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Easter arrives in Russia

April 15, 2012, 0:58 UTC+3

Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill is leading a night service at the Moscow Cathedral of Christ the Savior

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MOSCOW, April 15 (Itar-Tass) —It’s Easter in Russia. The holy day of Resurrection of Jesus Christ has arrived.

Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill is leading a night service at the Moscow Cathedral of Christ the Savior.

Easter is the main holiday in the Orthodox Christian tradition, and the celebrations are always serene and solemn. The Cathedral of Christ the Savior is decorated with flowers tonight. An icon decorated with white and red flowers is in the centre. Compositions of crimson carnations in the form of Easter eggs are located on the two sides. The clergymen are dressed in snow white garments.

A lamp with the Holy Fire that arrived at Moscow’s Vnukovo airport at around 22:49 Moscow time was escorted to the Cathedral of Christ the Savior. Patriarch Kirill lit candles in the cathedral from the Holy Fire and the participants of the procession of the Cross and all the people present inside the church lit their small candles from them.

The Procession of the Cross took place at midnight. It symbolizes the march of the Holy Women to Christ’s Sepulcher.

During the service the Gospel Book will be read in 18 languages, including the Aramaic, which was spoken at the time of Jesus Christ.

Easter night services are being held at 30,000 Russian Orthodox churches, including parishes in almost 60 countries.

Easter wouldn’t be Easter without the traditional Moscow Easter Festival that is kicking off in the Russian capital for eleventh time. Apart from Moscow, concerts of symphony, choral and bell music will be held in almost 30 Russian towns and cities. World music stars will take part in the festival that will last until May 9.

The entire Easter period will last for 40 days. During these time Christians welcome each other with words, “Christ has risen!”

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