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Patriarch Alexy will conduct memorial service for Yeltsin

Moscow, May 29, Interfax - Head of the Russian Orthodox Church Patriarch Alexy II will conduct a memorial service for the first Russian president on Friday - the 40th day since the death of Boris Yeltsin.

This will be June 1 when the Russian Orthodox Church remembers Prince Dimitry Donskoy, who freed Rus from the Tatar-Mongol yoke.

In his message of condolences to Yeltsin's widow Naina the patriarch called the first president a historic figure and a striking politician under whom "many cathedrals and monasteries were returned to the Church, once destroyed sanctuaries were restored to their old beauty and many theological educational institutions were established."

He stressed that Yeltsin had strived to maintain a good relationship between the state and the church.

Having performed his mission as the head of state in difficult times at a crucial turn Yeltsin "touchingly addressed the nation and placed the future of the country in its hands," the message reads.