The Concentration of the Holy Fire struck the regulars: unusual details
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The Concentration of the Holy Fire struck the regulars: unusual details

The Concentration of the Holy Fire struck the regulars: unusual details

 

Masked priests, Arab youth on the street

 

So the next Descent of the Holy Fire happened – completely unlike everything that I had seen before. Eight times I watched this ceremony as part of the delegation of the Foundation of St. Andrew the First-Called – in a crowd of thousands of pilgrims standing close to each other in the walls of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. It was stuffy, crowded, noisy, exciting, sometimes just hard. But so empty and decency – never before. The plane with the Russian delegation, departing from Moscow on Saturday at 9.30 in the morning, was waiting for the Holy Fire on the airfield of Ben Gurion Airport.

 

The Concentration of the Holy Fire struck the regulars: unusual details

 

Usually, at 11 a.m., the now deserted square-yard in front of the Temple of the Resurrection turned into a raging sea, where human flows with the hard hand of the police of the Old City of Jerusalem were headed in the right direction. In the church walls, these streams spread evenly along the aisles and temple halls, stuffing tightly, like herring in a barrel. But unlike the herring, which does not jump in the barrel, the pilgrims periodically tried to break closer to the fence, where the view is better, creating human whirlpools and confusion. Today, online, I looked at the Temple from the inside with different eyes. The catholicon – the aisle of the Jerusalem Orthodox Patriarchate of the Greek Orthodox Church, where the Russian delegation was usually located – was visible in all its glory. Echoing marble vaults, images on the walls that the crowd managed to look at, only turning his neck … Yes, and the procession itself, led by the Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos, who because of a thousand heads is usually visible in snatches, thanks to the cameras, they were able to see almost closely. The whole process of vesting the Patriarch, his going inside the chapel, where the miracle of the descent of Fire takes place – is in full view … This time the procession was not very crowded: usually with the Patriarch a whole procession comes with the banners. Now there are only a few people: mandatory kawasas (guards in Turkish vestments) and several masked priests. Patriarch Theophilus himself was without a mask, so it is easily recognizable. But the representative of the Armenian Church, whose presence in the chapel of the Angel of the chapel of the Holy Sepulcher is an obligatory part of the ceremony, still put on a mask. thanks to the cameras, we were able to make out almost flush. The whole process of vesting the Patriarch, his going inside the chapel, where the miracle of the descent of Fire takes place – is in full view … This time the procession was not very crowded: usually with the Patriarch a whole procession comes with the banners. Now there are only a few people: mandatory kawasas (guards in Turkish vestments) and several masked priests. Patriarch Theophilus himself was without a mask, so it is easily recognizable. But the representative of the Armenian Church, whose presence in the chapel of the Angel of the chapel of the Holy Sepulcher is an obligatory part of the ceremony, still put on a mask. thanks to the cameras, we were able to make out almost flush.

 

The whole process of vesting the Patriarch, his going inside the chapel, where the miracle of the descent of Fire takes place – is in full view This time the procession was not very crowded: usually with the Patriarch a whole procession comes with the banners. Now there are only a few people: mandatory kawasas (guards in Turkish vestments) and several masked priests. Patriarch Theophilus himself was without a mask, so it is easily recognizable. But the representative of the Armenian Church, whose presence in the chapel of the Angel of the chapel of the Holy Sepulcher is an obligatory part of the ceremony, still put on a mask. usually with the Patriarch a whole procession with the banners comes to the temple. Now there are only a few people: mandatory kawasas (guards in Turkish vestments) and several masked priests. Patriarch Theophilus himself was without a mask, so it is easily recognizable. But the representative of the Armenian Church, whose presence in the chapel of the Angel of the chapel of the Holy Sepulcher is an obligatory part of the ceremony, still put on a mask. usually with the Patriarch a whole procession with the banners comes to the temple. Now there are only a few people: mandatory kawasas (guards in Turkish vestments) and several masked priests. Patriarch Theophilus himself was without a mask, so it is easily recognizable. But the representative of the Armenian Church, whose presence in the chapel of the Angel of the chapel of the Holy Sepulcher is an obligatory part of the ceremony, still put on a mask.

 

Arab youth, who usually used their chanting psalms to brighten up standing for many hours in the temple, were not allowed inside this time. But the ceremony was observed: about a dozen of their representatives crowded in the courtyard, under the walls, shouting their fervent psalms, waving huge Easter bundles of 33 candles – according to the number of earthly years of Christ. The wait did not last long – after a 10-minute prayer by Patriarch Theophilus on the Holy Sepulcher, fire began to sparkle in the windows of Kuvukliya. Blazing bundles of candles were passed through the window to the priest of the Patriarchate. The bell struck … Usually this moment was accompanied in the Temple of the Resurrection by a polyphonic cry, after which for several seconds the whole space was filled with light – the fire jumped from bundle to bundle, people cried, washed themselves with fire, hugged.

After that, the ligaments with fire were delivered to the Jaffa gate of the Old City, where diplomatic representatives of the countries that had sent their planes behind the Holy Fire were waiting for him. The Russian delegation will be lucky with the ambassador of Russia to Israel Anatoly Viktorov. Accompanied by the Israeli police, a diplomatic mission vehicle will drop into the airfield and pass the “wonderful light” on board the plane, where a small delegation of the Andrew the First-Called Foundation is already waiting for it, after which the liner will deliver it to Moscow.

They say that this year the Fire Convergence ceremony refers us to the history of two thousand years ago, when on Great Saturday to the cave where Christ was taken from the Cross, only a few of his disciples and followers appeared. However, to be honest, it is precisely that spirit of Great Saturday, when thousands of believers nervously wait in the walls of the temple for many hours in the cramped and stuffy atmosphere of the minute when the bell strikes and the arches tremble with enthusiastic cries, and then the fire spreads like a wave throughout the space, washing and purifying , taking away sorrows and sorrows, this time I did not have enough. But the Fire came down, which means next year, everything can again be different.

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The Concentration of the Holy Fire struck the regulars: unusual details
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