Archpriest Boris, the senior priest of St. Simon’s Cathedral in Chelyabinsk, and Father Sergius, the senior priest of the Agapovka church, led the service.
On the same day, Mr Putin sent a message of congratulations to all Russian Christians. The message said, in part:
“Christmas brings peace, goodness, love and hope to millions of homes. It strengthens morals in our community and encourages its members to strive for unity and accord. The activities of the Russian Orthodox Church and other Christian organisations established in Russia have tremendous significance for strengthening high spiritual values.
“I wish all who celebrate Christmas today health, joy, happiness and well-being.”