Jeruslem, Israel - State of
RUSSIAN ORTHODOX PATRIARCH ALEXEI II KISSES STONE IN JERUSALEM CHURCH OF THE HOLY SEPULCHRE.
The Orthodox Patriarch from Russia, Alexei II, kneels to kiss the marble stone slab at the entrance to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre as an Orthodox Christmas procession through the Old City from the Jaffa Gate comes to a close January 4. Orthodox Patriarchs from 14 countries, including the Holy Land, are present to celebrate the Orthodox Christmas which falls on January 7. The marble stone slab is said to be where the body of Jesus was laid and prepared for burial after being taken from the cross. Jesus' tomb is thought to be in the center of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.