Mt Meron effect? Scuffles break out as Police set up barriers at Church of Holy Sepulchre during ‘Holy Fire’ ceremony

Now Aharon‘s sons Nadav and Avihu each took his fire pan, put fire in it, and laid incense on it; and they offered before Hashem




(the israel bible)

May 5, 2021

2 min read

Police on Saturday made efforts to restrict the number of Christian pilgrims observing the Holy Fire ceremony at the Church of Holy Sepulchre, one day following the deadly crush in Mount Meron on Lag BeOmer that killed 45 people.

Massive police presence, as well as temporary barricades, were set up in the Church’s entrance in the Old City of Jerusalem on the eve of Orthodox Easter.

On Saturday, police were seen scuffling with the pilgrims approaching the church as they tried to control the large crowds.

The police did not immediately respond for comment.

It is not clear how many participants took part in the ceremony this year. In previous years, more than 10,000 pilgrims took part in the Holy Fire ceremony, which symbolizes Jesus’ resurrection. The ritual involves the passing of candle to candle which will be brought back to Orthodox churches throughout the world.

In 2020, during the covid lockdowns, special restrictions were enforced to allow the ritual to happen in an extremely limited fashion.

The ceremony is the holiest holiday for Orthodox Christianity at the church — which was erected on the site where Christian tradition believes Jesus was crucified, buried, and resurrected.

The annual ceremony dates back at least 1,200 years. During the Holy Fire ritual, top Eastern Orthodox clerics go into the Edicule, a small room marking the site of what they claim to be Jesus’s tomb They then exit to reveal candles claimed to have been miraculously lit with “holy fire” as a sign to the faithful from heaven. The source of the flame is a closely protected secret.


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