On 26 November 2011 the Office for the Dead was performed at the Moscow Church of the “Joy of All the Afflicted” icon of the Mother of God in memory of those who died in the USSR during the mass starvation of 1932-1933 which spread across the Ukraine, the Volga region, the North Caucasus, the Southern Urals and Western Siberia, taking millions of lives. The Office for the Dead was said by archpriest Nikolai Balashov, vice-chairman of the Department for External Church Relations, Rev. Dimitry Ageev, assistant to the DECR chairman, and the clergy of the church.
Such Offices for the Dead have been performed annually every last Saturday of November since 2006 with the blessing of the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church at the churches of the Moscow Patriarchate in many countries.
Praying at the service were Vladimir Yelchenko, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Ukraine to the Russian Federation, the Embassy officials, and the parishioners.
Before the service, archpriest Nikolai Balashov addressed those present in the church, saying: “May the Church, keeping the memory of the nation’s history, save us from the repetition of this tragedy. May the Mother of God, Joy of All the Afflicted, intercede for our people so that our children and grandchildren never have this experience.”
After the service, the DECR vice-chairman thanked all those who came to pray for the victims of starvation.