Saturday, May 27, 2017

Millions of Orthodox Christians celebrate Easter

By on April 16, 2017

Ukrainian Orthodox faithful light candles from the Holy Fire brought from Jerusalem in St. Volodymyr Cathedral during the ceremony of the Holy Fire in Kiev, Ukraine, Saturday, April 15, 2017. The Holy Fire ceremony is part of Orthodox Easter rituals and the flame symbolizes the resurrection of Christ in a ceremony dating back to the 12th century. (Sergei Chuzavkov/AP)

Ukrainian Orthodox faithful light candles from the Holy Fire brought from Jerusalem in St. Volodymyr Cathedral during the ceremony of the Holy Fire in Kiev, Ukraine, Saturday, April 15, 2017. (Sergei Chuzavkov/AP)

BUCHAREST, Romania — Millions of Orthodox Christians around the world have celebrated Easter in overnight services and “holy fire” from Jerusalem.

This year the Orthodox churches celebrate Easter on the same Sunday when Roman Catholics and Protestants mark the holy festival. The Western Christian church follows the Gregorian calendar, while the Eastern Orthodox uses the older Julian calendar. The two Easters are often weeks apart.

In predominantly Orthodox Romania, Patriarch Daniel urged Christians to bring joy to “orphans, the sick, the elderly the poor… and the lonely.” Late Saturday, Orthodox cleric transported the holy light from Jerusalem by plane and it was then flown to other churches around the country.

See also: Easter: Religious tradition turned multibillion-dollar industry

There are Orthodox churches in Greece, Russia, Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Moldova and elsewhere.

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