Thousands of Christian worshippers attended the ceremony of Easter's Holy Fire on Saturday at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem and lit their candles with holy fire from what is believed to be Jesus' tomb.
The Holy Fire is considered a miracle occurring every year on Holy Saturday, the day preceding Orthodox Easter Sunday.
At exactly 2pm every year, a sunbeam is believed to shine through the window in the ceiling of the church and light a lamp placed in the tomb.
Seconds after the Orthodox patriarch reveals the Holy Fire, it spreads throughout the church as worshippers light each other's candles. Traditionally, an olive lamp lit by the Holy Fire is transferred soon after the ceremony to the West Bank town of Bethlehem, revered as the birthplace of Jesus Christ.
Those who arrived early watched as the key-holder to the sacred site arrived to unlock the church doors. As control of the church is divided between different Christian denominations, the keys are held by a Muslim man whose family has been considered neutral by all parties for several generations.
The Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem's Old City is believed to have been built where Jesus Christ was crucified, buried and resurrected.
The Israel Police deployed hundreds of officers in Jerusalem's Old City earlier on Saturday to ensure security for the celebration.
Security was also present in the church courtyard as local Christians and pilgrims from around the world arrived for the annual ceremony.