Miracle of Holy Fire site mapBegining of the sectionMonk Theophanis. I Saw The Holy Light (a part of booklet)


From 10 O'clock in the morning of Orthodox Holy Saturday until 11 O'clock, a rigorous search for any instrument or device for igniting is made inside the Holy Sepulchre itself. Above this most Holy momument to Orthodoxy hang 43 golden vigil lights which are lit day and night.

13 blong to the Orthodox

13 belong to the Latins

13 belong to the Armenians

04 belong to the Coptic Monophysites

All of these lights form a golden curtain. They are like torchbearing Heavenly Orders suspended over the Tomb of Christ. Inside the Holy Sepulchre, at the last hour, only authorized representatives of the Armenians. the Latins, and the Copts, together with the Orthodox enter the tomb for the purpose to put out the 43 vigil lights. Precautions are taken to so that at no time, either by error or intentionally, a vigil remains lit or that anything suspect is present.

After a complete and thorough search is made in the Holy Sepulchre, a second and third search follows to make sure that neither a person nor anything forbidden, exists in the tomb. Only then do the inspectors come out. At that time, 11 O'clock, procedures for the sealing of the tomb are ready to begin. The blessed and softened beeswax now will be used to secure two white ribbons in the shape of an "X" over the door of the Holy Sepulchre.

After the wax has been put on the four ends of the ribbons, then the exact center where the ribbons cross, more wax will be deposited. Finally every point is to be stamped by the seal of the Orthodox Patriachate. After the sealing of the Tomb, a magnificant and majestic procession takes place three times around the Holy Sepulchre. In the lead are the Patriarchal banners, altar boys bearing candles, crosses, and emblems of six winged angels. The Patriarch follows with a host of priests in golden vestments. All around can be heard the chanting of Byzantine hymns with their sacred tones.

At the end of the third time around the Patriarch stands at the entrance of the Holy and Life Giving Sepluchre. Before all of the officials and the pilgrims, the patriarch is searched again by the vigilant attendents. Precisely at 12 O'clock noon on Holy Saturday the ribbons of the entrance are cut and the door is unsealed and opened. The Patriarch then enters first followed by the Armenian priest, who as an attendent, is there to observe every move the Patriarch makes and then to wait in the outer chamber. The Patriarch then proceeds into the inner Sanctuary to recieve the Holy Light. Suddenly there will be a brilliant light emanating from the tomb and the Patriarch will appear carrying a special bunch of 33 candles.

At times the light doesn't only emanate from the tomb itself but from the dome which looks like static electricity. Many people will be standing there and suddenly their candles will be ignited. For the first five minutes or so, the fire does not burn. I have a video showing people waving their lighted candls thru the hair and beards with out having them ignited, The crowd is shoulder to shoulder and all pandemonium breaks loose. Its a miracle that no ones clothes catch fire.


Cited: Monk Theophanis. I Saw The Holy Light (a part of booklet)

Miracle of Holy Fire site mapBegining of the sectionMonk Theophanis. I Saw The Holy Light (a part of booklet)