Because of the calendar difference, Orthodox Easter doesn’t coincide with that of Catholics. The Orthodox use the Julian calendar, and that’s why the Russian Orthodox Church celebrated its most important religious feast according this Sunday, on April 24, 2022..
Preparation for Easter Sunday starts on the Thursday before, or as Russians call it, Clean Thursday. On this day people clean up their house and begin to prepare their Easter meals. (Photo below: the Church of The Holy Sign in Divnogorsk, Krasnoyarsk Territory)
People paint eggs and decorate them in many creative ways; and bake kulich Easter cakes and cook cottage cheese desserts called paskha. In fact, this is actually the Russian word for ‘Easter’. (Photo below: an Easter cross procession in Vladivostok)
On Holy Saturday believers line up outside churches to have their eggs and cakes blessed. Below, people are pictured in front of the St. John of Kronstadt Cathedral in Moscow.
The faithful stand in front of the Ascension Cathedral in Novosibirsk.
Priests sprinkle holy water on eggs and cakes, as well as on people, blessing them.
Usually the priests don’t skimp on the holy water, abundantly sprinkling it on the faithful.
Holy Saturday night, on the eve of Easter, the Holy Fire from Jerusalem is carried to Moscow by a special flight. Priests attend a welcome ceremony at Moscow's Vnukovo Airport.
The Holy Fire is brought to the country’s main cathedral, The Christ the Savior Cathedral, and there the Patriarch leads the Easter service at midnight, ready to welcome Holy Sunday, Easter.
As a part of the service, a large procession is held that goes around the church. The choir and clergy, priests and believers follow the cross and icons. Below is a procession of the faithful during an Easter service at the Ascension Cathedral in Novosibirsk.
The church service held inside the same church in Novosibirsk.
The church service at the Cathedral of the Kazan Icon of the Mother of God in the town of Gorokhovets in Vladimir Region.
Believers attend an Easter service at the Church of the Kazan Icon of the Mother of God in Kaluga Region.
Easter eggs are shown during an Easter service at St Michael's Church in Grozny, the Chechen Republic.
The church service ends only at 3-5 a.m., so the next morning the church is closed. Below is the Easter service at the Cathedral of the Nativity in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk.
Believers celebrate Easter morning at home, greeting each other with the words “Christ is risen” (Христос воскрес - Khristos voskres), in which the response is “He is risen indeed!” (Воистину воскрес - Voistinu voskres). The faithful eat eggs and kulich.
Believers take part in an Easter cross procession in Vladivostok.
Another big holiday church service is held on Easter evening. Here we see the faithful at the Christ the Savior Cathedral on April 24.
Our website and social media accounts are under threat of being restricted or banned, due to the current circumstances. So, to keep up with our latest content, simply do the following:
If using any of Russia Beyond's content, partly or in full, always provide an active hyperlink to the original material.
to our newsletter!
Get the week's best stories straight to your inbox