Now is the time to repent and accept God's grace. Death puts an end to that state and commits each person to his special advantages judgment. This is why the lord said that work must be done "while it is day" because "the night cometh when no man can work". . "Day" means the present life, "when it is still possible to believe writes. Chrysostom, while "night" is the condition after death. What happens beyond the grave belongs entirely to god. He has told us as much as we need to know; the rest is covered with a veil of mystery which man's curiosity is incapable of piercing.
Death changes the location but it cannot sever the bond of love. "God is not the god of the dead, but of the living" (Matt. He is "the god of Abraham, the god of Isaac, write and the god of Jacob" (Ex. He is the god of persons who, though dead physically, are very much alive in His presence. What can we exfect of our prayers for the dead? Since a person's eternal destiny is determined immediately after death (though one must wait for the general Judgement to receive the full measure of one's reward we must not expect our prayers to snatch an unbeliever from Hades to paradise. It is our present life that determines our eternal destiny.
Give them rest, o god, where the light of Thy countenance shineth". The ancient Eucharistic prayers of both East and the west intercede for the dead as well as for the living. Just as we pray for the deceased, so we believe they continue to love us, remember us, and pray for us now that they are closer to god. We cannot forget the example of the rich man in Hades asking Abraham to send lazarus to warn his brothers lest they, too, go to that place of torment. Though he had left this life, he did not cease to be concerned for his brothers still on earth. The Orthodox Church prays for the dead to express her faith that all who have fallen asleep in the lord, live in the lord; their lives are hidden with Christ in God (Col. Whether on earth or in heaven, the Church is a single family, one body in Christ.
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We review continue to love them and think of them as we believe they continue to love us and think. How can a mother forget a child plan who has passed over to the life beyond? The same love which led her to pray for that child when he lived will guide her to pray for him now. For in Christ all are living. The same love makes her wish to communicate with him.
Yet, all communication must take place in Christ and through Christ. No other communication with I the dead is possible or lawful for the Christian. God is God of the living. Our dear ones live in Him. Only through Him is it possible for us to communicate with them. Every liturgy in the Orthodox Church contains prayers for the dead such as the following: "Be mindful of all those who slumber in the hope of a resurrection to everlasting life.
Praying for the dead is an expression of love. We ask god to remember our departed because we love them. Love relationships survive death and even transcend. There is an inner need for a relationship with a loved one to continue to be expressed even after a loved one has died. Often even more so after a loved one has died since physical communication is no longer possible. The Church encourages us to express our love for our departed brethren through memorial services and prayers.
The anniversary of the death of a loved one is very painful. The Church helps us cope with this pain by encouraging us to have memorial prayers offered in Church for departed loved ones on the anniversaries of their deaths,. E., forty days after the death, six months, a year, etc. This gives us the opportunity to do something for our loved one. It helps express and resolve our grief. Death may take loved ones out of sight but it does not take them out of mind, or out of heart.
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On our Church calendar every year, there are special Memorial Saturdays or "Saturdays of the write souls" which provide another homework opportunity for us to face up to death. On these saturdays the divine liturgy is celebrated and special prayers are offered for our deceased loved ones. We pray for the dead especially on Saturdays since it was on the sabbath day that Christ lay dead in the tomb, "resting from all His works and trampling down death by death." Thus, in the new Testament, saturday becomes the proper day for remembering. There are two questions often asked about the practice of praying for the dead that we have in the Orthodox. Why do we pray for the dead? What can we expect of these prayers? Christianity is a religion of love.
The cause of morbidity, please do not misunderstand. The intention is not to be morbid. It is quite the opposite. If there is anything morbid about death, it arises out of the refusal to face it and take it into account. Our Orthodox the Christian faith is not morbid when it takes death frankly and openly into account. Our Church calendar provides many occasions when we are asked to face up to the fact of death. Easter is one such occasion. Every sunday is a "little easter" celebrating Christ's victory over death.
Ilyitch describes the conspiracy of silence that we maintain in the presence of the dying. "Ivan Ilyitch's chief torment was a lie the lie somehow accepted by everyone that he was only sick, but not dying, and that he needed only to be calm.". Simone de beauvoir, in "a very easy death writes of her mother dying of cancer, "At the time the truth was crushing her, and when she needed to escape it by talking, we were condemning her to silence, we forced her to say nothing about. In earlier days, along with the other basic facts of life like birth, marriage, bearing children, and raising a family, death was openly accepted as a fact of life. The burial ground surrounding the church stood in the very center of the community. The body was not viewed in a funeral parlor; it was brought right into the living room of one's home. One could riot evade the fact of death. One had to accept it and learn to live with.
This was only his second or third contact with death and it really shocked him. The conscious realization that he too was going to die one day hit him like a sledge hammer. It made a difference when he got home that night. The problems that he thought were so great, were not as big as he imagined. The thought of pdf death had given him a new perspective. Refusing to face reality, one of the striking characteristics of our time is the absurd lengths to which we go to keep death out of sight and out of mind. John Brantner, a university of Minnesota clinical psychologist, said recently that American society "deals very badly with death and the dying. As a society we fear death and through our fear we foster it he said.
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What we believe about Prayers for The dead. A psychiatrist recently listed five of the most upsetting experiences people can have. They were as follows: death of a child, death of a spouse, a jail sentence, death of a relative, an unfaithful spouse. Three of the five were related to death. Some time ago an intriguing story appeared in one thank of our magazines. It was the story of a man on his way home from the office on a rainy Friday evening to face a cluster of minor problems involving the various members of his family. As he made his way home through mid-Manhattan, he happened to see a man who had just been run down by a car, lying dead in the middle of the street.