Serbia: Patriarch Irinej receives Holy Fire, leads Orthodox Easter Mass

Thousands of people, including Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic and several other officials, attended Easter Mass led by Patriarch Irinej of Serbia at the Church of Saint Sava in Belgrade, late Saturday night and into the early hours of Sunday. Before leading the ceremony, Patriarch Irinej blessed the closed doors of the church and knocked on them to certify that no fire is burning inside in order to ignite the Holy Fire inside the church, as the tradition dictates. Once the procession and blessing had taken place, people allowed to enter the church. The Holy Fire, which arrived from Jerusalem earlier on Saturday, was passed on to the Serbian people for the first time.