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Patriarch Kirill I conducts remembrance service for victims of Siberian shopping mall fire

The fire claimed 60 lives

KEMEROVO, May 3. /TASS/. Patriarch Kirill I of Moscow and all Russia on Thursday conducted a traditional Russian Orthodox remembrance service on the fortieth day after death in memory of the people who died in a hair-raising fire in the Winter Cherry shopping mall in the Siberian city of Kemerovo at the end of March.

Members of families and friends of the dead and a big number of ordinary believers gathered for the service at the city’s Cathedral of the Virgin Mary of the Sign. Also attending it were the Russian President’s plenipotentiary representative in the Siberian Federal District, Sergei Menyailo, the Acting Governor of the Kemerovo region, Sergey Tsivilyov, as well as city and regional officials.

The number of those who had gathered for prayer was so big that the cathedral did not have enough room for all of them and that is why special outdoor large screens were installed outside of the building to show the service to a broader congregation.

"I’m asking everyone, whom the allocation of financial, administrative or other kinds of aid depends on, to do everything in their power so that we could show solidarity with the victims in the kindest possible way," Kirill I said.

"I’ve seen the data on the provision of aid to the people and I’d like to note that they are receiving it now, or else it has been accorded to them already," he said.

"Aid and support, however, shouldn’t confine to this particular period that followed immediately the people’s deaths," Kirill I said.

He also addressed Metropolitan Aristarchus, the head of the Kemerovo diocese, saying that the Church had a duty to render life-long support and assistance to the people who had gone through grief.

"It’s not for forty years, for ten years or for twenty years," Kirill I said. "As long as grief overburdens a person, the Church has a duty to stand by his or her side. And I’m asking you to remember those who died all the time, to remember the victims of this igneous calamity, and to send our prayers to the heavens for their eternal peace and for the health of their near and dear ones."