YNetNews.com, Israel
April 30 2005

Holy Saturday service passes quietly


Greek Orthodox and Armenian followers mark Holy Saturday with flame
lighting ceremony at Church of the Sepulchre
By Efrat Weiss and Shani Mizrachi

JERUSALEM - The Greek Orthodox ceremony marking Holy Saturday was
held at the Church of the Sepulchre in Jerusalem's old city Saturday
without disturbance, despite police concerns of possible
confrontation.

More than 100,000 tourists and believers gathered at the church to
participate in the `Sabbath of Light' ceremony.

The ceremony, in which a holy flame is lit, is considered one of the
most important ceremonies in Christianity marking the day before
Jesus's resurrection and the day after his crucifixion.

According to tradition, Jerusalem's Greek and Armenian patriarchs
lead the ceremony. The Greek patriarch enters the tomb and lights the
flame. His Armenian counterpart then leaves the site with the burning
flame.


Under control

Meanwhile, Jerusalem district police commander Ilan Franco, his
deputy Shimon Koren, Police Commissioner Moshe Karadi and Interior
Minster Gideon Sa'ar were present at the site.

No disturbances were reported, despite police concerns of possible
protest by Greek Orthodox followers who demonstrated Friday in
protest to the Greek Orthodox Patriarch, Irineos I.

Both Christian and several Muslim Palestinians rallied outside the
Church waving Palestinian flags in protest to Irineos, who has been
accused of selling Greek Orthodox Church land in Jerusalem to Jews.

Irineos had been conducting Good Friday mass inside the church at the
time.

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3079246,00.html