| 23°C Belfast

In Pictures: Worshippers celebrate Orthodox Easter in era of coronavirus

Services were broadcast online or on television.

Close

A volunteer wearing a protective outfit stands next to the church doors during the Orthodox Easter service (Vadim Ghirda/AP)

A volunteer wearing a protective outfit stands next to the church doors during the Orthodox Easter service (Vadim Ghirda/AP)

A volunteer wearing a protective outfit stands next to the church doors during the Orthodox Easter service (Vadim Ghirda/AP)

The coronavirus continues to impact on people’s daily lives across the world with restrictions meaning Orthodox services for Easter could not be carried out as normal.

Many services were broadcast online or on television with distancing regulations meaning the holy day was marked at a distance.

Russian Orthodox leader Patriarch Kirill led the church’s main service at Moscow’s Christ the Saviour Cathedral and called on his parishioners not to be discouraged by being unable to attend services.

Close

A family holding candles gather on a rooftop of a building during a lockdown order by the government to prevent the spread of the coronavirus in Athens, on Sunday, April 19, 2020. Greeks celebrated the Resurrection of Christ very differently Saturday night: confined at home, instead of massively congregating in churches. And they had to do without the “Holy Light” from Jerusalem, which arrived in Athens but was not distributed, as authorities remained ready to crack down on anyone who violated the strict curfew imposed almost a month ago. (AP Photo/Michael Varaklas)

A family holding candles gather on a rooftop of a building during a lockdown order by the government to prevent the spread of the coronavirus in Athens, on Sunday, April 19, 2020. Greeks celebrated the Resurrection of Christ very differently Saturday night: confined at home, instead of massively congregating in churches. And they had to do without the “Holy Light” from Jerusalem, which arrived in Athens but was not distributed, as authorities remained ready to crack down on anyone who violated the strict curfew imposed almost a month ago. (AP Photo/Michael Varaklas)

AP

A family holding candles gather on a rooftop of a building during a lockdown order by the government to prevent the spread of the coronavirus in Athens, on Sunday, April 19, 2020. Greeks celebrated the Resurrection of Christ very differently Saturday night: confined at home, instead of massively congregating in churches. And they had to do without the “Holy Light” from Jerusalem, which arrived in Athens but was not distributed, as authorities remained ready to crack down on anyone who violated the strict curfew imposed almost a month ago. (AP Photo/Michael Varaklas)

Close

A small numbers of Georgian Orthodox Church worshippers, observe social distancing guidelines to protect against coronavirus, attend a Mass celebrating Orthodox Easter at the Trinity cathedral in Tbilisi, Georgia, Saturday, April 18, 2020. Just a few priests accompanied by volunteers conduct the religious service as people observed the interdiction to join religious celebrations in the week leading to the Orthodox Easter, as authorities try to limit the spread of the COVID-19 infections. (AP Photo/Zurab Tsertsvadze)

A small numbers of Georgian Orthodox Church worshippers, observe social distancing guidelines to protect against coronavirus, attend a Mass celebrating Orthodox Easter at the Trinity cathedral in Tbilisi, Georgia, Saturday, April 18, 2020. Just a few priests accompanied by volunteers conduct the religious service as people observed the interdiction to join religious celebrations in the week leading to the Orthodox Easter, as authorities try to limit the spread of the COVID-19 infections. (AP Photo/Zurab Tsertsvadze)

AP

A small numbers of Georgian Orthodox Church worshippers, observe social distancing guidelines to protect against coronavirus, attend a Mass celebrating Orthodox Easter at the Trinity cathedral in Tbilisi, Georgia, Saturday, April 18, 2020. Just a few priests accompanied by volunteers conduct the religious service as people observed the interdiction to join religious celebrations in the week leading to the Orthodox Easter, as authorities try to limit the spread of the COVID-19 infections. (AP Photo/Zurab Tsertsvadze)

Close

Georgian Orthodox Church priests, observe social distancing guidelines to protect against coronavirus, attend a religious service celebrating Orthodox Easter at the Trinity cathedral in Tbilisi, Georgia, Saturday, April 18, 2020. Just a few priests accompanied by volunteers conduct the religious service as people observed the interdiction to join religious celebrations in the week leading to the Orthodox Easter, as authorities try to limit the spread of the COVID-19 infections. (AP Photo/Zurab Tsertsvadze)

Georgian Orthodox Church priests, observe social distancing guidelines to protect against coronavirus, attend a religious service celebrating Orthodox Easter at the Trinity cathedral in Tbilisi, Georgia, Saturday, April 18, 2020. Just a few priests accompanied by volunteers conduct the religious service as people observed the interdiction to join religious celebrations in the week leading to the Orthodox Easter, as authorities try to limit the spread of the COVID-19 infections. (AP Photo/Zurab Tsertsvadze)

AP

Georgian Orthodox Church priests, observe social distancing guidelines to protect against coronavirus, attend a religious service celebrating Orthodox Easter at the Trinity cathedral in Tbilisi, Georgia, Saturday, April 18, 2020. Just a few priests accompanied by volunteers conduct the religious service as people observed the interdiction to join religious celebrations in the week leading to the Orthodox Easter, as authorities try to limit the spread of the COVID-19 infections. (AP Photo/Zurab Tsertsvadze)

Close

A Greek Orthodox priest takes part in the Good Saturday ceremony, held without worshippers inside an empty church in the northern city of Thessaloniki, Greece, during a lockdown order by the government to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, on Sunday, April 19, 2020. Greeks celebrated the Resurrection of Christ very differently Saturday night: confined at home, instead of massively congregating in churches. And they had to do without the “Holly Light” from Jerusalem, which arrived in Athens but was not distributed, as authorities remained ready to crack down on anyone who violated the strict curfew imposed almost a month ago. (AP Photo/Giannis Papanikos)

A Greek Orthodox priest takes part in the Good Saturday ceremony, held without worshippers inside an empty church in the northern city of Thessaloniki, Greece, during a lockdown order by the government to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, on Sunday, April 19, 2020. Greeks celebrated the Resurrection of Christ very differently Saturday night: confined at home, instead of massively congregating in churches. And they had to do without the “Holly Light” from Jerusalem, which arrived in Athens but was not distributed, as authorities remained ready to crack down on anyone who violated the strict curfew imposed almost a month ago. (AP Photo/Giannis Papanikos)

AP

A Greek Orthodox priest takes part in the Good Saturday ceremony, held without worshippers inside an empty church in the northern city of Thessaloniki, Greece, during a lockdown order by the government to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, on Sunday, April 19, 2020. Greeks celebrated the Resurrection of Christ very differently Saturday night: confined at home, instead of massively congregating in churches. And they had to do without the “Holly Light” from Jerusalem, which arrived in Athens but was not distributed, as authorities remained ready to crack down on anyone who violated the strict curfew imposed almost a month ago. (AP Photo/Giannis Papanikos)

Close

A woman holds a candle at the window while listening to the blessings of a priest from downstairs during the coronavirus pandemic in Bucharest, Romania, Saturday, April 18, 2020. Priests accompanied by volunteers distributed the holy light ahead of the usual time, at midnight, as people observed the interdiction to join religious celebrations in the week leading to the Orthodox Easter, imposed across Romania as authorities try to limit the spread of the COVID-19 infections. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

A woman holds a candle at the window while listening to the blessings of a priest from downstairs during the coronavirus pandemic in Bucharest, Romania, Saturday, April 18, 2020. Priests accompanied by volunteers distributed the holy light ahead of the usual time, at midnight, as people observed the interdiction to join religious celebrations in the week leading to the Orthodox Easter, imposed across Romania as authorities try to limit the spread of the COVID-19 infections. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

AP

A woman holds a candle at the window while listening to the blessings of a priest from downstairs during the coronavirus pandemic in Bucharest, Romania, Saturday, April 18, 2020. Priests accompanied by volunteers distributed the holy light ahead of the usual time, at midnight, as people observed the interdiction to join religious celebrations in the week leading to the Orthodox Easter, imposed across Romania as authorities try to limit the spread of the COVID-19 infections. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

Close

A priest blesses worshipers that stand at the windows of an apartment block during the coronavirus outbreak in Bucharest, Romania, Saturday, April 18, 2020. Priests accompanied by volunteers distributed the holy light ahead of the usual time, at midnight, as people observed the interdiction to join religious celebrations in the week leading to the Orthodox Easter, imposed across Romania as authorities try to limit the spread of the COVID-19 infections. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

A priest blesses worshipers that stand at the windows of an apartment block during the coronavirus outbreak in Bucharest, Romania, Saturday, April 18, 2020. Priests accompanied by volunteers distributed the holy light ahead of the usual time, at midnight, as people observed the interdiction to join religious celebrations in the week leading to the Orthodox Easter, imposed across Romania as authorities try to limit the spread of the COVID-19 infections. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

AP

A priest blesses worshipers that stand at the windows of an apartment block during the coronavirus outbreak in Bucharest, Romania, Saturday, April 18, 2020. Priests accompanied by volunteers distributed the holy light ahead of the usual time, at midnight, as people observed the interdiction to join religious celebrations in the week leading to the Orthodox Easter, imposed across Romania as authorities try to limit the spread of the COVID-19 infections. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

Close

A priest distributes holy light to households during the coronavirus pandemic in Bucharest, Romania, Saturday, April 18, 2020. Priests accompanied by volunteers distributed the holy light ahead of the usual time, at midnight, as people observed the interdiction to join religious celebrations in the week leading to the Orthodox Easter, imposed across Romania as authorities try to limit the spread of the COVID-19 infections. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

A priest distributes holy light to households during the coronavirus pandemic in Bucharest, Romania, Saturday, April 18, 2020. Priests accompanied by volunteers distributed the holy light ahead of the usual time, at midnight, as people observed the interdiction to join religious celebrations in the week leading to the Orthodox Easter, imposed across Romania as authorities try to limit the spread of the COVID-19 infections. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

AP

A priest distributes holy light to households during the coronavirus pandemic in Bucharest, Romania, Saturday, April 18, 2020. Priests accompanied by volunteers distributed the holy light ahead of the usual time, at midnight, as people observed the interdiction to join religious celebrations in the week leading to the Orthodox Easter, imposed across Romania as authorities try to limit the spread of the COVID-19 infections. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

Close

A man leans out his window to receive Holy Light from a priest in Bucharest, Romania, Saturday, April 18, 2020. Priests accompanied by volunteers distributed the candles ahead of the usual time, at midnight, as people observed the ban on gatherings in the week leading to the Orthodox Easter, as authorities try to limit the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

A man leans out his window to receive Holy Light from a priest in Bucharest, Romania, Saturday, April 18, 2020. Priests accompanied by volunteers distributed the candles ahead of the usual time, at midnight, as people observed the ban on gatherings in the week leading to the Orthodox Easter, as authorities try to limit the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

AP

A man leans out his window to receive Holy Light from a priest in Bucharest, Romania, Saturday, April 18, 2020. Priests accompanied by volunteers distributed the candles ahead of the usual time, at midnight, as people observed the ban on gatherings in the week leading to the Orthodox Easter, as authorities try to limit the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

Close

A homeless man walks in front of an Orthodox church which remains closed to the public, in Athens, on Saturday, April 18, 2020. The strict quarantine measures against the coronavirus mean that churches will stay empty and that the faithful will not light their candles with the Holy Light. Authorities are determine to punish any infractions. (AP Photo/Yorgos Karahalis)

A homeless man walks in front of an Orthodox church which remains closed to the public, in Athens, on Saturday, April 18, 2020. The strict quarantine measures against the coronavirus mean that churches will stay empty and that the faithful will not light their candles with the Holy Light. Authorities are determine to punish any infractions. (AP Photo/Yorgos Karahalis)

AP

A homeless man walks in front of an Orthodox church which remains closed to the public, in Athens, on Saturday, April 18, 2020. The strict quarantine measures against the coronavirus mean that churches will stay empty and that the faithful will not light their candles with the Holy Light. Authorities are determine to punish any infractions. (AP Photo/Yorgos Karahalis)

Close

A woman and her child, wearing face masks to protect against coronavirus, light candles after a Great Saturday Mass in a church in Simferopol, Crimea, Saturday, April 18, 2020. For Orthodox Christians, this is normally a time of reflection, communal mourning and joyful release, of centuries-old ceremonies steeped in symbolism and tradition. But this year, Easter – by far the most significant religious holiday for the world’s roughly 300 million Orthodox – has essentially been cancelled. (AP Photo)

A woman and her child, wearing face masks to protect against coronavirus, light candles after a Great Saturday Mass in a church in Simferopol, Crimea, Saturday, April 18, 2020. For Orthodox Christians, this is normally a time of reflection, communal mourning and joyful release, of centuries-old ceremonies steeped in symbolism and tradition. But this year, Easter – by far the most significant religious holiday for the world’s roughly 300 million Orthodox – has essentially been cancelled. (AP Photo)

AP

A woman and her child, wearing face masks to protect against coronavirus, light candles after a Great Saturday Mass in a church in Simferopol, Crimea, Saturday, April 18, 2020. For Orthodox Christians, this is normally a time of reflection, communal mourning and joyful release, of centuries-old ceremonies steeped in symbolism and tradition. But this year, Easter – by far the most significant religious holiday for the world’s roughly 300 million Orthodox – has essentially been cancelled. (AP Photo)

Close

A priest of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church Nazariy, wearing a face mask to protect against coronavirus, blesses family members on the Easter eve near their house in the village of Nove close to capital Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, April, 18, 2020. All the Ukrainian churches have been closed for people because of COVID-19 outbreak, and believers wait for the priest right near their houses. For Orthodox Christians, this is normally a time of reflection, communal mourning and joyful release, of centuries-old ceremonies steeped in symbolism and tradition. But this year, Easter – by far the most significant religious holiday for the world’s roughly 300 million Orthodox – has essentially been cancelled. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)

A priest of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church Nazariy, wearing a face mask to protect against coronavirus, blesses family members on the Easter eve near their house in the village of Nove close to capital Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, April, 18, 2020. All the Ukrainian churches have been closed for people because of COVID-19 outbreak, and believers wait for the priest right near their houses. For Orthodox Christians, this is normally a time of reflection, communal mourning and joyful release, of centuries-old ceremonies steeped in symbolism and tradition. But this year, Easter – by far the most significant religious holiday for the world’s roughly 300 million Orthodox – has essentially been cancelled. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)

AP

A priest of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church Nazariy, wearing a face mask to protect against coronavirus, blesses family members on the Easter eve near their house in the village of Nove close to capital Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, April, 18, 2020. All the Ukrainian churches have been closed for people because of COVID-19 outbreak, and believers wait for the priest right near their houses. For Orthodox Christians, this is normally a time of reflection, communal mourning and joyful release, of centuries-old ceremonies steeped in symbolism and tradition. But this year, Easter – by far the most significant religious holiday for the world’s roughly 300 million Orthodox – has essentially been cancelled. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)

Close

A Lithuanian Orthodox believer wearing a face mask to protect against the coronavirus, prays after a cake and Easter egg blessing ceremony at the Orthodox Church of the Holy Spirit in Vilnius, Lithuania, Saturday, April 18, 2020. For Orthodox Christians, this is normally a time of reflection, communal mourning and joyful release, of centuries-old ceremonies steeped in symbolism and tradition. But this year, Easter – by far the most significant religious holiday for the world’s roughly 300 million Orthodox – has essentially been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (AP Photo/Mindaugas Kulbis)

A Lithuanian Orthodox believer wearing a face mask to protect against the coronavirus, prays after a cake and Easter egg blessing ceremony at the Orthodox Church of the Holy Spirit in Vilnius, Lithuania, Saturday, April 18, 2020. For Orthodox Christians, this is normally a time of reflection, communal mourning and joyful release, of centuries-old ceremonies steeped in symbolism and tradition. But this year, Easter – by far the most significant religious holiday for the world’s roughly 300 million Orthodox – has essentially been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (AP Photo/Mindaugas Kulbis)

AP

A Lithuanian Orthodox believer wearing a face mask to protect against the coronavirus, prays after a cake and Easter egg blessing ceremony at the Orthodox Church of the Holy Spirit in Vilnius, Lithuania, Saturday, April 18, 2020. For Orthodox Christians, this is normally a time of reflection, communal mourning and joyful release, of centuries-old ceremonies steeped in symbolism and tradition. But this year, Easter – by far the most significant religious holiday for the world’s roughly 300 million Orthodox – has essentially been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (AP Photo/Mindaugas Kulbis)

PA