Folder General: Receiving the Holy Fire in a Palestinian Village

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Receiving the Holy Fire in a Palestinian Village

By Maria C. Khoury, Ed.D.


“O Gladsome Light, of the Holy glory of the Immortal Father, heavenly Holy, blessed Jesus Christ!” (Holy Saturday Morning Prayers)


This is one of my most favorite days in the village. We have just celebrated the Miracle of the Holy Fire in Taybeh at the outskirts of our village approximately after 5 pm in the late afternoon on this Great and Holy Saturday while waiting since 2:10 pm local time when this great miracle occurred once again in Jerusalem.


The local priests, Fr. Daoud, Fr. Jack and Fr. Aziz, of all three churches with the choir chanting, and the Taybeh Scouts beating the drums marched again this year to meet our cousin Ibrahim with his twelve-year-old son Philip, who went to the city of Ramallah, where the faithful brought the flame from Jerusalem for the Palestinian Christian communities that cannot reach the Holy City. Ibrahim use to go to Jerusalem from the time he was a child to receive the Miracle of the Holy Fire. It has been a beautiful family tradition of participating in the greatest miracle of the Christian world that he is trying to pass to his son despite the Israeli occupation and permit restrictions. Today, all the residents of Taybeh, although we are less than 2,000 people, were in the streets for the ecumenical procession which was simply glorious and exciting.


The solemn and beautiful procession in our village ended at St. George Church, where Fr. Daoud placed the flame on the altar to await the faithful for the Resurrection service of Holy Pascha: “Come ye and receive light from the unwaning Light, and glorify Christ, Who arose from the dead.”


In the last few years during Great and Holy Saturday, I have delivered the same message from the Holy Land. But it has been a great spiritual joy to keep reminding friends about the miracle that appeared for the first time during the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Luke 24:4; Matthew 28:1-4) I am blessed to speak again about this magnificent miracle that is at the core of our Christian presence in the Holy Land: The Miracle of the Holy Fire received today by His Beatitude Theophilos III, Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem and broadcasted live on Palestine TV. (Yes, by the way we are recognized as a country by the UN and we have a national TV station, actually my personal friends also know we have a national beer, forgive me a sinner to mention this unrelated fact)


The brilliant ceremony is considered a miracle because there is no explanation for the way the Holy Fire appears from the Holy Life Giving Tomb of Christ actually coming down from Heaven. Many personal accounts have called the miracle “incredible” and similar to lighting. The Holy Fire at the moment is in flight to many surrounding countries that have less than three hour flights by private transportation including Cyprus, Greece, Russia, Romania. (on a private conversation this week while I was celebrating South African Freedom Day,

I was told the President of Cyprus will be celebrating the Holy Pascha in Jerusalem.)


The Christian community witnessed the True Light of Christ by receiving the Holy Fire today so that all who are not living in the land of Christ’s Holy Resurrection can believe that Christ is “the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world” (John 1:9).


It is so difficult this year to wish everyone a blessed and glorious holy Pascha without praying for the healing of all those who have suffered tragic loss in Boston, daily in Syria, and for over 60 years in Palestine. May our Risen Lord who has had victory over death have mercy on those suffering in different places of the world! May the peace of Christ and the knowledge that our Lord offers everlasting life continue to bring us joy and give us hope. Christ is Risen! Truly He is Risen! Please accept my humble wishes for a glorious Holy Pascha from the Land of Christ’s Holy Resurrection!


For detail information on the Miracle of the Holy Fire view:

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