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Interfaith Service Held At Makeshift Boylston Street Memorial

People attend an interfaith service held near a makeshift memorial on Boylston Street, near the finish line of the Boston Marathon on Sunday. (Julio Cortez/AP)

People attend an interfaith service held near a makeshift memorial on Boylston Street, near the finish line of the Boston Marathon on Sunday. (Julio Cortez/AP)

BOSTON — As the city of Boston makes plans to reopen Boylston Street, the area continues to draw people who want to pay respect to the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings.

Flowers, balloons, posters and pictures lie against a barricade blocking Boylston off at Berkeley Street, creating a makeshift memorial that has been growing ever since the bombings.

It was a natural spot for leaders of churches and synagogues in the Back Bay to gather Sunday for a brief interfaith service.

During the interfaith memorial service, songs were performed and lyrics were handed out so the public could sing along. Here, children are singing "America The Beautiful." (Amanda Art/WBUR)

Children sing along to “American The Beautiful” during an interfaith service held at makeshift memorial on Boylston Street. (Amanda Art/WBUR)

Rabbi Howard Berman of Central Reform Temple on Newbury Street led the prayers and songs.

“In whatever way we sing, in whatever way we pray, may we go forth in the spirit of shalom, of wholeness, of healing, and of peace,” Berman said.

Close to 100 people were there, including families with small children, runners, marathon volunteers and first responders. They came to pay their respects to the victims — and also to gain strength from each other.

“Just time I think is all we need now,” said Sarah Murdoch, of Tewksbury.

“Time’s a good one, but just love,” Ryan Skene, also of Tewksbury, added. “We’re all here and just one big happy family.”

A few comfort dogs, which help people cop with stress, were part of the crowd at the interfaith service. Here 13-month-old Aiden Becker pets the dog as his mother, Casey Becker, looks on. (Amanda Art/WBUR)

A few comfort dogs, which help people cope with stress, were part of the crowd at the interfaith service. (Amanda Art/WBUR)

“And everyone’s so nice here right now, with the comfort dogs and everyone — you can just feel the love,” Murdock said.

The gathering also drew someone that Gov. Deval Patrick was trying to find last week: Tyler Dodd. He was near the finish line on Monday and ran to help after hearing the explosions.

Patrick singled him out for the help he provided a woman hospitalized at Tufts Medical Center.

Dodd says the bombers failed because the city of Boston has only pulled together.

“You can look around and see multiple cultures, ethnicities and religious backgrounds come together in a message of hope and peace. I’m grateful to be a resident of the city of Boston,” Dodd said.

When Boylston Street reopens, the city plans to move memorial to Copley Square until a permanent memorial can be built.

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