Discuss as:

Bulgaria bids farewell to Patriarch of Orthodox Church

Valentina Petrova / AP

Orthodox priests perform rituals during Patriarch Maxim's funeral service at Alexander Newskiy cathedral in Sofia, Bulgaria on Nov 9, 2012.

Bulgaria bid a last farewell Friday to its Christian Orthodox religious leader for over 40 years, Patriarch Maxim, who died on Tuesday at the age of 98 and was buried in his beloved Troyan monastery in the north of the country, Agence France Presse reports. 

Maxim was elected Patriarch in 1971 and oversaw a major religious revival in Bulgaria after the collapse of communist rule, according to Reuters.

Dimitar Dilkoff / AFP - Getty Images

Orthodox priests carry the coffin of the late Patriarch Maxim during a funeral service at the golden-domed Alexander Nevski cathedral in Sofia on November 9, 2012.

Vassil Donev / EPA

An Orthodox nun pays her respect at the casket of Patriarch Maxim during a memorial service at St. Nedelia church in Sofia on November 8, 2012.

Nikolay Doychinov / AFP - Getty Images

A woman pays her respects in front of the coffin of the late Patriarch Maxim in St. Nedelia cathedral in Sofia on November 8, 2012.

Follow @NBCNewsPictures

Sign up for the NBCNews.com Photos Newsletter