Once the patriarch has emerged from the tomb, the thousands waiting since the morning hours and carrying candles lit them from the holy fire.
This evening, a special flight will deliver the Holy Fire to Belarus.
(AP Photo/Mindaugas Kulbis). Lithuanian Orthodox priests and worshippers hold candles and pray during an Easter vigil Mass in the Prechistensky, the Cathedral Palace in Vilnius, Lithuania, Saturday, April 15, 2017. "Easter celebrations, that are taking place across the country, trace back to centuries-long traditions of ancestors, promote imperishable spiritual values and ideals", Putin said, as quoted by the Kremlin press service.
"With deep satisfaction I would like to highlight the creative, truly selfless work of the Russian Orthodox Church, representatives of other Christian confessions, aimed at solving important social problems, strengthening the institution of family, educating the younger generation, and harmonizing inter-religious and inter-ethnic relations".
Easter will be celebrated on Sunday.
The Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the rest of the Old City lie in East Jerusalem, occupied and later annexed by Israel following the Six Day War of 1967.
This Sunday will mark an uncommon occurrence as the Easter celebrations for both Western and Orthodox Christians will fall on the same day.
Russian President Vladimir Putin extended congratulations on Sunday to Orthodox Christians and all Russian citizens on Easter.