodox Christians hold candles as they take part in midnight Easter services at the Saint Jovan Bigorski monastery, in Mavrovo, some 145 km west from the capital Skopje

Christian Orthodox worshippers hold up candles lit from the 'Holy Fire' as thousands gather in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem's Old City

Christian Orthodox worshippers hold up candles lit from the ‘Holy Fire’ as thousands gather in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem’s Old City

A child holds a candle next to eggs and "Kulich cakes", a traditional Russian Easter bread, placed for blessing during an Orthodox Easter service in Almaty, Kazakhstan

A child holds a candle next to eggs and ‘Kulich cakes’, a traditional Russian Easter bread, placed for blessing during an Orthodox Easter service in Almaty, Kazakhstan

The majority of the Christians in the Holy Land belong to the Orthodox faith but traditionally do not play a major part in the procession 

The majority of the Christians in the Holy Land belong to the Orthodox faith but traditionally do not play a major part in the procession

Ethiopian Orthodox worshippers dance during the Holy Fire ceremony at the Ethiopian section of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem's Old City 

Ethiopian Orthodox worshippers dance during the Holy Fire ceremony at the Ethiopian section of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem’s Old City

Patriarch Kirill (left) of Moscow and All Russia church and Vladimir Yakunin, chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Foundation of Apostle Andrew the First Called, light candles with Holy Fire delivered from Jerusalem during an Easter service at the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour

Patriarch Kirill (left) of Moscow and All Russia church and Vladimir Yakunin, chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Foundation of Apostle Andrew the First Called, light candles with Holy Fire delivered from Jerusalem during an Easter service at the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour

Christian Orthodox worshippers hold up candles lit from the ‘Holy Fire’ as thousands gather in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem’s Old City

Russian President Vladimir Putin (right), Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev (left) and his spouse Svetlana (centre) attend the Orthodox Easter holiday service in Moscow's Christ the Savior Cathedral, Russia

Russian President Vladimir Putin (right), Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev (left) and his spouse Svetlana (centre) attend the Orthodox Easter holiday service in Moscow’s Christ the Savior Cathedral, Russia

Russian President Vladimir Putin (right) and Russian Orthodox Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill attend Orthodox Easter celebrations

Russian President Vladimir Putin (right) and Russian Orthodox Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill attend Orthodox Easter celebrations

A member of the clergy throws petals to welcome the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem Metropolitan Theophilos (not pictured) as they walk towards the Church of the Holy Sepulchre to take part in the Easter Sunday mass procession

A member of the clergy throws petals to welcome the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem Metropolitan Theophilos (not pictured) as they walk towards the Church of the Holy Sepulchre to take part in the Easter Sunday mass procession

An Ethiopian Orthodox worshipper holds candles during the Holy Fire ceremony at the Ethiopian section of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem's Old City

An Ethiopian Orthodox worshipper holds candles during the Holy Fire ceremony at the Ethiopian section of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem’s Old City

An Orthodox Christian worshipper on the roof of the Tomb of Christ as the miracle of the Holy Fire occurs in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Jerusalem, Israel

An Orthodox Christian worshipper on the roof of the Tomb of Christ as the miracle of the Holy Fire occurs in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Jerusalem, Israel

Russian Orthodox nuns hold candles lit from the "Holy Fire" as thousands gather in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem

Russian Orthodox nuns hold candles lit from the ‘Holy Fire’ as thousands gather in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem

A Russian nun holds a candle with the Holy Fire from Jerusalem as she takes part in the Orthodox Easter holiday service in Moscow's Christ the Savior Cathedral, Russia

A Russian nun holds a candle with the Holy Fire from Jerusalem as she takes part in the Orthodox Easter holiday service in Moscow’s Christ the Savior Cathedral, Russia

Thousands of Eastern Orthodox Christians visited the Tomb of Christ, pictured, as part of the miracle of the Holy Fire in Jerusalem

Thousands of Eastern Orthodox Christians visited the Tomb of Christ, pictured, as part of the miracle of the Holy Fire in Jerusalem

Pilgrims made their way to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre to light their candles, who pass on the flame to those outside in the street

Pilgrims made their way to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre to light their candles, who pass on the flame to those outside in the street

The ceremony, which dates more than 1,200 years, marks the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ on the spot where he was buried

The ceremony, which dates more than 1,200 years, marks the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ on the spot where he was buried

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3567530/Burning-passion-Jerusalem-hosts-ancient-fire-ceremony-Eastern-Orthodox-Christians-celebrate-resurrection-Jesus.html#ixzz47UBX2c4o
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