Occupied Jerusalem (QNN)- In an unprecedented view, a small group of Christian clergy celebrated on Saturday the Holy Fire ceremony at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in a near-empty Jerusalem.
Usually tens of thousands of pilgrims pack the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and surround the Edicule, the inner sanctum that houses the spot where tradition says Jesus was entombed and resurrected.
This year, no pilgrims attended as they stayed home due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Clergymen entered the Edicule, a chamber built on the site where Christians believe Jesus was buried two thousand years ago and rose from the dead after being crucified. Bells tolled above a near-empty church as the Greek Orthodox Patriarch, Theophilos III, emerged from the crypt carrying a candle lit by the flame. The source of the flame is a closely-guarded secret.
The ceremony was broadcast live to tens of thousands of Orthodox Christian believers around the world. Clergy from Greek Orthodox, Armenian, Coptic and Syriac churches were represented at the ceremony.