Saturday, February 15, 2014

Saturday of Souls, Why We Remember the Dead Before Lent

I find it interesting that we have three weekends, one before and two during Great Lent as we prepare for Christ's Resurrection, where we remember the dead.   I am curious if this is scheduled in this manner for their sake or for ours.  It's always good to remember the dead... The Orthodox church teaches that our time on earth is for repentance.  After our death, until the Second Coming, we experience a taste of the benefits or consequences of how we lived our life.  There is hope, if we missed the mark, that the prayers of others will offer us comfort as we wait for eternity.  But after the Second Coming, we are stuck, for lack of a better word, in the bed we made. 

If we have children and we teach them this custom of praying memorial services, we might have one or two generations praying for us after we die.  And then we will most likely be forgotten unless we have a building in our name or were infamous for our stupidity.  Otherwise there will be no memory of us and who will pray for us once we are gone and for the ages until the Second Coming...  (Consider the generations you pray for... Parents, grandparents... probably no further down the ancestry tree.)

Hence, Memorial Services.  Three of them. 


And here we are, about to begin our Lenten Journey with death before us, which makes me think that the memorials are so aptly placed for our benefit as well.  Nothing puts fire under a person's spiritual search and practice like reminding them they are going to die one day, like the family members generations before.  With our own mortality in mind, worldly things are less important and we can look to preparing for the life after this one. 

If you are interested in making the boiled wheat, Koliva, that is blessed during the Memorial Service, follow this link to an earlier post. 

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