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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature

Holy Fire

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A ceremony in the Romish Church, observed on Holy Saturday (q.v.) of Easter, with especial pomp at Rome, where the pope himself is in attendance. A light is kindled by sparks struck from a flint, to commemorate Christ according to the Missal as the great cornerstone. This light is hailed by kneeling ecclesiastics saying "Light of Christ" (Lumen Christi), all the lights in the chapel having been previously extinguished, to be rekindled at the new fire. In the Church of the Holy Sepulcher at Jerusalem, at the Easter of the Oriental Church, the Holy Fire is claimed to be miraculous. "The Greek and Armenian clergy combine on this occasion, and amidst processions, solemnities, an excited multitude, and scenes disgraceful not only to the name of religion, but to human nature, the expected fire makes its appearance from within an apartment in which a Greek and an Armenian bishop have locked themselves."

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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Holy Fire'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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