WICHITA, Kan. — A fire is burning in the “unsleeping lamp” at St. George Orthodox Christian Cathedral in Wichita, a fire that Orthodox Christians believe is tied to a miracle and the resurrection of Christ.

It’s the first time the Holy Fire has made its way to Wichita – and the first confirmed time that the flame, believed to have originated in Jesus’ tomb, has made it from Jerusalem to the United States.

Carried to New York in a private plane, the Holy Fire is being taken to Orthodox churches across the United States by priests and parishioners.

For Matthew Ash, bringing the fire from Stillwater, Okla., to St. George meant surrounding four candles with potting soil in a large stock pot, and then driving carefully, trying not to slosh wax over the flames.

“It’s like a mini pilgrimage,” Ash said. “It’s a prayerful time in the car when you’re with the Holy Fire driving hundreds of miles. For me that’s something I’ll always carry with me. It’s a pilgrimage for the people who are delivering it, it’s a pilgrimage for the people who are coming to see the Holy Fire.”

Ash, like other Orthodox Christians, believes the fire originated in a miracle in Christ’s tomb.

Every year, the patriarch of Jerusalem, one of the leaders of the Eastern Orthodox Church, goes into the tomb on the day before Easter. According to church tradition, fire rises out of the stone on which Jesus’ body laid. At first, the fire is said to be cool enough to touch, although it later acts like ordinary flame.

The patriarch lights candles, then returns outside the tomb where the fire is used to light other candles and lanterns.

Since the fire landed in New York in April, it has been taken to all but a handful of states. Orthodox Christians coordinate via Facebook and a Google map to arrange meet-ups to light their candles and lanterns. Some carry candles in car cup-holders or buckets of sand. There’s a plan for the fire to reach San Francisco by next Saturday; churches in Alaska and in Cuba have also requested the flame.