Prior to Great Lent, the Church offers special Divine Liturgy to pray for the souls of its departed servants. The practice o praying for those who have taken their repose in the Lord is an ancient one. Christianity has always believed that those who have fallen asleep are not dead but still alive in Christ Jesus! Therefore, in its very essence, prayer for the dead is a proclamation of the Resurrection of Christ and the gift of His Kingdom. It is, therefore, imperative for us the living to remember our loved ones who have passed on and to pray that the Lord accept them into His Heavenly Kingdom.
The death of a loved one brings separation that is sorrowful and tragic. Unfortunately, this is a reality of the fallen worl in which we live and no one can escape this reality. When death occurs, the bereaved focus their energy and thoughts on th deceased in order to maintain some type of connection. For weeks, months and even years, the bereaved will think of and remember their beloved, as they should. The Church understands that there exists a need for us to have a continued connection with a departed loved one. Hence, we remember them in various facets of our life, including prayer. Our prayers for the dead do not merely maintain a link for us but are also a means of intercession. While the prayers of the church help to comfort us in our moment of loss and frailty, they also become a powerful tool of intercession for the departed. Simply stated, the prayers heard during the Saturday of the Souls are both beneficial for us the living and at the same time of great benefit to our departed.
Please plan to attend the liturgies and give the names of your departed loved ones to Father Peter so that he may commemorate them during the Memorial Service.
When these days appear, we know that we are approaching the Great Lent in preparation for Easter. The prayers for the dead benefit those who pray for the departed. They remind us that now is the time for moral development and improvement for faith, repentance, and love.
On the commemoration slip below, write the first name (Christian name) of your deceased loved ones so that they may be remembered at the special Memorial Saturdays. It is a tradition for the faithful to bring “kolyva” (boiled wheat) on these Saturdays for the Memorials. The “kolyva” is prepared and offered as a symbol of the Resurrection of the dead, recalling the words of our Lord: “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears fruit.” (John 12:24). If you plan to prepare a small dish of kolyva for the Memorial Services, please bring the kolyva to church early the day of the Liturgy. Please bring your slip with the names to church before the Liturgy.
ΨΥΧΟΣΑΒΒΑΤΑ—Η Ορθόδοξος Εκκλησία μας, μας διδάσκει ότι υπάρχει στενός δεσμός μεταξύ των ζώντων και των κεκοιμημένων η τεθνεώτων. Ο δεσμός αυτός είναι ο δεσμός της προσευχής, και η Εκκλησία μας παροτρύνει να προσευχώμεθα τακτικά δια τας ψυχάς των κεκοιμημένων συγγενών και φύλων. Ως εκ τούτου, η Αγία μας Ορθόδοξος Εκκλησία έχει ορίσει ορισμένα Σάββατα του έτους ως Σάββατα των Ψύχων η ΨΥΧΟΣΑΒΒΑΤΑ! Ενθυμηθείτε τους προσφιλείς κεκοιμημένους της οικογενείας σας κατά τα ερχόμενα Ψυχοσάββατa.
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