Holy Fire Has Descended in Church of Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem

The Holy Fire has descended in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, as seen on the live stream on the Facebook page of the Jerusalem Patriarchate and on RIA-Novosti.

The Holy Light descended at about 2:20 PM (7:20 AM Eastern Standard time).

The Holy Fire appeared in the edicule (the small chapel built over the burial place of Christ) just a few minutes after the Orthodox patriarch of Jerusalem, Theophilos III, entered there to patiently pray and wait. The edicule was newly-restored for the first time in centuries just in time for the Holy Fire service and Pascha last year, and was consecrated on March 22 last year after nine months of work.

Iconography of Passion Week

Iconography of Passion Week
Iconography of Passion Week
Iconography of Passion Week
Iconography of Passion Week

Venerable Mary of Egypt

This Life of Our Venerable Mother Mary of Egypt was written down in the seventh century by Saint Sophronius, Patriarch of Jerusalem, some hundred years after the repose of the holy Mary, who fell asleep in the Lord April 1, 522. It is one of the most beautiful and edifying lives of a saint. Its obvious and stated purpose is to glorify God and to feed the souls of its readers. St. Sophronius lifts up the life of blessed Mary as a most wondrous example of repentance for all the faithful. Indeed, the Church has lifted up this life before all the faithful on the Fifth Sunday of the Great Fast, the Sunday before Palm Sunday. It is both a challenge and an inspiration to us. It shows us what a human being is capable of when she works with the all-powerful saving and forgiving grace of our all-loving God.

The Second Sunday of the Great Lent (Mark 2:1-12)

The Sunday of the Paralytic

By practicing Christian virtues we are trying to have a Christ-like life and to direct ourselves to God. Above anything else, lent is an exercise in overcoming all the obstacles in order to come before the Physician of our souls and bodies – Jesus Christ. Today’s Gospel teaches directly to this important point. This Bible story is about people’s faith and their effort to cross all the barriers to be in front of Christ.

What is the Triodion?

This is the Orthodox liturgical book that contains the variable portions of the Liturgy and other services for a particular period of the Orthodox ecclesiastical calendar. It begins on the fourth Sunday before the Great Lent, the Sunday of the Prodigal, and ends on Saturday of the Holy Week. Triodion is also called the period between the Sunday of the Publican andPharisee. The name derives from the fact that during the season the Canons contain only three odes instead of the usual nine. The canon is a series of nine hymns, ‘odes’ used at the Orthros (Matins). The nine odes vary so as to correspond with the theme of the particular feast. The introduction of canons is ascribed to St. Andrew of Crete. Other famous authors of Canons are Melodos, St. John Damascus, and St. Theodore the Studion.(Source: Bulletin of St. Nicholas Serbian Orthodox Church, Steelton, Pa.2010)