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#300794 10/06/08 12:05 AM
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My prayer rule has included the private commemoration of my deceased relatives on the day of their translation into eternity in a special way. Although I do remember them each day in the General Intercession, I also remember them on their day of falling asleep.

Is this something others do?

Just curious.

BOB

theophan #300795 10/06/08 02:12 AM
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yes

theophan #300801 10/06/08 09:21 AM
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I should consider it probably. On the other hand, Theophan tells us that this is a private commemoration. What is private is nobody else's business!

Fr. Serge

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Dear BOB,

There is a Greek custom, that one when mentions the name of a deceased friend or relative in conversation, that one also adds: "may God forgive him", "may God rest his soul", or "of blessed memory".

Indeed, what a blessing one has if one has relatives and/or loved ones that remember to pray for God's mercy on their souls. Each time we do, it is adding refreshment to their eternal state, and I believe, an act of love which is unprecedented and often unrecognized in today's world...

While memorial services, in the Orthodox tradition, are an organized ecclesial effort towards this intention, I think that adding one of the above prayers to a person's mentioned name, in a heartfelt and humble manner, is also adding a prayer.

Also, when I hear a memorial in church for another, (who more times than none, I do not know), I offer the prayers for their soul with their family and the congregation, but I also silently remember my loved ones by name and add the prayers for them, as well.

In addition, whenever I ask for prayers to be commemorated at the holy altar for proskomide, I add a list of deceased family members along with the living. I try to not forget to give a list of names for the designated Saturday of the souls, and I also try to not forget to give their names at any monasteries I may be visiting.

Sometimes I feel that wherever I was deficient in my earthly display of love, (perhaps because that relative or friend was difficult for instance) I am offering my love in a much more significant way now.

I have only grown to fully appreciate the profound meaning of helping others in the afterlife in the past ten years because of the intensity of feeling my priest displayed in offering funerals and memorials. Others just seem to run through it in an obligatory manner. Besides this, I also came to realize the profound assistance we can offer the dead after reading the life of St. Xenia of Petersburg, who offered her young widowed life in place of her husband (donning his proud regiment's uniform, aiding the poor, becoming homeless herself and a 'fool for Christ') in order to help his unrepentant soul attain eternal life, as well as other stories.

I also came to realize the antithesis of such selfless acts of helping a loved one's soul in the account of Tsar Ivan the Terrible and how to be utterly ruthless to his enemies, he would not only kill them, but kill any and all of their friends and relatives so that his enemy/enemies would have nobody to pray for their souls! (Lord have mercy!)

Just my humble input...

In Christ,
Alice

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Father Serge:

Father bless!!

My question was to know if this were off the mark. I have so many family members who think that interment of the body shoves the soul into Paradise and there is no need to pray for or remember the person again. I guess I'm too traditional for them.

By "private," I mean the personal prayers one uses each day in one's personal conversation with the Lord. Maybe I should not have added the word at all--maybe it clouded rather than clarified. I also pray for people who come to mind in the course of the day, for whatever reason: for their repose or for their pilgrimage.

Asking for your blessing and continued holy prayers,

BOB

Last edited by theophan; 10/06/08 11:25 AM.

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