Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Holy Fire

We have two big announcements this week, first the Spring Retreat is postponed (again), and second, the Holy Fire from Jerusalem is coming to St. Nicholas. Please read the details below.

Our parish Spring Retreat has been postponed again. Please, forgive the changes in plans due to unexpected illness! 

Tonight, we have a very special opportunity! The Holy Fire from Jerusalem has arrived at St. Nicholas!

Each year on Holy Saturday in Jerusalem, the Patriarch of Jerusalem enters the Holy Sepulcher, the Tomb of our Lord.  By the time he enters, all of the candles of the church have been extinguished and the sepulcher and himself have been thoroughly searched to be sure that there is no way for a fire to be lit by the Patriarch.  He enters the tomb and prays before the tomb.  While he is praying, a divine fire lights the oil lamp within the tomb.  The Patriarch then carries out two large bundles of candles that he lights from the oil lamp and spreads the light to all of the faithful in the church.  This miraculous event has been documented to have occurred every year for at least the last 1700 years!

For many years, that flame has been taken from the Holy Sepulcher to places like Mount Athos and Russia.  For the first time, that flame has been brought to the United States.  It arrived in New York on Pascha and is being passed around the country at this time.  The Holy Fire arrived at St. Nicholas, here in Jackson, TN, yesterday.  To mark the occasion, we will celebrate Vespers Wednesday at 6 PM, after which the faithful may light their own candle and take the Holy Fire to their own homes.  

If you would like, you are welcome to bring a candle to transport the holy fire to your own home altar.  If you are not able to be with us tonight, don’t worry, you should be able to receive this light on Sunday.

Follow St. Nicholas on Facebook for more updates, pictures, and announcements.