Serbian Orthodox Christians celebrate Easter
The Serbian Orthodox Church (SPC), its clergy and believers are celebrating Easter in temples across the country and abroad this Sunday.Source: B92, Beta
The most important Christian holiday is marked with midnight liturgies, and will continue with more services in the morning.
The resurrection of Christ - described as the greatest joy of the Christian world - will be announced with readings from the Bible and prayers.
The midnight liturgy served tonight in St. Sava's Temple in Belgrade was broadcast live by the state television RTS.
Easter church services were also attended on Sunday by Prime Minister Mirko Cvetković, FM Vuk Jeremić, Interior Minister Ivica Dačić, and other officials.
In his Easter message - which is being read in all churches as part of Easter liturgy - Patriarch Irinej called on fellow Orthodox Serbs to constantly pray for the their sisters and brothers in Kosovo and Metohija.
Worshipers who observed 40-day lent will break their fast with cooked Easter eggs - the first dish from the holiday table. The eggs are prepared in Serbian homes on Good Friday, and traditionally colored red to symbolize the sacrifice of Christ and the new life brought with his resurrection.
In Serbia, Easter is a four-day non-working public holiday that starts on Good Friday.
Easter is today also celebrated by other Orthodox Christians, most notably in Russia, Romania, and Greece.
Serbia's minority Catholic and Protestant Christians marked the holiday last week.
In the epistle delivered on the occasion of the most important Christian holiday, Patriarch Irinej called on believers to pray for their brothers and sisters in Kosovo-Metohija on Easter Sunday, the day of Christ's resurrection which binds us by its meaning and message to preserve and profess the Orthodox religion properly.
We call on them not to allow their spirits to fail and we are asking them to be faithful to their Orthodox religion in their homes and the homes of their ancestors, the patriarch stated in the Easter message.
He noted that Easter instructs that life should be spent with full responsibility and duty which we are performing adequately and responsibly, whether we are in our homes, in the fields, factories or hold offices as statesmen and leaders of the nation.
We have the utmost obligation of preserving human dignity in every individual and ourselves, the patriarch stated.
The head of the Serbian Church called on citizens to respect and preserve the sanctity of marriage because, as he said, it constitutes the basis of a supreme, healthy and decent family.