The Holy Fire ignited in the Church of the Resurrection in Jerusalem. Patriarch Theophilos III of Jerusalem passed it to the people gathered in the Church including the delegation of the Foundation of St. Andrew the First-Called. The delegation delivered the sacred thing in special lampads to Moscow by a special charter flight.
Just before Patriarch Theophilos III of Jerusalem clad in an inner cassock entered the Edicule (the most sacred place – the chapel with the Holy Sepulcher located in the Church of the same name) where he was praying for Descent of the Holy Fire, all the candles and lamps in the Church were put out. Before entering the Edicule, according to the ancient ceremony, the clothes of Patriarch Theophilos III and the chapel were checked if there were any means for non-natural fire ignition.
The waiting period after Patriarch of Jerusalem enters the chapel always takes different time but in recent years as a rule it took not more than half an hour.
Believers standing in the crowded church were happy to see the Holy Fire and began to wash their faces with it (at first the Fire has a unique peculiarity – it doesn’t burn) and congratulated each other with the Easter. During celebrations the Church of the Holy Sepulcher is always full of Russian-speaking pilgrims from Russia, Ukraine and other countries. That is why one can often hear “Christ has risen” in Russian.
The delegation of the Foundation of St. Andrew the First-Called headed by Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Foundation Vladimir Yakunin and vicar of Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia bishop Theophylactus of Dmitrov delivered the Holy Fire by a special charter flight to Moscow airport “Vnukovo-1” and then it was delivered to the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour for the patriarchal Easter service.
This year the project called “The Holy Fire journey” is being launched: at the website http://www.благогонь.рф. Anyone will be able to check on-line the distribution of the Holy Fire from Moscow to Russian regions and other countries.