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Easter's Holy Fire lit in Jerusalem

Saturday, April 14, 2012 - 01:19

April 14 - Orthodox lighting of the Holy Fire ceremony takes place ahead of Easter Sunday. Katharine Jackson reports.

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Easter's Holy Fire ceremony begins with lights off inside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. The ancient church is built on the site where it is believed Jesus was crucified, buried...and later resurrected. Every year on Holy Saturday - the day before Orthodox Easter Sunday - it is considered the site of a miracle. Thousands crowd into the church carrying candles. At exactly 2 p.m. local time, worshippers believe a sun beam shines through a window in the church ceiling, lighting a lamp in Jesus' tomb with the "Holy Fire." The Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem lights candles with this flame, passing them to worshippers before he is carried out of the church to spread the Holy Fire to those outside. Soon after the ceremony, a lamp lit by the "Holy Fire" is brought to the West Bank town of Bethlehem, revered as the birthplace of Jesus. In earlier times, Orthodox Christians were thought to keep the flame lit, carrying it back to villages in Russia and Eastern Europe. Katharine Jackson reports.

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Easter's Holy Fire lit in Jerusalem

Saturday, April 14, 2012 - 01:19