Tonight in St. Petersburg, St. Isaac’s Cathedral will open its doors for Christmas services for the first time since 1928. Closed by the Bolsheviks, the church began holding morning liturgies on Christmas, but extended services never resumed.
Hundreds of Orthodox believers are anticipated to attend worship at midnight for the Christmas celebrations of the 7th observing the Julian calendar. Archpriest Alexy Isayev told Russia's news agency TASS:
"Divine services resumed at St. Isaac’s Cathedral in 1990 but only morning liturgies were held on Christmas since then. Night services were also held on Easter."
St. Isaacs was built in 1818-1858 and transformed into a museum after the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution. The magnificent cathedral is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the northern capital's largest Orthodox church. Over three million visitors to the city come to St. Isaacs to enjoy the spectacular museum and church each year.
Photo credit: Feature image courtesy Jorge Láscar.