Russian President Vladimir Putin will skip the Easter service this year and will instead visit the chapel on the territory of his countryside residence and light a candle, said Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Saturday, APA reports citing TASS.
"The president will not go to the church and will stay at home. As you know, he is now living and working at the Novo-Ogaryovo state residence," the Kremlin spokesman said.
"In the evening, the president will light a candle in a small chapel on the territory of that state residence," Peskov said.
On the occasion of the Easter, the Russian president and Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill will exchange greetings, the Kremlin spokesman added.
President Putin will skip the Easter service for the first time since 2000. Putin traditionally attends Easter services at the Christ the Savior Cathedral in Moscow. The head of the Russian state also attended Easter services outside Moscow on two occasions: he took part in the Easter service at the St. Isaac’s Cathedral in St. Petersburg in 2000 and in 2003 he attended the service at the St. Nicholas Cathedral in Dushanbe while on a visit to Tajikistan during the Easter.
During his sermon at the Christ the Savior Cathedral on Palm Sunday, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill urged believers to stay at home and watch the service on TV, complying with all the sanitary requirements introduced to fight the coronavirus.
Pursuant to a circular by Chancellor of the Moscow Patriarchate Metropolitan Dionisy of Voskresensk posted on the website of the Russian Orthodox Church, church services during the Holy Week and the Easter will be held in Moscow and the Moscow Region on April 13 - 19 without parishioners to comply with the requirements of the sanitary authorities.