Easter in Jerusalem
Jerusalem is known to be the holy land and the home of the three main religions. For Christians, it is the place where Jesus Christ was crucified. On Ester period, Jerusalem fills with thousands of Christian pilgrims who come from different countries in the world. During Easter, the church of the Holy Sepulcher gets very busy with Christian Orthodox and Catholics who attend the several masses that take place during that time of the year. Despite the difficult political and religious situation in the country, people still celebrate Easter together and walk in the beautiful streets of Jerusalem.
A day before Easter Sunday, all the Christian Orthodox as well as thee pilgrims who come from all over the world celebrate the ceremony of the Holy Fire on Saturday noon. Two high ranking clergymen enter the Holy Sepulcher church having all the lights turned off. Thousands of people attend the ceremony that takes place in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in the Old city of Jerusalem.
Due to their religious beliefs, thousands of Christians gather at the church in order to wait for the miraculous lighting to come out of Jesus’ tomb. The miraculous light comes out around 1-2 PM, and people start passing the Holy flame to each other’s candles. By the time the light comes out, the excitement and happiness of the amazing crowds runs high, and people start singing and playing some traditional instruments in order to welcome the Holy flame to life. Once the flame is out of the tomb in the Holy Sepulcher church, it is relayed on to numerous different churches all over the world in special lamps that keep the flame lighting and in a safe place.
In Jerusalem, most of the time, the Christian Orthodox celebrate Easter Sunday on a different day than Christian Catholics. Each church follows a different calendar and this is why they both usually separate it on a different date.
This beautiful religious occasion is an important event to all of the Christians around the world. Many Christians especially old people are not able to travel a long distance and walk with the crowds in Jerusalem, and that is why it is very important for the TV channels to broadcast it so that Christians over the world can feel it live and enjoy the enthusiasm of the Holy occasion.
Many people in the world do not believe that the Holy flame really comes out of the tomb. Many Christians believe that the high clergymen light it up and send it to the crowds. Despite the thought of how people see it, Christians all over the world still believe that the Holy flame represents the rising of Jesus Christ. For Christian Orthodox and Christian Catholics, celebrating Easter Sunday at the Holy Sepulcher Church is considered to be a very blessed day. Numerous kinds of masses occur during the Easter period, and people love to attend them all to feel the beauty of the event. During the Easter period, people in Jerusalem say: “Al- Masih Qam! Hakan Qam!” meaning Christ is Risen! He is Risen Indeed!
By Georgina Abboud