How The Deceased Is Commemorated

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How The Deceased Is Commemorated
How The Deceased Is Commemorated

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The commemoration is part of the funeral ceremony for Orthodox Christians. It is believed that through funeral dinners, people who are now living pay tribute to the memory of a deceased person.

The funeral is part of the funeral ceremony
The funeral is part of the funeral ceremony

What is a commemoration?

A memorial service is a memorial meal in honor of a deceased person. In other words, the commemoration of the departed is a ritual performed in the name of their memory. The basis of the commemoration is a collective meal arranged by the relatives of the deceased in his house or in the cemetery, or in a specially designated place (for example, in the dining room).

According to the Orthodox tradition, a deceased person should be remembered directly on the day of his funeral, after 9 days and on the 40th day. Optionally, you can prepare a memorial dinner in honor of the deceased and for his birthday and his angel day, as well as 1 year and 3 years after death.

Wake on the third day

Since the deceased is usually buried on the third day, it is customary to hold the first commemoration directly on the day of his funeral, i.e. on the third day after death. This is connected with the three-day resurrection of Jesus Christ and takes place in the image of the Most Holy Trinity.

The first commemoration should be obligatory for all Orthodox Christians. In Russia, on the day of the funeral, funeral kutia, porridge, honey, and cranberry jelly are served on the table. In northern Russian latitudes, it is customary to serve fish pies and pancakes at the memorial table. On this day, it is customary to distribute handkerchiefs and towels to all participants in the memorial meal.

Commemoration on the ninth day

The commemoration on the ninth day is nine days. On this day, a deceased person is commemorated in honor of the nine ranks of the angels. It is believed that it is they, as servants of the Lord, who intercede before him for mercy on the deceased. On this day, a memorial service is served in honor of the deceased. For nine days, it is customary to invite only close friends and relatives of the deceased person.

Commemoration on the fortieth day

The fortieth commemoration is the fortieth day. According to the Orthodox rite, to commemorate the deceased on this day means to help his soul ascend the holy mountain of heavenly Sinai. There she will be rewarded with the sight of the Lord, attain the promised bliss. On this day, all prayers are very important - they are called to atone for the existing sins of the deceased. On the fortieth day, everyone who wishes to pay tribute to the memory of the deceased can come.

Wake on other days

If desired, the relatives of a deceased person can commemorate him six months after death, then a year later. Sometimes commemoration is held on the day of the deceased angel, on his birthday and on special church holidays, as well as after 3 years. A memorial meal is also held on these days.

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