Several thousand Orthodox Chinese and nationals of other states living in China, along with the Orthodox around the world met the bright holiday of Pascha on April 27.
In Beijing, many Russians, as well as believers from Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, Kazakhstan, Serbia, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Poland, Greece, France, Great Britain, Australia and the U.S., assembled for the Paschal procession and midnight divine liturgy in the ancient building of the Russian Spiritual Mission—the Red Fangzi—on the territory of the Russian Embassy in China, the largest parish in China.
Archpriest Dionisy Pozdnyaev served with deacon Alexy, a cleric from the ROCOR Diocese of Australia and New Zealand. During the Liturgy, the Gospel was read in Church-Slavonic, Russian, French, English, German, Greek and Chinese.
All appointed services of Passion Week were conducted in the Red Fangzi, the former Mission's chapel in honor of St. Innocent of Irkutsk. The Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts was served on Great Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. In the early part of the week, the Sacrament of Prayer and Oil was conducted. There was a Divine Liturgy of St. Basil the Great on Great Thursday, the day of the remembrance the Mystical Supper. On Good Friday, Vespers with the Rite of Bringing out the Epitaphios and the Matins of Great Saturday with Rite of Burial were served in the Red Fangzi.
On Saturday after the Divine Liturgy there was a traditional and much-loved by Russians blessing of kulich, dessert cheese and Easter eggs; home-made kulichi and skillfully painted eggs were displayed on several tables.
On the Day of Pascha what has already become a traditional children's Paschal party was organized by parishioners of the community and Sunday school pupils in the Embassy Club. "The road to the temple", a puppet play based on a Paschal story, was shown to the children and their parents. During the concert, Paschal songs and poems dedicated to Christ's Resurrection were heard.
In the daytime of April 27, about 30 Orthodox Chinese from Beijing, Shanghai and Harbin welcomed Pascha at Beijing's Roman Catholic Cathedral of the Archangel Michael, with a lay-led rite, without the participation of a priest, because under the laws of the PRC, foreign priests are not allowed to conduct services for Chinese citizens. 81-year old deacon Evangel Lu of the Chinese Autonomous Church, who was born and ordained in the Russian Spiritual Mission in Beijing, arrived for the Paschal service.
Pascha was welcomed in other cities of China - Orthodox parishes in Shanghai, Shenzhen, Guangzhou and Hong Kong.
In Hong Kong, Shenzhen and Guangzhou, the services of Holy Pascha were led by Hieromonk Melety (Sokolov) (Moscow Theological Academy), who arrived at the invitation of Orthodox communities of the province of Guangdong.
In Shanghai, Paschal divine services were conducted by priest Alexy Kiselevich in the building of the Consulate General of the Russian Federation. Russians and citizens from beyond China's borders attended these services.