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Ukrainians celebrate Christmas Eve as power cuts interrupt Holy Mass 

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While some decided to celebrate on 24 December, 6 January still means Christmas Eve for many Ukrainians. In the Western city of Mukachevo, believers gathered in the centuries-old Saint Nicholas Orthodox monastery to attend the holy mass.

Power went out as the service drew to a close, but some stayed put to sing together in candlelight.

“It actually helps us when the lights are out,” explained Tychon, Archimandrite of Saint Nicholas Monastery, in Mukachevo. “We return to ancient times, the liturgy sounds different and we experience it differently. We’re not complaining.”

In the darkness, churchgoers said their thoughts are with those on the battlefield.

“I hope everyone in hardship can ask the help of Jesus and can find refuge in him,” said a local actress

Many of Ukraine’s Greek Catholics also celebrate Christmas at this time of year. Local children in Mukachevo’s Greek Catholic Church marked Christmas Eve with a performance of the nativity.

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