Anniversary of death: how to remember a man?
The Christian church teaches us that a man who was once created as immortal because of the original sin of Adam and Eve lost this greatest gift. Since then, he has become perishable and, having passed the life path that the Lord has let him go, leaves the earthly world, taking with him the burden of his sins committed, but not redeemed by repentance. Therefore, our prayers and ceremonies are extremely important for finding them eternal rest. About how the dead are commemorated on the anniversary of death (one year after death), and this article will be discussed.
The remembrance of the dead, preceding the anniversary of death
After the heart of man ceased to beat and he appeared before the gates of eternity, the Orthodox Church prescribes his threefold commemoration. It takes place on the third, ninth and fortieth day after death. In short, it is necessary to mention them, because otherwise the story about how to remember the departed on the anniversary of death will be incomplete.
The remembrance of the deceased on the third day is celebrated in commemoration of the three-day resurrection of our Savior Jesus Christ.It is believed that the first two days after parting with the body, the soul, accompanied by angels, still wanders near places that are dear to her according to earthly memories. On the third day, the angels bring it up to heaven to worship the Almighty. Thus, the day of the first coming before the Lord is the beginning of the commemoration cycle, the end of which will be the anniversary of death. How to commemorate the church custom on this still distant day will be described below.
The next ceremony is performed on the ninth day, symbolizing the nine ranks of angels, who petition the Lord for the repose of the soul of the departed His servant. The Church teaches that after the third day the soul leaves the earthly world and is carried by the angels to the heavenly abodes, which it contemplates for six days.
After that, she performs the secondary worship of the Lord and is plunged into hell, where she has to stay until the fortieth day, continuously contemplating the torments endured by unrepentant sinners. And only after the bliss of the righteous and the sufferings of the wicked were revealed to the soul, does it appear before the Almighty, who by earthly affairs determines the place of her stay before the Last Judgment.
The third, ninth, and especially the fortieth day is as important as the anniversary of death. How to remember the deceased at these stages of his stay in the afterlife is a topic of special conversation, we turn to the rite performed one year after his death.
Daily Prayer Remembrance of the Departed
For centuries, Orthodox people have a pious custom to commemorate in the church on the anniversary of the death of all who died, no matter how many years have passed since that sad day. However, this does not eliminate the need for home reading the morning and evening prayer rules, and nowadays more and more people follow this church prescription, along with the texts contained in them, to say a few prayers for the dead. You can find them on the pages of the ordinary Orthodox Prayer Book.
The time that has elapsed since the death of a person close to us dulls the pain of the loss suffered, but despite this, it is necessary to remember how much he needs memorial prayers beyond the threshold of eternity, especially on the day when the anniversary of death came. How to remember the dead,to help his soul break free from the burden of sins? This was written by many church fathers, who gained fame for their theological works.
Pre-cleansing your own soul
If we turn to their writings, in most of them you can see how great the authors attach to the mental and bodily purity of those who intend with their prayers to alleviate the posthumous fate of people close to him. In other words, before you begin to pray for the forgiveness of others' sins, you must repent of your own. Everyone knows that the prayer of the righteous is often heard than the requests of someone who is mired in sin.
In addition, talking about how to commemorate on the anniversary of death, the holy fathers strongly recommend starting preparations for this important matter from the post, even if only briefly. One - a maximum of two days of abstinence from skoromnoy food - meat, fish and dairy products, will help, requisitions carnal and sometimes sinful aspirations, so inherent in human nature, to send thoughts to the upcoming prayer communion with God. We draw attention to the fact that fasting in this case is not a mandatory requirement, but is only recommended as a proven means of purifying your own soul and body.
This will help our prayers for the forgiveness of the sins of a loved one to be heard and to find grace. The church teaches that, beyond the threshold of death, it will be too late to repent of what they did while living, and only those who remain on earth are able to implore God to alleviate the plight of the deceased.
Continuing the conversation about how to commemorate the dead on the anniversary of death, it is impossible not to remember the custom to order in the church regular commemoration of the deceased for forty days in advance of this date. This rite is called sorokustom and originates from the first centuries of the establishment of Christianity in Russia. In this case, it serves as a preparatory stage for the main actions to be held on the day of commemoration.
How to start a church commemoration?
Despite the importance of home prayers, the main importance is still attached to the church service on the day when the anniversary of death comes. How to remember the deceased in the church of God, you should learn in advance from the priest, who will help to perform this ceremony in full accordance with the traditions of the Orthodox Church. We dwell only on some generally accepted rules.
Usually, before the beginning of the liturgy, a note is given with the name of the deceased to be commemorated in the altar. By the way, the names of other close people who left this world at different times can be inscribed in it. All of them also need prayer support. In addition, on the day of the anniversary of death, as at any other time, it would be very appropriate to order a memorial service for the deceased.
What is a dirge?
Since this funeral rite, adopted in Russian Orthodoxy since ancient times, is of particular importance, continuing the conversation about how to remember the deceased on the anniversary of his death, it is worthwhile to dwell on it in more detail. According to the rules set forth in the Book of Revenues, a liturgical book that regulates the procedure for performing sacraments and other religious rites, a memorial service can be held both in the church and in the house of the deceased, where the priest is invited for this purpose, as well as in the cemetery or in the place where life ended close person. The memorial service in its structure is very close to the rite of burial. The only difference is that in this case several prayers are excluded from it.
Colivo, prosphora and alms are integral parts of the rite
In addition, in the Trebnik, indicating how the dead commemorate on the anniversary of the death of the house, at the cemetery and in the temple, it is prescribed to put on the eve, a small rectangular table with a crucifix, where the funeral candles usually burn, on the eve of the church ritual made from whole wheat grains and poured with honey. According to church tradition, it is referred to as coliva. Leaving the church, you should take one or several prosphoras with you and eat them on an empty stomach at home before the commemoration meal.
Regardless of whether the memorial service was performed in the church, or the relatives of the deceased were limited to a modest home ritual, it is highly recommended to give alms to those whom the vicissitudes of life were forced to look for food with an outstretched hand on that day. This humanly good deed is also the fulfillment of one of God's main commandments, prescribing love for neighbors and help to all who need it. It should be strictly observed throughout life, and not only on the day when someone's anniversary of death comes.
How to remember a loved one in the cemetery?
Paying tribute to the memory of a loved one, on the anniversary of death, it is also customary to visit his grave. It is there that the irreplaceability of the loss suffered is most acutely felt. It is highly desirable a few days before that, having come to the cemetery, to check whether the gravestone, the cross and the fence are in proper order. If something needs to be repaired or painted, then this should be done immediately, and in any case should be cleaned. In the fall, remove the fallen leaves from the grave, in the winter, remove the snow, and in spring and summer it is advisable to plant live seedlings.
On the anniversary of death, you can visit the cemetery both before going to church and after it. Rigid installations in this case does not exist, and everyone can do what is more convenient for him. An exception can be only those cases when relatives of the deceased wish that a priest serve the litia at the grave. Usually in the territories of the cemeteries there are churches where you can apply with such a request, and it is better to do this in advance, since the priest may have other requirements assigned on that day.
The ritual traditions governing the procedure for properly commemorating the departed on the anniversary of death allow all appropriate actions to be performed without the participation of a priest.In this case, someone from those present, and among them, as a rule, are the closest relatives and friends of the deceased, he can read the memorial prayers. They will be especially fertile if those present begin to do this in turn. The imposition of fresh or artificial flowers and wreaths is also an integral part of visiting the grave.
Memorial meal at the grave and at home
At the end of the reading of prayers, it is time for a short memorial meal, made right at the grave. The tradition of the Orthodox Church prescribes to eat pancakes on it, jelly, and also kutyu, which was discussed above. You can add to this simple menu also fruit and homemade cakes.
Unfortunately, in the Soviet period, when the rule of atheistic ideology severed people from the original church customs, standards were developed that were completely alien to true piety. One of them was the tradition to drink alcohol on the grave, and often and simply get drunk. It is safe to say that this is fundamentally contrary to church rules, and it does not matter whether a grave is visited on a typical day or is it the anniversary of death.
On the same day, it is customary to commemorate the departed and at home meals, to which relatives are invited, as well as those who knew and loved him during his lifetime. Often, one of the participants in the feast is a priest. Sometimes for this purpose rent space in a cafe or restaurant. In order to commemorate in accordance with the established tradition, it is necessary to observe a number of simple rules set forth below.
The beginning of the home meal, as well as the one that was performed at the cemetery, should be preceded by the same memorial prayer for the deceased. If a priest is invited to the house, then he reads, if not, then one of his relatives or several people in turn. Prayer in this case is important for the rest of the deceased's soul, and for the mood of those present in a solemn manner, corresponding to this moment.
Features of the memorial table
It is quite natural that each housewife tries to set the table as rich as possible, full of various dishes, and to please the tastes of all those gathered. However, it should be borne in mind that in addition to the fast days, that is, those in which no restrictions are imposed on the list of foods eaten, the church calendar also provides for posts, both one-day and multi-day.
Since the wake itself is part of the Orthodox tradition, the menu of the meal should meet the requirements of the church for the day on which the anniversary of death fell. How to remember the deceased only with Lenten treats is a question that every hostess solves.
It is important to consider that no matter how richly laid the table, the meal should begin with the traditional tasting of the same kuty. This custom has a well-defined meaning. Wheat or any other grains from which it is prepared symbolize the resurrection of the soul, and watered honey from above is a pleasure that awaits the righteous in eternal life.
How to observe the proper situation at the table
Another important point related to homemade meal is the right choice of alcoholic beverages. If it is inappropriate to use them in a cemetery, as discussed above, then it is permissible at a home table or in a restaurant. However, in order not to darken the memory of a dear person and his anniversary of death, commemorate the day of his departure from life, taking note of the advice outlined below. This will help avoid unpleasant situationsoften due to excessive libation.
To insure, it is not recommended to put strong forty-centigrade drinks on the table. It is better to give preference to church kagora or some light wines. At the same time, it is necessary to ensure that even their use does not go beyond the limits of reasonable. Otherwise, the memorial meal can easily turn into a usual banquet, during which the memories of the deceased will give way to laughter and fun, inappropriate in this situation.
It is extremely unacceptable at the memorial table scandals, scolding and showdown. It is desirable that during the whole dinner we talked only about the deceased, recalling various episodes from his life, and also told about everything that he did good to people.
You can invite guests to view the photos of the deceased person in the house or the video in which he was captured. Even if the deceased was not always distinguished by worthy behavior, the bad should be forgotten on that day. Instead, it is necessary to focus on all the good that he left behind.
Two more important questions
We can not lose sight of such a very significant question: what to do,if the anniversary of death coincides with any of the major church holidays? How to remember - before or after, if the memorial prayers are not accepted on the day of the holiday itself (for example, on Easter)? In this case, the ceremony is transferred to the nearest weekend, or other convenient day. But even in this case, one should go to church, confess, take communion, put a candle for the rest of the soul, and give alms on the anniversary of death.
There is one more important problem that confronts the family of the deceased anniversary of death (1 year), when it is necessary to commemorate people who are not baptized or Gentiles, or even suicides. Is it even possible to pray for them, and if this is permissible, then how is this properly done?
The answer can be found in the letter of the Apostle Paul to the Colossians, where he says that for Christ “there is no Greek, no Jew, no barbarian, no Scythian ...” and everyone is equal for the coming Kingdom of God. Therefore, it is possible and necessary to pray for all people, since for each deceased an important stage of his stay in the afterlife is the anniversary of his death. Mark sooner or later - it depends on the calendar date, as discussed above.
The only thing to consider- it is an established rule to submit memorial memorials to the church only with the names of those who during the life of baptism and did not commit themselves to the sin of suicide. For all the others, one must pray oneself, in the church and at home, in the cemetery, and also in the place where death cut short the days of their lives. It is necessary to ask the Lord to grant absolution to their sins and rest the souls in the Kingdom of Heaven.