Παρασκευή, 29 Απριλίου 2016

Bondage, faith and spiritual revolution in the Orthodox Holy Liturgy of Holy Saturday


"But if he will not, be it known to thee, O king, that we will not worship thy gods, nor adore the golden statue which thou hast set up"

We, Orthodox Christians, we were enslaved many times (for example, under the Ottoman Empire). The Orthodox Church, through its holy liturgies and feasts, helped us to stay free within our soul.

Orthodox Liturgy of Holy Saturday, Greece (from here)

Holy Saturday (from Orthodoxwiki)

The feast of Holy Saturday falls on the day before Pascha. It is also called The Great Sabbath since it is said that on this day Christ "rested" in the tomb, in death. But it is also believed that it was on this day he performed in spirit the Harrowing of Hell and raised up to Paradise those held captive there. Therefore, at the main liturgical celebration, a vesperal Divine Liturgy of St. Basil the Great, the hangings, altar cloths, and vestments are changed from black to white prior to the epistle reading.

Greek tradition

Morning Service—The Descent into Hades and Anticipation of the Resurrection—The Divine Liturgy of St. Basil the Great
The first service of Holy Saturday takes place in the morning and breaks the somber spell. Jesus' descent to Hades where He preached His message to the dead is celebrated. Those who believed in Him received eternal life and salvation. The heavy sorrow of Great Friday begins to lift when the priest, wearing bright vestments, chants, "Arise, O God, to the world," while sprinkling laurel leaves, bay leaves, and flower petals all over the church to symbolize the shattered gates and broken chains of hell. This is also to celebrate the triumph over death.

Hymns
 
Troparion (Tone 2)
When You did descend to death, O Life Immortal,
You did slay hell with the splendor of Your Godhead,
And when from the depths You did raise the dead,
All the Powers of Heaven cried out,
O Giver of Life, Christ our God, glory to You!
Kontakion (Tone 6)
He who shut in the depths is beheld dead,
Wrapped in fine linen and spices.
The Immortal One is laid in a tomb as a mortal man.
The women have come to anoint Him with myrrh,
Weeping bitterly and crying:
"This is the most blessed Sabbath
On which Christ has fallen asleep to rise on the third day!"
Prayer of the Three Holy Children (from Orthodoxwiki)

The Prayer of the Three Holy Children is a component of the biblical Book of Daniel. It is a segment of a larger component called The Prayer of Azariah and the Prayer of the Three Holy Children which. although part of the Septuagint text, is considered by Protestants as part of the Apocrypha rather than a fully canonical part of Scripture, and so appears in most English-language bibles as a seperate section. If included within the larger text of Daniel, it would appear in the third chapter of between verses 23 and 24.
In Orthodox Christian worship, the prayer is the basis of the seventh and eighth biblical canticles sung at Orthros. Although the text of the canticles are generally not read in contemporary practice, the hymns sung as part of the canon reference the theme of the Three Holy Children. At Vespers of Holy Saturday, the text of the prayer is heard as part of one of the fifteen Old Testament readings prescribed for that day. In Byzantine practice, the closing refrains to each verse "bless ye the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever" are chanted elaborately.
The song constitutes a hymn of thanksgiving to God for deliverence from the fiery furnace into which the three young men, Ananias, Azarias and Misael (also known as Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego) had been cast by the Persian king Nebuchadnezzar. They were cast into the furnace for refusing to worship a golden idol that Nebuchadnezzar had created. However, an Angel of the Lord entered the furnace and protected the three young men. In liturgical practice, the event is seen to presage the Resurrection of Christ, thus its inclusion in the canon.
The Abingdon Bible Handbook (ISBN 0687001692) suggests that the Prayer was based on an earlier composition and was added to the existing text of Daniel sometime in the second or first century B.C.

Usage by Other Christians

The Roman Catholic Church considers this text to be part of the deuterocanonical collection which was defined at the Council of Trent in 1546 as "sacred" and "canonical." The Book of Common Prayer of the Church of England includes the text as the canticle Benedicite omnia Opera.

Text  (from here)

1 King Nebuchadnezzar made a statue of gold, of sixty cubits high, and six cubits broad, and he set it up in the plain of Dura of the province of Babylon.
2 Then Nebuchadnezzar the king sent to call together the nobles, the magistrates, and the judges, the captains, the rulers, and governors, and all the chief men of the provinces, to come to the dedication of the statue which king Nebuchadnezzar had set up.
3 Then the nobles, the magistrates, and the judges, the captains, and rulers, and the great men that were placed in authority, and all the princes of the provinces, were gathered together to come to the dedication of the statue, which king Nebuchadnezzar had set up. And they stood before the statue which king Nebuchadnezzar had set up.
4 Then a herald cried with a strong voice: To you it is commanded, O nations, tribes, and languages:
Nebuchadnezzar II (from here)
5 That in the hour that you shall hear the sound of the trumpet, and of the flute, and of the harp, of the sackbut, and of the psaltery, and of the symphony, and of all kind of music; ye fall down and adore the golden statue which king Nebuchadnezzar hath set up.
6 But if any man shall not fall down and adore, he shall the same hour be cast into a furnace of burning fire.
7 Upon this therefore, at the time when all the people heard the sound of the trumpet, the flute, and the harp, of the sackbut, and the psaltery, of the symphony, and of all kind of music: all the nations, tribes, and languages fell down and adored the golden statue which king Nebuchadnezzar had set up. 8 And presently at that very time some Chaldeans came and accused the Jews,
9 And said to king Nebuchadnezzar: O king, live for ever:
10 Thou, O king, hast made a decree that every man that shall bear the sound of the trumpet, the flute, and the harp, of the sackbut, and the psaltery, of the symphony, and of all kind of music, shall prostrate himself, and adore the golden statue:
11 And that if any man shall not fall down and adore, he should be cast into a furnace of burning fire.
12 Now there are certain Jews whom thou hast set over the works of the province of Babylon, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednago: these men, O king, have slighted thy decree: they worship not thy gods, nor do they adore the golden statue which thou hast set up.
13 Then Nebuchadnezzar in fury, and in wrath, commanded that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednago should be brought: who immediately were brought before the king.
14 And Nebuchadnezzar the king spoke to them, and said: Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednago, that you do not worship my gods, nor adore the golden statue that I have set up?
15 Now therefore if you be ready at what hour soever you shall hear the sound of the trumpet, flute, harp, sackbut, and psaltery, and symphony, and of all kind of music, prostrate yourselves, and adore the statue which I have made: but if you do not adore, you shall be cast the same hour into the furnace of burning fire: and who is the God that shall deliver you out of my hand?
16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednago answered and said to king Nebuchadnezzar: We have no occasion to answer thee concerning this matter.
17 For behold our God, whom we worship, is able to save us from the furnace of burning fire, and to deliver us out of thy hands, O king.
18 But if he will not, be it known to thee, O king, that we will not worship thy gods, nor adore the golden statue which thou hast set up.
19 Then was Nebuchadnezzar filled with fury: and the countenance of his face was changed against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednago, and he commanded that the furnace should be heated seven times more than it had been accustomed to be heated.
20 And he commanded the strongest men that were in his army, to bind the feet of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednago and to cast them into the furnace of burning fire.
21 And immediately these men were bound and were cast into the furnace of burning fire, with their coats, and their caps, and their shoes, and their garments.
22 For the king's commandment was urgent, and the furnace was heated exceedingly. And the flame of the fire slew those men that had cast in Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednago.
23 But these three men, that is, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednago, fell down bound in the midst of the furnace of burning fire.
24 And they walked in the midst of the flame, praising God, and blessing the Lord. 


25 Then Azarias standing up, prayed in this manner, and opening his mouth in the midst of the fire, he said:
26 Blessed art thou, O Lord, the God of our fathers, and thy name is worthy of praise, and glorious for ever:
27 For thou art just in all that thou hast done to us, and all thy works are true, and thy ways right, and all thy judgments true.
28 For thou hast executed true judgments in all the things that thou hast brought upon us, and upon Jerusalem, the holy city of our fathers: for according to truth and judgment, thou hast brought all these things upon us for our sins.
29 For we have sinned, and committed iniquity, departing from thee: and we have trespassed in all things:
30 And we have not hearkened to thy commandments, nor have we observed nor done as thou hadst commanded us, that it might go well with us.
31 Wherefore, all that thou hast brought upon us, and every thing that thou hast done to us, thou hast done in true judgment:
32 And thou hast delivered us into the hands of our enemies that are unjust, and most wicked, and prevaricators, and to a king unjust, and most wicked beyond all that are upon the earth.
33 And now we cannot open our mouths: we are become a shame, and a reproach to thy servants, and to them that worship thee.
34 Deliver us not up for ever, we beseech thee, for thy name's sake, and abolish not thy covenant.
35 And take not away thy mercy from us, for the sake of Abraham, thy beloved, and Isaac, thy servant, and Israel, thy holy one:
36 To whom thou hast spoken, promising that thou wouldst multiply their seed as the stars of heaven, and as the sand that is on the sea shore.
37 For we, O Lord, are diminished more than any nation, and are brought low in all the earth this day for our sins.
38 Neither is there at this time prince, or leader, or prophet, or holocaust, or sacrifice, or oblation, or incense, or place of first fruits before thee,
39 That we may find thy mercy: nevertheless, in a contrite heart and humble spirit let us be accepted.
40 As in holocausts of rams, and bullocks, and as in thousands of fat lambs: so let our sacrifice be made in thy sight this day, that it may please thee: for there is no confusion to them that trust in thee.
41 And now we follow thee with all our heart, and we fear thee, and seek thy face.
42 Put us not to confusion, but deal with us according to thy meekness, and according to the multitude of thy mercies.
43 And deliver us, according to thy wonderful works, and give glory to thy name, O Lord:
44 And let all them be confounded that shew evils to thy servants, let them be confounded in all thy might, and let their strength be broken:
45 And let them know that thou art the Lord, the only God, and glorious over all the world.
46 Now the king's servants that had cast them in, ceased not to heat the furnace with brimstone and tow, and pitch, and dry sticks,
47 And the flame mounted up above the furnace nine and forth cubits:
48 And it broke forth, and burnt such of the Chaldeans as it found near the furnace.
49 But the angel of the Lord went down with Azariah and his companions into the furnace: and he drove the flame of the fire out of the furnace,
50 And made the midst of the furnace like the blowing of a wind bringing dew, and the fire touched them not at all, nor troubled them, nor did them any harm. 

The prophet Daniel with the lions
(icon from here)
 
51 Then these three, as with one mouth, praised and glorified and blessed God, in the furnace, saying:
52 Blessed art thou, O Lord, the God of our fathers; and worthy to be praised, and glorified, and exalted above all for ever:
53 and blessed is the holy name of thy glory: and worthy to be praised and exalted above all, in all ages.
54 Blessed art thou in the holy temple of thy glory: and exceedingly to be praised and exalted above all for ever.
55 Blessed art thou that beholdest the depths, and sittest upon the cherubims: and worthy to be praised and exalted above all for ever.
56 Blessed art thou in the firmament of heaven: and worthy of praise, and glorious for ever.
57 All ye works of the Lord, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever.
58 O ye angels of the Lord, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever.
59 O ye heavens, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever.
60 O all ye waters that are above the heavens, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever.
61 O all ye powers of the Lord, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever.
62 O ye sun and moon, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever.
63 O ye stars of heaven, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever.
64 O every shower and dew, bless ye the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever.
65 O all ye spirits of God, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever.
66 O ye fire and heat, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever.
67 O ye cold and heat, bless the Lord, praise and exalt him above all for ever.
68 O ye dews and hoar frost, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever.
69 O ye frost and cold, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever.
70 O ye ice and snow, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever.
71 O ye nights and days, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever.
72 O ye light and darkness, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever.
73 O ye lightnings and clouds, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever.
74 O let the earth bless the Lord: let it praise and exalt him above all for ever.
76 O all ye things that spring up in the earth, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever.
77 O ye fountains, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever.
78 O ye seas and rivers, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever.
79 O ye whales, and all that move in the waters, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever.
80 O all ye fowls of the air, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever.
81 O all ye beasts and cattle, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever.
82 O ye sons of men, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever.
83 O let Israel bless the Lord: let them praise and exalt him above all for ever.
84 O ye priests of the Lord, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever.
85 O ye servants of the Lord, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever.
86 O ye spirits and souls of the just, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever.
87 O ye holy and humble of heart, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever.
88 O Ananias, Azarias, Misael, bless ye the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever. For he hath delivered us from hell, and saved us out of the hand of death, and delivered us out of the midst of the burning flame, and saved us out of the midst of the fire.
89 O give thanks to the Lord, because he is good: because his mercy endureth for ever and ever.
90 O all ye religious, bless the Lord, the God of gods: praise him, and give him thanks, because his mercy endureth for ever and ever.  

The canticle of the Three Holy Youths in various languages and traditions

 

domkov91

It is one of the most famous hymns from the Bible. This video begins with the last piece of the reading of the Book of prophet Daniel, which ends the 15 readings of the Old Testament read during the Vesperal Liturgy of Great Saturday which precedes the feast of Pascha. 
Chanted in English (Eastern Orthodox - byzantine chant), French (Eastern Orthodox - Russian chant), Greek (Eastern Orthodox - byzantine chant), Armenian (Oriental Orthodox), Arabic (Eastern Orthodox - byzantine chat), Spanish (Roman Catholic), Romanian (Eastern Orthodox - byzantine chant), Coptic (Oriental Orthodox), Church Slavonic (Eastern Orthodox - byzantine chant), English (Eastern Orthodox - byzantine chant). Some of them are with subtitles.

See also

The Passion of Jesus Christ and the Passions of Africa...
Fr. Moses Berry, a descendant of African slaves, Orthodox priest and teacher in USA
How “White” is the Orthodox Church? 
Orthodox Mission in Tropical Africa (& the Decolonization of Africa)
The Kingdom of Heaven, where racial discrimination has no place

Some Orthodox Saints who were slaves 
Saint John the Russian

St. Onesimus the Apostle 
Martyr Zoe with her husband st. Hesperus and sons Kyriakos & Theodulos at Attalia (more here)
St. Moses the Hungarian
St. John the Russian (more here)

La Lumiere Sainte a Jerusalem: Preuves et Temoignages

شرح أعجوبة فيضان النور المقدس

فيديو شرح لأعجوبة للنور المقدس الذي يفيض في كنيسة القيامة من كل عام في سبت النور
About Holy Light in English: The miracle of Holy Fire (Holy Light) in Jerusalem

باللغه العربيه 
من هو يسوع  

Πέμπτη, 28 Απριλίου 2016

The Passion of Jesus Christ and the Passions of Africa...


The Passion of Jesus Christ

Icon from here
Science analyzes the Crucifixion and the Resurrection of Christ by Spyridon G. Makris, Professor of Anaesthesiology – Aristotelian University of Thessaloniki, Greece 

The Death of Christ and the Life of Man
The Orthodox Holy Week & Holy Easter (Pascha)
The miracle of Holy Fire (Holy Light) in Jerusalem
The Icon of Resurrection or The descent into Hades
 
The significance of the “Antilytron”
Yesu Kristo - Mungu akawa mtu na mtu inakuwa kama mungu 
Theosis, St. Silouan and Elder Sophrony





"What know the White Men about Christ?" - A greek song about black people



Neocolonialism  
Wars


Poverty
Medical care 
Water scarcity
Slavery 
Slavery today
Islamists   
Witchcraft

Photo from here
 

The new “Orthodox Mission” issue is now out


The new issue of our magazine with 12 brand new articles from missionary divisions in Africa (*), Asia and Oceania, is now available for you online. Browse through it, read it, share it with your friends.

Click here


(*) Uganda, Cameroon, Republic of Congo & Gabon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania, Madagascar, Malawi.

About Orthodox Mission Magazine click here.

Τετάρτη, 27 Απριλίου 2016

Monte, kijiji kidogo katika Uganda - Orthodox Liturujia / Monte, a small village in Uganda - Orthodox holy liturgy




Video from Yiannis Yiannakopoulos
About fr Antonios Mutiamba (& video) please here
 
See also
 
Orthodox Mission in Tropical Africa (& the Decolonization of Africa) 
Orthodox Uganda (tag in our blog)
News from the Orthodox Church in Uganda here & here.

"Our Mission in Uganda" (Holy Monastery of the Holy Virgin Xrysopigi in Polydendri Attica)

Orthodox nuns in Uganda
St. Mary of Egypt Convent: The first women's Orthodox monastery in Uganda
 

Τρίτη, 26 Απριλίου 2016

The miracle of Holy Fire (Holy Light) in Jerusalem



Orthodoxwiki

The Holy Fire (Greek 'Αγιος Φως, literally "Holy Light") is a miracle that occurs every year at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem on Holy Saturday, the day preceding Pascha. It is considered by many to be the longest-attested annual miracle in the Christian world, though the event has only been documented consecutively since 1106. In many Orthodox countries around the world the event is televised live.
The ceremony begins at noon when the Patriarch of Jerusalem or another Orthodox Archbishop recites a specific prayer. The faithful gathered will then chant "Lord, have mercy" (Kyrie eleison in Greek) until the Holy Fire descends on a lamp of olive oil held by the patriarch while he is alone in the tomb chamber of Jesus Christ. The patriarch will then emerge from the tomb chamber, recite some prayers, and light either 33 or 12 candles to distribute to the faithful.
The fire is also said to spontaneously light other lamps and candles around the church. Pilgrims say the Holy Fire will not burn hair, faces, etc., in the first 33 minutes after it is ignited. Before entering the Lord's Tomb, the patriarch or presiding archbishop is inspected by Israeli authorities to prove that he does not carry the technical means to light the fire. This investigation used to be carried out by Turkish soldiers.
The Holy Fire is first mentioned in the documents dating from the 4th century. A detailed description of the miracle is contained in the travelogue of the Russian igumen Daniel, who was present at the ceremony in 1106. Daniel mentions a blue incandescence descending from the dome to the edicula where the patriarch awaits the Holy Fire. Some claim to have witnessed this incandescence in modern times.
During the many centuries of the miracle's history, the Holy Fire is said to have descended on certain other occasions, usually when heterodox clergymen attempted to obtain it. According to the tradition, in 1099, for example, the failure of Crusaders to obtain the fire led to street riots in Jerusalem. It is also claimed that in 1579, the Armenian patriarch prayed day and night in order to obtain the Holy Fire, but the Fire miraculously struck a column near the entrance and lit a candle held by the Orthodox patriarch standing nearby. Upon entering the temple, many Orthodox Christians venerate this column, which bears marks and a large crack attributed to the bolt of lightning from the Holy Fire (photo).

More in The column that was split by the Holy Fire (1579)


Holy Light in Jerusalem: Proofs &Testimonies από oodevideo
In other languages, here. In arabic here.

Early testimonies about miracle of Holy Fire
 
The first testimony: 34 (?) A.D. Apostle Peter according to s. Fathers see Holy Light See S. Georg Nissky (+394). The second word about Resurrection. Ioann Damaskin. Oktoih. The first Resurrection sedalih. Voice eight.

S. Georg Nissky (+394). In the second word about Resurrection write about apostle Peter (I c.) see Holy Light. The second word about Resurrection. IV c.

In proceedings of church historian Evsevi (IV c.) is described, as in the presence of patriarchy Narcice (II c.) there was not enought oil in icon-lamp. Man filled it with water from Siloam spring. Oil-lamp was lighted with holy fire and was on fire during all the Easter service. See Evsevi Pamfil. Church history. Book 6. Chapter 9. 1-3. 


Feodosi the Great (+395), who visited secretly, according to tradition, Jerusalem, enter the Church of Holy Sepulchre and then all icon-lamp put on fire. "This miracle amazed patriarchy, but ab Angel revealed him that this prayer was not a simple man but holy king Feodosi". Bishop Porfiri (Uspensky). The book of mine beign, P. 3. S-Pb., 1896, p. 299-300. (in Russian) 


Silvia of Aquitania, 385. Writing "Pilgrimage of Silvia" - opened for reading in the Library of Rossano Abbay (Calabria, Italy). Later edition in english: The pilgrimage of S. Silvia of Aquitania to the holy places (circa 385 AD), Palestine pilgrims text society, London, 1891.

Reverend Ioann Damaskin (780) in his church canticle, quite often mentions about the Light, miraculous fulgent on Holy Sepulchre. For example: "Peter be at the Sepulchre and see light in it and was horrified" See. Oktoih. The first Resurrection sedalih, Voice 8 θ δπ.

Arab muslim Al-Djahis (+869) in his writing "The book of animals" place critical mention about Holy Fire. Krachkovsky I. "Holy Fire" according narration of al-Biruni and other muslim writers of X-XIII cc. - Christian East. V.3. Edition 3. 1915, p.231. (in Russian)

Latin monac Barnard, (865) write: "t is unnecessary to write a great deal about this sepulchre because Bede says quite enough about it in his history [of the English Church]. But it is worth saying what happens on Holy Saturday, the Vigil of Easter. In the morning the office begins in this Church. Then, when it is over they go in singing Kyrie eleison till an angel comes and kindles light in the lamps which hang above the sephulcre. The patriarch passes some of this light to the bishops and the rest of the people, and each one has light where he is standing. " Mabilon. Acta Sancta. T. III. P. II. p. 473. Cited: Bishop Auxentios of Photiki. The Paschal Fire in Jerusalem: A Study of the Rite of the Holy Fire in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

Codex Jerusalem Patriarchate Hagios Stauros 43 [HS 43]. (IX c.)
Well known Arabian jurist Ahmed ibn al-Kassa (died in 936) "Signs of Quibla" wrote: "People go out of place of sepulcher to a rock on the Great Saturday, galleries are round it. Staying there they watch at the place of sepulcher, pray and kneel before the God the most High from early prayer till the sunset. Emir and imam of a mosque greet. The governor close a door to the sepulcher and sit down nearby. They all have staying in this manner till the light, which is like white fire, appears out of the sepulcher. Than the governor opens the door and goes in. He holds a candle, put out from this fire, in his hand... He gives it to the imam, who carries the candle and puts out oil-lamps in a mosque… The repot is written to the ruler about it, informing that fire appeared in so time and so day. If it appeared till the morning prayer it is considered as a sign that a year will be not fruitful, but not droughty too; if it appears at noon, it indicates that the year will be fruitless. Cited: Krachkovskij I. JU. "Blagodatnyj ogon'" po rasskazu al-Biruni i drugikh musul'manskikh pisatelej X-XIII vekov // Khristianskij Vostok. Spb., 1915, T. 111. Vyp. 3. S. 231-232. 


Abu l-'Abbas Ahmad (died in 947 - ed.) - like a contemporary tenth-century Greek polemicist - recounts that Jerusalem's Muslim governor shuts the Tomb's door before the fire's appearance and, when the fire's white light becomes viable within the Tomb, he unlocks its door enters the Tomb and kindles a candle from the fire. Cited: Zsolt (EDT) Hunyadi, Jozsef (EDT) Laszlovszky, The Crusades and the Military Orders: Expanding the Frontiers of Medieval Latin Christianity - History - 2002 - 606 p. P. 90. 


Well known Arabian jurist Ahmed ibn al-Kassa (died in 936) "Signs of Quibla" wrote: "People go out of place of sepulcher to a rock on the Great Saturday, galleries are round it. Staying there they watch at the place of sepulcher, pray and kneel before the God the most High from early prayer till the sunset. Emir and imam of a mosque greet. The governor close a door to the sepulcher and sit down nearby. They all have staying in this manner till the light, which is like white fire, appears out of the sepulcher. Than the governor opens the door and goes in. He holds a candle, put out from this fire, in his hand… He gives it to the imam, who carries the candle and puts out oil-lamps in a mosque… The repot is written to the ruler about it, informing that fire appeared in so time and so day. If it appeared till the morning prayer it is considered as a sign that a year will be not fruitful, but not droughty too; if it appears at noon, it indicates that the year will be fruitless. Cited: Krachkovskij I. JU. "Blagodatnyj ogon'" po rasskazu al-Biruni i drugikh musul'manskikh pisatelej X-XIII vekov // Khristianskij Vostok. Spb., 1915, T. 111. Vyp. 3. S. 231-232. 


Metropolitan of Cesaria Cappadocian Arefa in his message to the emir of Damascus (beginning of X c.) writes: Every year until now on the day of His holy Resurrection His holy and precious tomb works miracles.... [All lights in Jerusalem having been extinguished, and] ...with the door [of the Holy Sepulchre] being sealed ...and the Christians standing outside it in the nave of the Anastasis [the rotunda Church that housed the edicule] crying Kyrie eleison, there being a sudden flash the lamp alights, and again all the inhabitants [of] Jersualem take from this light and light [their] flame. Cited: Bishop Auxentios of Photiki. The Paschal Fire in Jerusalem: A Study of the Rite of the Holy Fire in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

alt
The holy martyr Tunom and, in the background,
the column which ignited, illustrated in an icon at the
Greek Orthodox monastery of Megali Panagia in Jerusalem (from here).

Arabian historian Masudi (+ 957), dated Holy Fire. Krachkovsky I. Y. "Holy Fire" according narration of al-Biruni and other muslim writers of X-XIII c. - Christian East. V. 3. Ed. 3. 1915, p. 223-224. (in Russian)

A cleric of the imperial court of Constantine VII Porphyrigenitu[o]s Niketas, 947. ...Sent a letter to the emperor recounting the attempt of an enraged amir to put an end to the rite of the Holy Fire... "[The amir] ...demanded of the Patriarch, under the threat of prohibiting the popular feast of the Resurrection of Christ, a payment of 7,000 gold pieces. This payment would not have been made except for an immediate disbursement by the secretaries of 2,000 gold pieces with a guarantee of the remaining 5,000. While the patriarch was being held in custody in the Pretorium, the God of miracles filled two of the lamps of the triple lamp suspended at the place where they said the body of Christ was taken down from the cross to be washed. When the news of the wonder came to the Pretorium, Christians and Muslims ran pell-mell to the church. But the Muslims came filled with bloody thoughts and murderous designs, armed and ready to slay every Christian carrying a lighted lamp. The Patriarch arrived, followed by the clergy, and having determined that the illumination of the sacred fire had not yet taken place, with the help of the Muslims had the Holy Sepulcher closed and began to pray with the Christians. Toward the sixth hour, fixing his gaze on the Holy Sepulcher, he saw the supernatural appearance of the light. He entered the Holy Sepulcher whose entrance was shown to him by an angel. At the moment when he took a taper to give of the divine fire to all of those in the church who had torches, scarcely had he come out of the tomb, when he saw the church suddenly filled with a divine light. The faithful were standing on the right and the left, some near the door, some by Calvary, others near the cruciform chain suspended from the ceiling and all around which they had hung their lamps, the chain, that is, which passes for representing the center of the world and which is there as a sign, so that all men might be astonished at the apparition of the divine fire. The Muslims themselves were filled with astonishment since up to that point the apparition of the light annually occurred only at one of the lamps inside the Holy Sepulcher, while on this day the entire church was filled with light. The amir, who was looking on from above on one of the tribunes, was witness to an even greater miracle. The largest of the lamps suspended in front of him let escape the oil and water which it contained and was suddenly filled with a divine fire even though it had no wick at all." Cited: Bishop Auxentios of Photiki. The Paschal Fire in Jerusalem: A Study of the Rite of the Holy Fire in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

Muslim Al-Farag ibn Salih from Baghdad, about X c. is cited by al-Biruni 


Muslim historian al-Biruni, 1000The Christians have extinguished their lamps and torches already prior to this and wait, until they see a pure white fire, which causes a lamp to ignite. From this fire, the lamps in the mosques and in the churches are lit. Then a report is written to the Caliph about the time, at which the fire descended. If it occurred soon after the noon hour, a fertile year is expected, but if it is delayed until the evening or later, then an infertile one is expected. The same source also tells that a governor brought a copper wire instead of a wick, in order that it won't ignite and the whole thing would fail to occur. But as the fire descended, the copper burned. The descent of this fire from above on a day, which recurs after a specified time span, gives us occasion to be astounded..Krachkovsky I. Y. "Holy Fire" according narration of al-Biruni and other muslim writers of X-XIII c. - Christian East. V. 3. Ed. 3. 1915 (in Russian). Chronology of the Muslim scholar Al-Biruni (973 - 1048). Al Biruni / In the Garden of Science / Reklam - Leipzig 1991. English translation.

Rome church chronicler Baroni, (XI β.) write that western Christians after concerning of Jerusalem saw the miracle, when on The Great Saturday near The Holy Sepulchre candles itself go to (editor translation) Baroni, (chronicles) page 1304 on back.


Ali al-Kherevi mention about "scene of Holy Fire, which man may see in Jerusalem Church" Krachkovskij I. JU. // Khristianskij Vostok. T.3. Vyp.3. Pg., 1915; Ch. Schefer, Description des lieux saints de la Galilée et de la Paléstine, Génes 1881, p. 21. Cp. de Goeje, op. cit. 55, οπ. 4 θ Μεδνθκξβ , op. cit. (οεπεβξδ) 961. 


Fulcher (Fulk) of Chartres - chaplain of the first Jerusalem king Baldwin (XI-XII c.) write write about an accident when Holy Fire had not appear while Latin monks and clergy went away from the church of Holy Sepulcher. Avdulovsky F.M. Holy Fire Coming From Holy Sepulchre of Our God and Savior Jesus Christ on The Great Saturday in Jerusalem. Moscow, 1887, P. 37-41. (in Russian).

Fulcher (Fulk) of Chartres - chaplain of the first Jerusalem king Baldwin (1101) write about popular belief, that muslims in a case holy fire would had not appear threatened to eleminate all Christians of Palestin. Dmitrievsky A.A. The grace of Holy Fire on Holy Sepulchre on the Great Saturday. S.-Petersburg, 1908, p. 96 (in Russian).

Archimandrite Arsenius 1345. ..According to custom, ...the Patriarch celebrates a litia near the Holy Sepulchre at noon on Great Saturday for the sake of the Holy Fire. The Patriarch came and with him Metropolitan Germanos from Egypt and Bishop Mark of Damascus... and Abbot Stephen from St. Sabbas (Monastery) with all the clergy. They went around the Tomb of the Lord twice and after the third circling there appeared above the Holy Sepulchre a small cloud of smoke. Then they opened the Tomb (the Kuviklion) and the Patriarch went in with the Armenian bishop, for the cave was filled with holy Light and all the lamps which had been extinguished and prepared since Holy Friday were lit. The Patriarch lit candles from the Holy Fire and from the Patriarch the entire church and a mighty cry arose from the entire church at the appearance of the Light. After a short time the candles which everyone keeps as a blessing were put out. Then the Patriarch began the Liturgy of Great Saturday.. Cited: Bishop Auxentios of Photiki. The Paschal Fire in Jerusalem: A Study of the Rite of the Holy Fire in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

Unknown chronicler of Rome church (Text will be added later) Steven Runciman, "Eastern schism", Oxford, 1955.

Papa Urban II said in speech (writen) before crusader in city of Clermont 1095: "And yet in that place (I say only what you already know) rested the Lord; there He died for us; there He was buried. How precious would be the longed for, incomparable place of the Lord's burial, even if God failed there to perform the yearly miracle! For in the days of His Passion all the lights in the Sepulchre and round about in the church, which have been extinguished, are relighted by divine command. Whose heart is so stony, brethren, that it is not touched by so great a miracle?" Baldricus, in Gesta Dei per Francos. p. 87.

The 12th century Armenian historian Matthew of Edessa tells us that in 1102 the Holy Fire refused to descend after the Franks had seized the holy places from the local priests and kicked the Greeks out of their monasteries. The newcomers got the point and restored the properties; the fire appeared, a day late.
Abbot Daniil, who traveled in Holy Land in times of the prince Sviatopolk Iziaslavovich, when the king Balduin I reigned in Jerusalem, soon after crusades since 1093 till 1112.

Ibn-al'-Kalanisi (+1162) (was not a witness). Criticized the miracle Holy Fire as fraud. Cited: Krachkovskij I. JU. "Blagodatnyj ogon'" po rasskazu al-Biruni i drugikh musul'manskikh pisatelej X-XIII vekov // Khristianskij Vostok. Spb., 1915, T. 111. Vyp. 3. S. 231-232. 


Theoderich, who wrote his account in 1172, says that sometimes the Holy Fire appeared about the first hour, sometimes about the third hour, the sixth, the ninth hour, or even so late as the time for Compline. Hvidt N.C. Miracles - Encounters Between Heaven And Earth, Gyldendal. Pp. 203-229.

Gautier Vinisauf, English chronicler, describe story which relates to the Holy Fire descend in 1187. In 1187, the Saracens under the direction of Sultan Salah ad-Din took Jerusalem. In that year, the Sultan desired to be present at the celebration, even though he was not a Christian. Gautier Vinisauf tells us what happened: "On his arrival, the celestial fire descended suddenly, and the assistants were deeply moved... the Saracens on ... said that the fire which they had seen to come down was produced by fraudulent means. Salah ad-Din, wishing to expose the imposture, caused the lamp, which the fire from heaven had lighted, to be extinguished, but the lamp relit immediately. He caused it to be extinguished a second time and a third time, but it relit as of itself. Thereupon, the Sultan confounded cried out in prophetic transport: 'Yes, soon shall I die, or I shall lose Jerusalem.'" Hvidt N.C. Miracles - Encounters Between Heaven And Earth, Gyldendal. Pp. 203-229.

al'-Djubari (+ 1242) (was not a witness). His book, devoted to explanation of different mysteries and focus, contains a chapter: "Ruse of monks when lighting fire in church of Resurrection". Cited: Krachkovskij I. JU. "Blagodatnyj ogon'" po rasskazu al-Biruni i drugikh musul'manskikh pisatelej X-XIII vekov // Khristianskij Vostok. Spb., 1915, T. 111. Vyp. 3. S. 235-238. 


Ibn-al'-Djauzi (+ 1256) (was not a witness) surmised that a secret source of fire exists which is used to light candles and oil-lamps. Cited: Krachkovskij I. JU. "Blagodatnyj ogon'" po rasskazu al-Biruni i drugikh musul'manskikh pisatelej X-XIII vekov // Khristianskij Vostok. Spb., 1915, T. 111. Vyp. 3. S. 235-238.
 

Arabian geographer al-Kazvini (+ 1283) narrates critically about Holy Fire. Cited: Krachkovskij I. JU. "Blagodatnyj ogon'" po rasskazu al-Biruni i drugikh musul'manskikh pisatelej X-XIII vekov // Khristianskij Vostok. Spb., 1915, T. 111. Vyp. 3. S. 235-238.

Akhmed-ibn-al-Khariri, Ibn-al-'Arabi, Khadzhzhi-Khalif. Sources and details will be added later. 


Jakut (+ 1299). Cited: Krachkovskij I. JU. "Blagodatnyj ogon'" po rasskazu al-Biruni i drugikh musul'manskikh pisatelej X-XIII vekov // Khristianskij Vostok. Spb., 1915, T. 111. Vyp. 3. S. 235-238. 


Ierodeacon Zosima, monac of Segieva Lavra, who have traveled in Jerusalem in 1420

Paul Walther 1481. In 148l, it was the custom to have the doors of the Church of the Resurrection opened by Muslims, and three priests or bishops entered the Sepulchre of Christ. One was from the Greeks, the other from the Armenians and the third one from the Ethiopians, and they were shut up in the Sepulchre for the time during which one could recite the Placebo, approximately fifteen to twenty minutes. The next thing, which Walther noticed, was an Armenian bishop coming out of the Holy Sepulchre with a burning light, and after all lights were lit, the 'nations' made their procession three times around the Holy Sepulchre.Cited: Bishop Auxentios of Photiki. The Paschal Fire in Jerusalem: A Study of the Rite of the Holy Fire in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

Trifon Korobeinikov, Moscow merchant with companions traveled according to the special decree of the Great prince Ioann Vasilievich in 1583. See Traveling of Trifon Korabeinikov 1593-1594. - Orthodox Palestinian collection, ed. 27, St.-Petersburg, 1888. (in Russian)

Vasili Jakovlevich Gagara. See: Life and traveling in Jerusalem and Egypt of Kazanian Vasili Jakovlevich Gagara (1634-1637). - Orthodox Palestinian collection, ed. 33, St.-Petersburg, 1891. (in Russian)

Henry Maundrell, English chaplain (1696). Cited: Bishop Auxentios of Photiki. The Paschal Fire in Jerusalem: A Study of the Rite of the Holy Fire in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

Patriarchy Nektari confirms that when he had been in Jerusalem, Holy Fire was taken from Holy Sepulchre by Patriarchy Paisi. Arsenia Suhanova. Prosclinitary (17 part). (in Russian)


Celibate priest Ippolit Vishensky. See: Traveling of celibate priest Ippolit Vishensky in Jerusalem, Sinai and Afon. (1707-1709). - Orthodox Palestinian collection, ed. 61, St.-Petersburg, 1914. (in Russian)

Lukjanov Ioann, Moscow priest traveling during Peter I reign from 1710 till 1711. Avdulovsky F.M. Holy Fire Coming From Holy Sepulchre of Our God and Savior Jesus Christ on The Great Saturday in Jerusalem. Moscow, 1887, P. 37-41. (in Russian)

Barsky V.G. (Plaki-Albov). Antiohian monk - pedestrian pilgrim from 1724 till 1727 Avdulovsky F.M. Holy Fire coming from Holy Sepulchre of our God and Savior Jesus Christ on the Great Saturday in Jerusalem. Moscow, 1887. P. 35-37. (in Russian)

Constantine Volnez (1784). French skeptik mentioned about miracle of Holy Fire and comparative beleives. Cited: Bishop Auxentios of Photiki. The Paschal Fire in Jerusalem: A Study of the Rite of the Holy Fire in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

Celibate priest Melety, monk of Sarovskaya hermitage, who had traveled from 1793 till 1794 (in Russian)

Metropolitan Dionisi narrates about pecular appearance of Holy Fire in 1799 Avdulovsky F.M. Holy Fire coming from Holy Sepulchre of our God and Savior Jesus Christ on the Great Saturday in Jerusalem. Moscow, 1887. (in Russian)


Please, see also

Haris Skarlakidis, HOLY FIRE - The Miracle of the Light of the Resurrection at the Tomb of Jesus

The Death of Christ and the Life of Man
The Orthodox Holy Week & Holy Easter (Pascha)

The significance of the “Antilytron”
Theosis, St. Silouan and Elder Sophrony