- Title: WEST BANK: Easter Saturday ceremonies at Bethlehem's Nativity Church
- Date: 8th April 2007
- Summary: (EU) BETHLEHEM, WEST BANK (APRIL 7, 2007) (REUTERS) WIDE OF PEOPLE GATHERING OUTSIDE THE CHURCH OF NATIVITY WAITING FOR THE ARRIVAL OF THE HOLY FIRE FROM JERUSALEM TO BETHLEHEM CLOSE OF CHURCH BELL RINGING VARIOUS OF CLERGY AND PEOPLE WAITING FOR THE ARRIVAL OF THE HOLY FIRE (2 SHOTS)
- Embargoed: 23rd April 2007 13:00
- Topics: Religion
- Reuters ID: LVACVVTH8O4K4JQL74AR47DQ3MJW
- Story Text: Holy Fire arrives at the West Bank town of Bethlehem where hundreds of Christian worshippers gather to commemorate Jesus Christ's suffering, death and resurrection
In a traditional ceremony held on Easter Saturday (April 7), a flame from Jerusalem's Church of Holy Sepulchre was brought to the West Bank town of Bethlehem.
Thousands of Christian worshippers of various denominations crowded the ancient church, believed to be built on the site of Jesus Christ's crucifixion, burial and resurrection to take part in the ceremony.
The flame, taken from a chamber believed to be the site of Jesus' tomb, is carried in an olive oil lamp to the worshippers who use it to light their own candles to carry the flame to their homes.
After the ceremony at the Chutch of the Holy Sepulchre, the flame travelled to the West Bank town of Bethlehem. Hundreds of worshippers gathered at a candle lighting ceremony at the Church of Nativity, believed to be the birthplace of Jesus Christ.
The flame from the Church of the Holy Sepulchre was passed among the congregation as the worshippers lit hundreds of candles. The lights were turned off at the church to symbolise the darkness in the world after Christ's death and the light of the candles are a metaphor of Easter resurrection.
Christians across the world attend Vigil services on Easter Saturday to commemorate Jesus Christ's suffering, death and resurrection, and mark the climax of the Christian calendar.
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