Tens of thousands pay tribute to late Serbian patriarch
Belgrade: Tens of thousands of people lined the streets of Belgrade on Thursday to bid farewell to late Serbian Orthodox Patriarch Pavle, who led his flock during the fall of communism and the Balkan wars.
After a liturgy service in the patriarchy`s Saborna church, led by church elders in white-golden robes, the open casket with Pavle`s body covered with white, green and golden embroidery shroud was taken for the funeral procession.
Tens of thousands of people lined up central streets in silence, joining the procession in a somber march towards the main Orthodox cathedral, St Sava, in central Belgrade, where the main funeral service would be held.
The patriarch, who died Sunday aged 95, was to be buried later today in Rakovica monastery, in a Belgrade suburb, as he had wished.
The majority of Serbia`s population of 7.5 million people are Orthodox Christians.
As the procession arrived at the plateau in front of the cathedral, the bells tolled while a church choir sang prayer anthems.
The funeral rites were held in the open, around the casket on the red make-shift throne, while many among the mourners carried candles or small icons of their patrons.
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