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MOSCOW, January 6. /TASS/. Orthodox Christians all over Russia mark Christmas Eve on Wednesday.
Christians conclude a four-week fast during which they confess their sins and receive communion. And on Christmas Eve they have special fasting, "until the first star," in memory of how the Magi came first to the birthplace of Christ following the movement of the star in the sky. At present, a candle in front of the altar, which is lit at the end of the Christmas Eve service at about noon, symbolizes the star.
Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia will recite Christmas Eve liturgy the Christ the Saviour Cathedral in Moscow. The festive Christmas service recalls the great event that marked the beginning of a new era for mankind. At the moment of birth of Godman God's grace touched every person, every family line, and from that time the person has the opportunity to accept the gift.
Festive services are to be held at night and in the morning in almost 30, 000 churches of the Russian Orthodox Church worldwide.
Christmas on January 7 is also celebrated by the Georgian, Serbian and Jerusalem Orthodox Churches.
The night service at Moscow’s Christ the Saviour Cathedral will be traditionally telecast by the central television channels.