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Russian Church says having no doubts over divine nature of Holy Flame

The Rev Agoyan claimed he had seen bundles of wax candles lit from an oil lamp inside the Church of the Holy Sepulcher

MOSCOW, March 13. /TASS/. Disciples of the Russian Orthodox Church do not have any doubts regarding the divine origin of the Holy Flame that descends in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem every year on Holy Saturday, the Reverend Alexander Volkov, who is the press secretary of the Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia told TASS.

He said it in a comment on what priest Samuil Agoyan of the Armenian Apostolic Church told Israeli media the day before.

The Rev Agoyan claimed he had seen bundles of wax candles lit from an oil lamp inside the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.

"That’s a really strange statement if you consider the veneration of the phenomenon as a miracle by people across the world," the Rev Volkov said. "People in all parts of the world look forward to the descent of the Holy Flame with hope and prayer. We accept it as a great joy on the eve of the Easter."

"For the Russian churchgoers, the arrival of the Flame from Jerusalem [by a specially chartered jet] is a special festive event and they never call its nature into question," he said.

"Any factors of spiritual life like miracle-working icons, for instance, produce different reactions and the Holy Flame isn’t an exception but its descent has special significance for millions of people and that’s why provoking dismay over its origin during the days of the Great Lent is a highly dubious step," the Rev Volkov said.

Dozens of thousands of believes attend the rite of descent of the Holy Flame in and around the main shrine of Christianity on every Holy Saturday. It descends in the Edicule, the chapel built over the historic place of Jesus’s entombment, as a testimony to the grandiosity of His Resurrection from the Dead.

The Foundation of the St Apostle Andrew the First-Called launched the practice of bringing the flame from Jerusalem to Moscow for the Easter. Right from the airport, it is taken to the downtown Cathedral of the Savior where priest lit the icon-lamps and candles from it.

It is then taken to all the churches in Moscow and different diocese and monasteries across Russia.