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James Monti, The Week of Salvation
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Moslem who visited the Holy City in 926 mentions it:

The Christian assemble for this festival from out all hints. For on it the fire from heaven doth descend among them and they kindle therefrom the candles… the fire is produced by a clever artifice, winch is kept a great secret.

The most important liturgical work describing the Jerusalem Easter liturgy at this stage of its development is the Typicon of the Anastasis (Hagious Stauros 43), a manuscript dating from 1122 but probably reflecting tenth-century usage. In it we find that the Service of Light was no longer held at the very beginning of the Easter Vigil; instead it was conducted following the Old Testament readings. First, the holy sepulchre as well as the site Golgotha and several other shrines were each censed three times. Then the patriarch of Jerusalem would prostrate himself nine times (in three triple prostrations) before the holy sepulchre, and upon entering it, engaged in three more triple prostrations. The door to The tomb having been shut, the patriarch prays for forgiveness of his own sins and those of the people, while the Kyrie eleison ("Lord, have mercy") is chanted, Finally he reemerges with the new Easter fire, which is subsequently passed to the candles of all the faithful. 141 Several other interesting details of the ceremony can be gleaned from the various pilgrims accounts of the "holy fire." Arethas, a Metropolitan of the Cappadocian city of Caesarea (in what is now eastern Turkey), writing in the early tenth century, mentions that there was a preliminary sealing of the doors of the holy sepulchre by the Moslem Emir of Jerusalem, who evidently served as an objective witness to the miracle. Arethas also mentions that all the lights in the Holy City were extinguished, undoubtedly in anticipation of the coming of the new Easter flame. Both Arethas and Bernardus (ca. 870) testify that the people brought the taster fire home with them in order to kindle their own lamps.142

The Jerusalem ceremony of the Easter fire has continued to the present day; it is now conducted by the Greek Orthodox Patriarch. In the day of the Russian czars prior to World War I the flame was carried from Jerusalem and taken by boat lo the Ukrainian city of Odessa, from which it was then spread throughout Russia.143

Cited: James Monti, The Week of Salvation - 1993 - 448 p. P. 373.

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