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Christians in Bethlehem welcome Holy Fire the day before Easter

Saturday, April 11, 2015 - 01:09

The Holy Fire arrives in Bethlehem where Christians welcome it with marching bands and celebrations outside the Church of the Nativity. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).

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ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: Hundreds of Palestinian Christian worshippers celebrated Easter's Holy Fire ceremony on Saturday (April 11) in the West Bank city of Bethlehem. Parades in the streets took place with the arrival of the Holy Fire, which arrived in Bethlehem from Jerusalem after a ceremony at the Holy Sepulchre Church in the Old City of Jerusalem The Holy Fire is considered a miracle and occurs every year on Holy Saturday, the day preceding Easter Sunday. Hundreds of worshippers packed the narrow streets of Bethlehem, the believed birthplace of Jesus, waiting for the Holy Fire torch to arrive from Jerusalem. Earlier in the day, the Greek Orthodox Patriarch, Theophilos III, entered the small tomb structure thought to be where Jesus was buried and resurrected in Jerusalem. Around 2 PM local time, a sunbeam is believed to shine through the window in the ceiling of the church and light a lamp placed in the tomb. The Patriarch then lights a few candles with the Holy Fire, and passes them on to worshippers inside the church. Traditionally, an olive lamp lit by the "Holy Fire" is transferred soon after the ceremony to the West Bank town of Bethlehem, and other Christian cities and villages. In past centuries, worshippers were expected to bring the flame back to their villages around Russia and Eastern Europe.

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Christians in Bethlehem welcome Holy Fire the day before Easter

Saturday, April 11, 2015 - 01:09