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MOSCOW, April 12. /TASS/. More than 7,000 worshippers crowded into Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Saviour on Sunday for the Easter service.
The head of Russia's Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, who presided at Sunday’s service, addressed the congregation in his Easter message. He also appealed in his speech for peace in Ukraine.
Easter marks the holiest feast in the Christian calendar. Russian believers filled the cathedral in Moscow. Many people came with children. Free invitations to the Easter service had been distributed through Moscow’s churches. Preferences had been given to families with many children as well as older people, people with disabilities and children living in orphanages.
According to a tradition launched by the St. Andrew the First-Called Foundation in 2003, the Holy Fire from Jerusalem was passed to the cathedral in Moscow, where Patriarch Kirill lit his candle from it. The light from the Holy Fire was then shared by candles to the crowd.
The Easter vigil mass was attended by Russian President Vladimir Putin, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and his wife Svetlana, and several other officials. After the service, the patriarch and the Russian leaders exchanged decorative Easter eggs as gifts.
On Sunday evening, Patriarch Kirill will conduct Easter Vespers at the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour.