Easter Service at Moscow's Christ the Savior Cathedral

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A grand congregation, including President Vladimir Putin, gathered at Moscow's iconic Christ the Savior Cathedral for an Easter service in the night. Patriarch Kirill, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church and a vocal Kremlin supporter, presided over the event.

Late Saturday evening, the traditional sung service commenced, with Patriarch Kirill conveying his well-wishes to Orthodox followers, broadcast on Russian television. A solemn procession of white-robed clergy circled the expansive cathedral, reconstructed after the Soviet era and emblematic of Russia's departure from its atheist past. As they rhythmically swung burning incense censers, their chanted liturgy reverberated through the grand space.

Unlike many Western churches that celebrated Easter on March 31, the Russian Orthodox Church adheres to a different calendar, observing the holiday on this later date.

In his Easter address, Patriarch Kirill expressed his aspirations for "God's blessings upon Russia," its people, and all nations where the Orthodox Church has a presence.

In a written message published earlier on the church's website, Patriarch Kirill emphasized the power of "understanding God's love," which he asserted "grants us the resilience to confront the most arduous mental states and challenges, elevates us beyond mundane preoccupations, enables us to rectify past errors, and vanquishes despair."

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