The Russian Orthodox celebrated Easter with few COVID-19 restrictive measures in force yesterday and today.
President Vladimir Putin attended the Resurrection service at the Cathedral of the Savior in Moscow, accompanied only by the Mayor of Moscow, Sergey Sobyanin. Patriarch Kirill of Moscow presided over the Resurrection service.
“The celebration of Easter symbolizes the triumph of life, righteousness and justice, it has enormous moral significance. It consolidates faith, hope and the desire to help our neighbor,” the president said in his congratulatory message to Orthodox Christians and all Russian citizens.
In his remarks, as posted by the Kremlin press service, Putin stressed the special contribution of the Russian Orthodox Church and other Christian denominations to “supporting social peace and unity in the country, the development of interfaith and transnational dialogue,” and its role in promoting family traditions, solving social problems, as a “reliable spiritual support for millions of people.”
In his congratulatory message, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow pointed out that the COVID-19 pandemic “significantly paralyzed people’s lives while affecting the religious life,” but today “we hear the noise from the people, which fills the church and despite the threat of infection, it is gradually receding.”
“To become heirs of Christ’s victory over sin, we must keep faith in the heart no matter what happens, we must increase our good deeds so that we can change ourselves and the world around us will change for the better,” urged the primate of the Russian Orthodox Church.
The Holy Light, which was transported to Russia by direct flight from the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, while according to long-standing Russian tradition, pilgrims visited the country’s cemeteries carrying the Resurrection message to their deceased relatives and ancestors, along with Easter delicacies.
The Russian Prime Minister, Mikhail Mishustin, the Mayor of Moscow, Sergey Sobyanin, also sent their congratulatory messages while the Russian media and outdoor advertising presented the wishes of famous artists, celebrities and opinion leaders who urge the citizens, especially the elderly, to vaccinate as soon as possible.