Remembering the deceased in prayer to God is an important expression of love and faith. Praying for the deceased has purpose: to pray for the repose of the departed; to comfort the living; and to remind those who remain behind of their own mortality and the brevity of this earthly life. For this reason, memorial services have an air of penitence about them. Trisagion services can be done at the time of death, the third day (in honour of the Holy Trinity and Christ’s three day burial), the ninth day (in honour of the orders of angels), the fortieth day (in honour of Christ’s 40 days on earth after His Resurrection), three months, six months, nine months, one year, or any time the family feels the need. The memorial service is a little longer service that is typically done on the forty days. The memorial requires koliva or sitari.
40 Day Memorial Service
The 40th day service is celebrated in the memory of the Saviour’s Ascension 40 days after His Resurrection and that the reposed one, when he is resurrected, may be taken up in the clouds to meet the Judge, our Saviour and Master, and thus be with Him forever (1Thes. 4:17).
3rd, 6th 9th and 12 Month Service
Now the third, sixth, and ninth months are also celebrated–to proclaim the Trinity, the God of all and His glory, and on behalf of the deceased. For by the Trinity a man is fashioned, and when he is loosed from the body he returns to Him, and by the Trinity he hopes for the resurrection. And thus we also perform memorials at the end of the [first] year because we proclaim the Trinity, and the year is divided into four trinities. Additionally, the end of the year is celebrated because it is the consummation, and our God the Trinity is the Life of all and the cause of being, and He shall be the restoration of all and the renewal of human nature.
Annual Memorial Services for the Dead
Each year [thereafter] the relatives observe the memorial of the departed to demonstrate that he lives and is immortal of soul and he shall be restored when the Creator rises up his body. And the offering of Boiled Wheat (Koliva) bears witness that, as Christ died according to the flesh and was raised up and lives, thus, we too, as St. Paul says, all shall be raised up and live in Him.
Boiled Wheat (Koliva)
The boiled wheat is offered because man is also a seed and like a fruit from the earth. Like a seed he is placed in the earth now, and he will be raised up and blossom forth again by God’s power.
The booklet contains both the Greek and English Memorial Service and a brief explanation of the service itself.
This booklet was donated in memory of Mr Stamati Stamatiou by his family.