RELIGION

Stunning Holy Fire Ritual Lights Up Orthodox Easter In Jerusalem (VIDEO)

04/11/2015 10:59 am ET

Orthodox Christians with candles and cell phones in hand crowded into Jerusalem's Church of the Holy Sepulchre on the Saturday before Orthodox Easter Sunday, which this year is celebrated one week after Christianity in the West.

The devout waited for religious leaders to emerge with the "Holy Fire," which, as the video above shows, quickly spread throughout the church. The fire is then taken on planes to Greece and other Orthodox Christian communities around the world.

According to AP, the ritual dates back at least 1,200 years, and is considered a miracle and a message to the faithful from heaven.

  • Holding Up Holy Fire
    Gali Tibbon/AFP/Getty Images
    Christian Orthodox worshipers hold up candles lit from the 'Holy Fire' as thousands gather in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem's Old City on April 11, 2015, during the Orthodox Easter ceremony of the 'Holy Fire.'
  • Candles Lit From Holy Fire
    Gali Tibbon/AFP/Getty Images
    The 'Holy Fire' ceremony has been celebrated in the same way for 11 centuries, and is marked by the appearance of 'sacred fire' in the two cavities on either side of the Holy Sepulchre.
  • Orthodox Easter Joy
    Gali Tibbon/AFP/Getty Images
    Christian Orthodox worshipers hold up candles lit from the 'Holy Fire' as thousands gather in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem's Old City on April 11, 2015, during the Orthodox Easter ceremony of the 'Holy Fire.'
  • Lighting Candles From The Holy Fire
    Thomas Coex/AFP/Getty Images
    Christian Orthodox worshipers light candles from the 'Holy Fire' as thousands gather in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
  • Holy Fire In Church Of The Holy Sepulchre
    Thomas Coex/AFP/Getty Images
    Christian Orthodox worshipers hold up candles lit from the 'Holy Fire' as thousands gather in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, traditionally believed to be built on the site where Jesus was crucified, buried and resurrected, in Jerusalem's Old City on April 11, 2015, during the Orthodox Easter ceremony of the 'Holy Fire.' The ceremony, celebrated in the same way for 11 centuries, is marked by the appearance of 'sacred fire' in the two cavities on either side of the Holy Sepulchre.
  • Orthodox Christians Light From Holy Fire
    Thomas Coex/AFP/Getty Images
    Christian Orthodox worshipers light candles from the 'Holy Fire' as thousands gather in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
  • Holy Fire on Easter
    Thomas Coex/AFP/Getty Images
    Christian Orthodox worshipers hold up candles lit from the 'Holy Fire' as thousands gather in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, traditionally believed to be built on the site where Jesus was crucified, buried and resurrected, in Jerusalem's Old City on April 11, 2015, during the Orthodox Easter ceremony of the 'Holy Fire.'
  • Candles Held High
    Thomas Coex/AFP/Getty Images
    Christian Orthodox worshipers hold up candles lit from the 'Holy Fire' as thousands gather in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
  • Full Hands and Hearts
    Thomas Coex/AFP/Getty Images
    Christian Orthodox worshipers hold up candles lit from the 'Holy Fire' as thousands gather in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem's Old City on April 11, 2015, during the Orthodox Easter ceremony of the 'Holy Fire.'
  • Holy Fire In Church of the Holy Sepulchre
    Thomas Coex/AFP/Getty Images
    Christian Orthodox worshipers hold up candles lit from the 'Holy Fire' as thousands gather in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem's Old City on April 11, 2015, during the Orthodox Easter ceremony of the 'Holy Fire.'
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