Media reports: Holy Fire ceremony at Church of the Holy Sepulcher to proceed
Israeli authorities will reportedly allow the usual Easter-related ceremonies in the Holy City of Jerusalem to proceed, but with restrictions in place to combat the coronavirus pandemic. The paper cited an Israeli foreign ministry source on Monday, according to a dispatch by the Jerusalem Post. The same development was confirmed by sources that spoke with the Orthodoxia news agency.
The development means that the Holy Fire will again be flown to Greece, among other countries.
According to the report, the number of hierarchs, clerics and deacons inside the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, on the evening of Easter Saturday, will be between 10 to 15.
This intensely emotional and devout service has taken place since the ninth century, and has been uninterrupted for six to seven centuries.
The Holy Fire is kept in special containers and distributed to Eastern Christendom via the Orthodox Churches of Greece, Russia, Ukraine, Serbia, Bulgaria, Georgia, Romania and other countries.
This year’s Easter Saturday service will be broadcast live.
In Athens, Deputy Foreign Minister Costas Vlassis, who holds the expatriate Greeks’ portfolio, is in constant contact with Israeli officials.
Vlassis has expressed his desire to personally travel to the Holy Land in order to the receive the Holy Fire, or Holy Light, and to accompany the vessel back to Greece – meaning that, if necessary, he will voluntarily place himself in a 14-day quarantine.