Russian Orthodox Believers Begin Christmas Celebrations

Russian Orthodox Believers Holding Candles at Cathedral at Christmas

MOSCOW, January 7 (RIA Novosti) – Russian Orthodox believers flocked to churches on Monday to attend Christmas services with some 6,000 people attending the service in Moscow’s Christ the Savior Cathedral.

The head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill, called on the believers to “follow the Savior’s path of love” and to “always think about the wellbeing of all people, the Fatherland and the Church.”

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev attended the Divine Liturgy at the Cathedral of Christ the Savior along with his wife and exchanged Christmas greetings with the Patriarch.

Russian President Vladimir Putin attended Christmas service at a convent in the village of Lesnoye near the Black Sea resort city of Sochi.

Christmas services will continue until Monday evening, and Church leaders will deliver their congratulations after the Great Vespers, to begin at 16:00 Moscow time [12:00 GMT].

The Russian, Jerusalem, Serbian and Georgian Orthodox churches, Athos monasteries, some Catholics and some Protestants celebrate Christmas on January 7 in line with the Julian calendar, while Roman Catholics, Lutherans, Anglicans and some Orthodox churches celebrate the feast on December 25.