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Arson ravaged church in Winnipeg celebrating Ukrainian Christmas in basement

Click to play video: 'RAW: Interior aftermath of fire at church on Winnipeg’s Main Street' RAW: Interior aftermath of fire at church on Winnipeg’s Main Street
WATCH: On July 14 a fire tore through the Holy Trinity Ukrainian Orthodox Metropolitan Cathedral on Main Street. It caused more than $1 million in damage. – Jul 15, 2016

WINNIPEG — Across Winnipeg thousands of Ukrainians are celebrating Christmas Eve. However, one Ukrainian church has even more to celebrate, as they continue to rebuild after a fire tore through the building this summer.

On July 7, the Holy Trinity Ukrainian Orthodox Metropolitan Cathedral on Main Street was ravaged by a fire. Since then, the main floor has been under restoration, as the blaze cause more than $1 million in damage. The fire was also linked to arson, police said.

READ MORE: Suspicious fire at Main Street church causes more than $1M in damages

However, the fire did not destroy the spirit of its members who have been gathering in the basement for church services.

“The greatest recovery is that within a couple of months of the tragedy, the fire crews have let us access our church auditorium so we can resume our parish life as best we can,” Father Gene Maximiuk, the cathedral’s parish priest, said.

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On Saturday, Ukainians will meeting in the basement to celebrate Christmas. The Ukrainian Orthodox Church follows the older Julian Calendar, so Christmas is celebrated Jan. 7.

During this celebration, 12 meatless dishes are traditionally served signifying the end of fasting during 40 days of advent.

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Restoration of the church's main floor continues. Facebook
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Restoration of the church's main floor continues.
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Restoration of the church's main floor continues.
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Damage to the inside of the church Friday morning. Jeremy Desrochers/Global News
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Damage from the fire in the summer. Jeremy Desrochers/Global News
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Jeremy Desrochers/Global News
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Ash can be seen on the church pews. Jeremy Desrochers/Global News

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