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Author Topic: Pascha in the West Bank  (Read 1055 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: April 19, 2012, 02:10:08 PM »

For Christians of the West Bank, the appearance of the Holy Fire is one of the key elements of anticipation of Pascha. Raja Shehadah wrote about it for the New York Times.

From the article:
Quote
For 1,200 years, every Great Saturday, the Greek Patriarch has awaited the light in a small dark chamber of the church. After a time he emerges with a candle and reassures the gathered throngs that the miracle has occurred again. That flame is used to light many candles, which are then transported to Christian towns throughout Palestine and placed in churches. Some people take the light home and try to keep it flickering throughout the year.
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« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2012, 03:18:45 PM »

Phosphorus anyone?
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« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2012, 04:34:11 PM »

Phosphorus anyone?

We worship a Man who raised himself from the dead, we venerate Apostles whose hankies healed the sick, we laud a Woman who disappeared from her coffin and was assumed into heaven....and we are skeptical about the holy fire? Surely it's not too outlandish?

Somebody should have warned Saint Tounom, that he need not have died over phosphorus.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2012, 04:43:53 PM by age234 » Logged
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« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2012, 11:03:20 PM »

For Christians of the West Bank, the appearance of the Holy Fire is one of the key elements of anticipation of Pascha. Raja Shehadah wrote about it for the New York Times.

From the article:
Quote
For 1,200 years, every Great Saturday, the Greek Patriarch has awaited the light in a small dark chamber of the church. After a time he emerges with a candle and reassures the gathered throngs that the miracle has occurred again. That flame is used to light many candles, which are then transported to Christian towns throughout Palestine and placed in churches. Some people take the light home and try to keep it flickering throughout the year.

The Holy Fire  has been appearing for much more than one thousand two hundred years.  It seems the Greco/Romans didn't keep as many records as the Crusaders did.  There are loads of videos of the event, and it's an affirmation God gives us  of Christ's Resurrection and the light He gave to the world.  By the Flames mere existance,  it makes the  Muslim belief that Christ did not die on the Cross  and that He was not the Son of God null and void, as well as the beliefs Buddhists and others have  in reincarnation.

Here is an Arabic video showing the event from start to finish.  In it you'll see the traditional Turkish guards as well as the Israeli ones.   angel 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5-c8oMVIn_E&feature=related

Patriarch Diodoros of Jerusalem described the process of the coming down of the fire as follows:

I find my way through the darkness towards the inner chamber in which I fall on my knees. Here I say certain prayers that have been handed down to us through the centuries and, having said them, I wait. Sometimes I may wait a few minutes, but normally the miracle happens immediately after I have said the prayers. From the core of the very stone on which Jesus lay an indefinable light pours forth. It usually has a blue tint, but the color may change and take many different hues. It cannot be described in human terms. The light rises out of the stone as mist may rise out of a lake it almost looks as if the stone is covered by a moist cloud, but it is light.

This light each year behaves differently. Sometimes it covers just the stone, while other times it gives light to the whole sepulchre, so that people who stand outside the tomb and look into it will see it filled with light. The light does not burn. I have never had my beard burnt in all the 16 years I have been Patriarch in Jerusalem and have received the Holy Fire. The light is of a different consistency than normal fire that burns in an oil lamp.
 
At a certain point the light rises and forms a column in which the fire is of a different nature, so that I am able to light my candles from it. When I thus have received the flame on my candles, I go out and give the fire first to the Armenian Patriarch and then to the Coptic. Hereafter I give the flame to all people present in the Church."
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« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2012, 11:22:25 PM »

Christ our God told us that we would worship "in spirit and in truth" (John 4).

Is that the case with the "Holy Fire", or is it phosphorus?

Quote from Wikipedia:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holy_fire  source inserted -S1389

Quote
In 2005 in a live demonstration on Greek television, Michael Kalopoulos, author and historian of religion, dipped three candles in white phosphorus. The candles spontaneously ignited after approximately 20 minutes due to the self-ignition properties of white phosphorus when in contact with air. According to Kalopoulos' website:

If phosphorus is dissolved in an appropriate organic solvent, self-ignition is delayed until the solvent has almost completely evaporated. Repeated experiments showed that the ignition can be delayed for half an hour or more, depending on the density of the solution and the solvent employed.

Kalopoulos also points out that chemical reactions of this nature were well known in ancient times, quoting Strabo, who states "In Babylon there are two kinds of naphtha springs, a white and a black. The white naphtha is the one that ignites with fire." (Strabon Geographica 16.1.15.1-24) He further states that phosphorus was used by Chaldean magicians in the early fifth century BC, and by the ancient Greeks, in a way similar to its supposed use today by the Eastern Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem.[15]
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« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2012, 11:39:14 PM »

Phosphorus anyone?
If it were, the Muslims would have found that out long ago.

Though with all the fighting over it, and the Church, it would serve us right if it never came again.
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« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2012, 12:08:52 AM »

He further states that phosphorus was used by Chaldean magicians in the early fifth century BC, and by the ancient Greeks, in a way similar to its supposed use today by the Eastern Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem.[15]

The magicians of Pharaoh also turned water into blood, just like Moses. We can treat diseases with medicine, but some people are miraculously healed without it. Just because "miracles" can be faked or achieved in some non-divine way, does not mean they are.

I'm not saying the fire couldn't be faked with phosphorus, but I am saying there's no proof that it is, and I don't believe it is. Considering the miracles we espouse, sending down fire on Pascha is nothing.

Though with all the fighting over it, and the Church, it would serve us right if it never came again.

Sad but true. The annual mob is scandalous. As is the whole territorial situation in that church.
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« Reply #7 on: April 20, 2012, 01:15:42 AM »

Don't forget that Israeli security searches His Beatitude, the Patriarch, to ensure that he does not have any incendiary materials on his person and the Endicule is cleaned in the morning for the same purpose.
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« Reply #8 on: April 20, 2012, 01:39:45 AM »

Don't forget that Israeli security searches His Beatitude, the Patriarch, to ensure that he does not have any incendiary materials on his person and the Endicule is cleaned in the morning for the same purpose.

But would Israeli security recognize candles dipped in white phosphorus? The easiest way to resolve this question would be for the security detail to surprise the Patriarch by having him switch the tapers he is carrying for clean ones brought by the security people right as he is entering the sepulcher.

I mean, the Holy Fire is nice and all. But I don't get why it is such a big deal. I've seen the videos, and the fire doesn't do anything really abnormal that I can see, and it would be a relatively simple fake.

I believe in the Holy Fire because I can't imagine how depressing it would be to be the Patriarch of Jerusalem and know that every year, I would be faking a high profile miracle for millions and be caught between having to expose the long and storied miracle of Holy Fire as a lie, or continuing to be a charlatan.

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« Reply #9 on: April 20, 2012, 02:55:07 AM »

There is no need to have anything additional on you for the phosphorus method. In fact, you dip the torch into the mixture of solvent and phosphorus, and then you appear at the controls with nothing but the torch.
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« Reply #10 on: April 20, 2012, 09:16:37 AM »

To the Faithful there is no doubt

To the Doubtful there is no proof enough.
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« Reply #11 on: April 20, 2012, 09:46:40 AM »

There is no need to have anything additional on you for the phosphorus method. In fact, you dip the torch into the mixture of solvent and phosphorus, and then you appear at the controls with nothing but the torch.

Except that you would need the phosporus additionally on you, since they searched the tomb thoroughly to make sure nothing else like phosphorus is in there. 
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« Reply #12 on: April 20, 2012, 10:29:26 AM »

There is no need to have anything additional on you for the phosphorus method. In fact, you dip the torch into the mixture of solvent and phosphorus, and then you appear at the controls with nothing but the torch.

The problem with this theory is that phosphorus burns extremely hot. One of the miracles of Holy Fire is that is does not burn. You can keep your hand in the fire and even rub the fire in your beard and nothing will happen. Would love to hear your phosphorus explanation for that?
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« Reply #13 on: April 20, 2012, 11:13:09 AM »

There is no need to have anything additional on you for the phosphorus method. In fact, you dip the torch into the mixture of solvent and phosphorus, and then you appear at the controls with nothing but the torch.

The problem with this theory is that phosphorus burns extremely hot. One of the miracles of Holy Fire is that is does not burn. You can keep your hand in the fire and even rub the fire in your beard and nothing will happen. Would love to hear your phosphorus explanation for that?

I've never seen any evidence of the Holy Fire not burning or being hot in any video. I see flames which people quickly move their hands through without being burned, just like any other fire, and then acting astonished.
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« Reply #14 on: April 20, 2012, 01:09:47 PM »

There is no need to have anything additional on you for the phosphorus method. In fact, you dip the torch into the mixture of solvent and phosphorus, and then you appear at the controls with nothing but the torch.

The problem with this theory is that phosphorus burns extremely hot. One of the miracles of Holy Fire is that is does not burn. You can keep your hand in the fire and even rub the fire in your beard and nothing will happen. Would love to hear your phosphorus explanation for that?

I've never seen any evidence of the Holy Fire not burning or being hot in any video. I see flames which people quickly move their hands through without being burned, just like any other fire, and then acting astonished.

Keep looking; it's there.
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« Reply #15 on: April 20, 2012, 02:06:42 PM »

Don't forget that Israeli security searches His Beatitude, the Patriarch, to ensure that he does not have any incendiary materials on his person and the Endicule is cleaned in the morning for the same purpose.

But would Israeli security recognize candles dipped in white phosphorus?
I think the Zionists are aware of explosive components.

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« Reply #16 on: April 20, 2012, 02:12:55 PM »

To the Faithful there is no doubt

To the Doubtful there is no proof enough.

 Amen!
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« Reply #17 on: April 20, 2012, 02:58:23 PM »

Phosphorus anyone?

Quote
I've never seen any evidence of the Holy Fire not burning or being hot in any video. I see flames which people quickly move their hands through without being burned, just like any other fire, and then acting astonished.

Can this be explained with phosperous? Huh

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RaI2hXyg-fM&feature=related
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« Reply #18 on: April 20, 2012, 03:37:56 PM »

Phosphorus anyone?

Quote
I've never seen any evidence of the Holy Fire not burning or being hot in any video. I see flames which people quickly move their hands through without being burned, just like any other fire, and then acting astonished.

Can this be explained with phosphorus? Huh

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ari2hXyg-fM&feature=related

I'm shocked that Christians who profess to accept the Resurrection of Christ are not willing to accept the affirmation that is given to us by God of His Resurrection.  I can understand the annoyance of some when hearing Orthodox say it's proof that we're the correct faith,  since in reality faiths are only paths towards 'Theosis', and  only  as complete as the virtues within those  treading on them. 

That the Holy Fire appears only when the Patriarch who has apostolic succession prays is understandable, since our God is not a God of divisiveness and confusion.  To have the Holy Fire appear with prayers of others that do not have that succession, would be akin to having miracles appearing in Rome in an Orthodox Church rather than a Catholic one, or a Catholic one in Athens.  It certainly would cause a great deal of consternation to many believers...and that is not what a loving God would want.

Anyway the tension and stress that occurs before the appearance of the Holy Fire is a reflection of that which the Apostles felt before the Resurrection.  Everyone seems to calm down with  the appearance of the miraculous Fire when the peace of the Holy Spirit descends upon them.   angel
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« Reply #19 on: April 20, 2012, 04:00:32 PM »

Don't forget that Israeli security searches His Beatitude, the Patriarch, to ensure that he does not have any incendiary materials on his person and the Endicule is cleaned in the morning for the same purpose.

But would Israeli security recognize candles dipped in white phosphorus?
I think the Zionists are aware of explosive components.



What does that have to do with anything? I can recognize syphilis under a microscope and am aware of it. Doesn't necessarily mean I will be able to detect it in every scenario.
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« Reply #20 on: April 20, 2012, 04:02:46 PM »

Phosphorus anyone?

Quote
I've never seen any evidence of the Holy Fire not burning or being hot in any video. I see flames which people quickly move their hands through without being burned, just like any other fire, and then acting astonished.

Can this be explained with phosperous? Huh

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RaI2hXyg-fM&feature=related

Probably. I see people rapidly moving hands and faces through a flame.
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« Reply #21 on: April 20, 2012, 05:19:43 PM »

Don't forget that Israeli security searches His Beatitude, the Patriarch, to ensure that he does not have any incendiary materials on his person and the Endicule is cleaned in the morning for the same purpose.

But would Israeli security recognize candles dipped in white phosphorus?
I think the Zionists are aware of explosive components.



What does that have to do with anything? I can recognize syphilis under a microscope and am aware of it. Doesn't necessarily mean I will be able to detect it in every scenario.

Because, the authorities are well trained at looking for phosphorus in all situations, since it is used in terrorism. 
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« Reply #22 on: April 20, 2012, 08:25:23 PM »

Phosphorus anyone?

Quote
I've never seen any evidence of the Holy Fire not burning or being hot in any video. I see flames which people quickly move their hands through without being burned, just like any other fire, and then acting astonished.

Can this be explained with phosphorus? Huh

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RaI2hXyg-fM&feature=related

Probably. I see people rapidly moving hands and faces through a flame.

Then you don't believe God can do anything unless it can be understood by our finite mind? 

Anyway to go into it further, flames will sometimes light up simultaneously on peoples candles as well as on the candelabras.  Now if you believe that all of them are dipped in phosphorous and appear at exactly the same time as the Holy Fire,  then what can I say?  Roll Eyes

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« Reply #23 on: April 20, 2012, 08:35:58 PM »

Phosphorus anyone?

Quote
I've never seen any evidence of the Holy Fire not burning or being hot in any video. I see flames which people quickly move their hands through without being burned, just like any other fire, and then acting astonished.

Can this be explained with phosphorus? Huh

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RaI2hXyg-fM&feature=related

Probably. I see people rapidly moving hands and faces through a flame.

Then you don't believe God can do anything unless it can be understood by our finite mind? 

Anyway to go into it further, flames will sometimes light up simultaneously on peoples candles as well as on the candelabras.  Now if you believe that all of them are dipped in phosphorous and appear at exactly the same time as the Holy Fire,  then what can I say?  Roll Eyes



I don't think you saw the last video I posted, the nun is literally washing her face with the flames.   If you want to try it with an ordinary flame, then be my guest.     Wink
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« Reply #24 on: April 20, 2012, 09:27:32 PM »

Phosphorus anyone?

Quote
I've never seen any evidence of the Holy Fire not burning or being hot in any video. I see flames which people quickly move their hands through without being burned, just like any other fire, and then acting astonished.

Can this be explained with phosphorus? Huh

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ari2hXyg-fM&feature=related

I'm shocked that Christians who profess to accept the Resurrection of Christ are not willing to accept the affirmation that is given to us by God of His Resurrection.  I can understand the annoyance of some when hearing Orthodox say it's proof that we're the correct faith,  since in reality faiths are only paths towards 'Theosis', and  only  as complete as the virtues within those  treading on them.  

That the Holy Fire appears only when the Patriarch who has apostolic succession prays is understandable, since our God is not a God of divisiveness and confusion.  To have the Holy Fire appear with prayers of others that do not have that succession, would be akin to having miracles appearing in Rome in an Orthodox Church rather than a Catholic one, or a Catholic one in Athens.  It certainly would cause a great deal of consternation to many believers...and that is not what a loving God would want.

Anyway the tension and stress that occurs before the appearance of the Holy Fire is a reflection of that which the Apostles felt before the Resurrection.  Everyone seems to calm down with  the appearance of the miraculous Fire when the peace of the Holy Spirit descends upon them.   angel


It is the "Miracle of the Holy Fire," an annual event which occurs the day before the Church's "Feast of Feasts," Holy Pascha---the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.  The Holy Fire only manifests itself to the 4th ranking chief hierarch of an Ancient Patriarchate of the Holy Orthodox Church.  How possibly can an Orthodox Christian question the validity of this event? Sometimes I fear our God given intellect gets in the way of our understanding of matters of faith.  "Phosphorus, palease!"

I apologize for seeming pompous; I am just one of the 270 million Orthodox Christians in today's world, a sinner, who does not practice my faith as I could and know I should.  However, attempting to guess at how the Church, this Holy and Ancient Patriarchate, concocts a phony manifestation of the "Light," is for the heathen, not for the "devout and Orthodox Christians," as we are referred to liturgically.
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« Reply #25 on: April 21, 2012, 01:58:50 AM »

Except that you would need the phosporus additionally on you, since they searched the tomb thoroughly to make sure nothing else like phosphorus is in there. 
It seems to me that he goes in with a torch. There is nothing that prevents him from dipping the torch in a mixture of phosphorus and solvent, before he even appears at the controls. And nothing would be found there except, well, the torch itself, which is the only thing he is allowed to bring with him.

The problem with this theory is that phosphorus burns extremely hot. One of the miracles of Holy Fire is that is does not burn. You can keep your hand in the fire and even rub the fire in your beard and nothing will happen. Would love to hear your phosphorus explanation for that?
"does not burn", is that true? I have not seen people do anything with the Holy Fire, which would not also be possible with any fire.


PS: If there was a proof of the ressurection, we wouldn't need to have faith. It is a philosophical/theological problem.

And if the Israelis wanted to find phosphorus, they would probably need to use special dogs.
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« Reply #26 on: April 21, 2012, 02:45:51 AM »

Phosphorus anyone?

Quote
I've never seen any evidence of the Holy Fire not burning or being hot in any video. I see flames which people quickly move their hands through without being burned, just like any other fire, and then acting astonished.

Can this be explained with phosphorus? Huh

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RaI2hXyg-fM&feature=related

Probably. I see people rapidly moving hands and faces through a flame.

Then you don't believe God can do anything unless it can be understood by our finite mind? 

What the heck are you talking about? Are you ignoring the post in which I specifically said I believed the holy fire was real, for some reason?

Anyway to go into it further, flames will sometimes light up simultaneously on peoples candles as well as on the candelabras.  Now if you believe that all of them are dipped in phosphorous and appear at exactly the same time as the Holy Fire,  then what can I say?  Roll Eyes


I have never seen any video evidence of candles spontaneously lighting.
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« Reply #27 on: April 21, 2012, 02:48:40 AM »

Phosphorus anyone?

Quote
I've never seen any evidence of the Holy Fire not burning or being hot in any video. I see flames which people quickly move their hands through without being burned, just like any other fire, and then acting astonished.

Can this be explained with phosphorus? Huh

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ari2hXyg-fM&feature=related

I'm shocked that Christians who profess to accept the Resurrection of Christ are not willing to accept the affirmation that is given to us by God of His Resurrection.  I can understand the annoyance of some when hearing Orthodox say it's proof that we're the correct faith,  since in reality faiths are only paths towards 'Theosis', and  only  as complete as the virtues within those  treading on them.  

That the Holy Fire appears only when the Patriarch who has apostolic succession prays is understandable, since our God is not a God of divisiveness and confusion.  To have the Holy Fire appear with prayers of others that do not have that succession, would be akin to having miracles appearing in Rome in an Orthodox Church rather than a Catholic one, or a Catholic one in Athens.  It certainly would cause a great deal of consternation to many believers...and that is not what a loving God would want.

Anyway the tension and stress that occurs before the appearance of the Holy Fire is a reflection of that which the Apostles felt before the Resurrection.  Everyone seems to calm down with  the appearance of the miraculous Fire when the peace of the Holy Spirit descends upon them.   angel


It is the "Miracle of the Holy Fire," an annual event which occurs the day before the Church's "Feast of Feasts," Holy Pascha---the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.  The Holy Fire only manifests itself to the 4th ranking chief hierarch of an Ancient Patriarchate of the Holy Orthodox Church.  How possibly can an Orthodox Christian question the validity of this event?

By not believing it unquestioningly. It is hard to explain such fundamentals of human cognition.

Sometimes I fear our God given intellect gets in the way of our understanding of matters of faith.  "Phosphorus, palease!"

I'm sorry some people understand chemistry and how it could conceivably be used to fake this phenomenon. But I doubt people will abandon education and our God-given critical thinking.

I apologize for seeming pompous; I am just one of the 270 million Orthodox Christians in today's world, a sinner, who does not practice my faith as I could and know I should.  However, attempting to guess at how the Church, this Holy and Ancient Patriarchate, concocts a phony manifestation of the "Light," is for the heathen, not for the "devout and Orthodox Christians," as we are referred to liturgically.

No, it is actually for people with brains and the inclination to use them. Just attempting to figure out how something could be faked isn't wrong by a long shot.
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« Reply #28 on: April 21, 2012, 09:26:11 AM »

What I'd be curious about is, out of all those people who have been to Pascha in Jerusalem over the years, has any come away and said, "well, the holy fire burned me"?
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« Reply #29 on: April 21, 2012, 10:31:43 AM »

Isn't it interesting that in the over 1,000 year documented history of the "Miracale of the Holy Fire," no one who was party to the scam of the use of "phosphorus" to ignite a fire upon the 33 candles held by His Beatitude, the Patriarch of Jerusalem, brilliantly detected and revealed here on "oc.net" in 2012, has ever revealed that the "Miracle of the Holy Fire" is a con job and how it is concocted?
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« Reply #30 on: April 21, 2012, 12:43:02 PM »

I apologize if I offended anyone, but I'm just stating my opinion on the Holy Fire.  First of all the people attending are not holding one candle, they are holding thirty or thirty three candles tied together and that creates quite a flame.  One can even say the greatest miracle is that the church hasn't caught on fire.

Now if I was God and as brilliant as God, and I wanted to affirm the Resurrection to a disbelieving populace, what better way to accomplish it than with a Holy Fire passing the light of the Resurrection  to the world?  Even if Christians didn't need this affirmation of their beliefs, it does destroy the Muslim belief that Christ did not die on the Cross and that He wasn't the Son of God, as well as the pagan beliefs of reincarnation that is so rampant today.

As for miracles perse, I'm totally indifferent  to them, (and believe me I have seen many),  since our mere existence is  the greatest of miracles.    I also believe in the satanic power of magic, so when something occurs it really should be judged it by the fruit it bears.  I do know of one American working in Israel that happened by chance to attend the Holy Fire service at the Church and because of it became an Orthodox nun.    That to me is good fruit.

Anyway as far as the light appearing on lanterns and people candles  at the same time that it appears on the Holy Sepulcher,  that is something that is said by people attending the service.  One has to take their word for it which shouldn't be too difficult, since it was the words as well as as the miracles of the saints that spread Christianity to a pagan world. angel

« Last Edit: April 21, 2012, 12:44:42 PM by Zenovia » Logged
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« Reply #31 on: April 21, 2012, 04:02:07 PM »

 Even if Christians didn't need this affirmation of their beliefs, it does destroy the Muslim belief that Christ did not die on the Cross and that He wasn't the Son of God, as well as the pagan beliefs of reincarnation that is so rampant today.
It doesn't. The Muslims have all heard about the fire thing, and there never were big waves of conversion from Islam (or Judaism) to Orthodox Christianity in Jerusalem.
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