Saturday, August 29, 2015

Praying for the Dead

On a weekly basis, at least in Orthodox Churches in the UK, we see that we pray for the dead. The Orthodox Church does have certain days, four Saturdays of the Souls, which remembers the dead. Nevertheless, we see that memorial services are part of the weekly Sunday Liturgy service. Praying for the dead shows a unity of the Christian believers, whereby the Church consists of the living and the departed Christians. Metropolitan Anthony of Sourozh explains:

‘If you believe that prayers for the living are a help to them, why should you not pray for the dead? Life is one, for as St Luke says: ‘He is not the God of the dead but of the living’ (20:38). Death is not an end but a stage in the destiny of man, and this destiny is not petrified at the moment of death.
The love which our prayer expressed cannot be vain; if love had power on earth and had no power after death it would tragically contradict the word of Scripture that love is as strong as death (Sg 8:6), and the experience of the Church that love is more powerful than death, because Christ has defeated death in his love for mankind.’[1]

[1] Anthony of Sourozh, Creative Prayer, 2004, p.65.

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