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Commemorating heterodox in Divine Liturgy


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#1 Joshua K.

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Posted 25 April 2010 - 10:39 PM

Dear ones in Christ,
I have a question, from what I have understood it is not right to commemorate heterodox in the Liturgy but only those within the Church. Mainly I mean when we sing the Memory Eternal, I have noticed in our parish that is mostly converts, that people will mention relatives and friends who have died, and who I am almost positive would not be Orthodox, for commemeration. Our priests seem to not question this at all. Another question. Is it right to remember heterodox in divine Communion?
Christ is Risen!!
The unworthy servant of Chist, Anthony

#2 Jason H.

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Posted 26 April 2010 - 12:44 AM

This might be not be orthodox, pun intended, but I commemorate the memory of all my relatives during the Divine Liturgy who have passed on. Even though the Liturgy calls upon those the pious Orthodox who have departed this life, we still sing, "Lord, have mercy" and I believe that this lord have mercy applies to those who never got the chance to embrace the Holy Church. But I always pray that by my embracing of the One Church may God in his Infinite Mercy may have mercy upon my departed loved ones.

Christ is Risen!

#3 Bruce Wm. Trakas

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Posted 26 April 2010 - 08:08 AM

Truely He is Risen

I've read in traditionalist publications, that it is not proper to commemorate non-Orthodox within the context of the Divine Liturgy because the Liturgy is only for the Orthodox faithful. This includes during Trisagia and Memorial Services. I had a previous parish priest who did commemorate non-Orthodox, feeling the need to serve converts and faithful who, in this nation where Orthodoxy is such a minority faith, typically have loved ones who were not Orthodox. The example from his youth was when JFK was assasinated, while the priest was a seminarian, clases were closed and the students retired to the chapel to chant a Trisagion Service for Pres. Kennedy. I replied that, that wasn't in the context of the Liturgy; he smiled in response.

I'm not sure what you're asking re. commemorations during communion, but at appropriate points in the Liturgy for commemorating the living or the dead, again, as noted herein, only Orthodox should be mentioned because only Orthodox are to participate in the Divine Liturgy.

#4 Michael Stickles

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Posted 26 April 2010 - 04:17 PM

There are several places within the Liturgy where someone could be remembered/commemorated, and I'm not sure of the "rules" for all of them.

Now, for the commemoration sheets - the lists of names taken up for commemoration during communion - we had some discussion of that in the "List of names at Divine Liturgy" thread. The summary answer is that, because the commemoration involves setting aside a particle of the prosphora as a kind of communion for the person, only Orthodox Christians can be commemorated this way. However, in some parishes people can put the names of non-Orthodox on the sheets as long as they make a note/mark showing the person was not Orthodox, so the priest knows not to include them in the communion (exactly how they are then commemorated, I don't know; it may vary from place to place, or perhaps a priest here can tell us).

For other things, I'm fairly certain the "living and departed" lists read by the priest or deacon during the litanies are supposed to be Orthodox Christians only. However, I'm not totally certain, and there may be variations in practice.

For personal prayer and commemoration during the liturgy - for example, when during the Entrance the priest says "All those among the living and the dead whom each of you has in mind, the Lord God remember in His kingdom, always, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages." - I don't think any such restriction applies (I hope not, anyway, since I lift up my non-Orthodox family members at that point).

In Christ,
Michael

#5 Kusanagi

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Posted 26 April 2010 - 06:08 PM

I am told from different churches in the UK that it is ok to give names for the priest for non Orthodox to be read during the proskemide. Greeks it seems tend to favour this but i think the Russians do not.

But i was advised by a Greek priest that the best time would be when the church celebrates the Saturday of All Souls and other Saturdays for the dead which i was told it includes all the day that the church can pray for.

#6 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 26 April 2010 - 07:53 PM

I am familiar with the rule that non-Orthodox are not commemorated by particles of prosphora being placed on the paten and which subsequently are put into the chalice (but who are prayed for otherwise). I understand that the reason is to distinguish members of the Church from those who are not. What interests me is what are the consequences of the non-observance of this rule (which non-observance is fairly common in Greek jurisdictions in Britain) for the souls of those non-Orthodox concerned? Can such non-observance benefit them; or can it harm them? More generally, is there, in the afterlife, some distinction between Orthodox and non-Orthodox souls and if there is what is the nature of that distinction? In short, does it matter and if so why?

#7 Eric Peterson

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Posted 26 April 2010 - 09:24 PM

Non-Orthodox should not have particles taken out for them at proskomide because they are not in communion with the Church.

That said, the way it has been explained to me is that, with public commemorations elsewhere in liturgy, there is a difference between whether a person is living or reposed. The rule appears stricter for those who are reposed, for they do not have opportunity to be reconciled with the Church. Thus, non-Orthodox reposed are not to be publicly commemorated by name in the Liturgy, underscoring the seriousness of their condition. That said, they must be prayed for privately, and works of mercy should be done in their name. They can be commemorated by name by the priest in church using the canon to St. Varus for the non-Orthodox reposed--as well as suicides and those who died without repentance. The words of this canon speak about the seriousness of their condition. (Prayers in Church are as much for those who pray as for the ones prayed for.)

Fr. John Krestiankin of blessed memory wrote, on several occasions in his letters that the non-Orthodox do not receive benefit from the flouting of rules. He warns people against giving names of non-Orthodox departed relatives to be commemorated, and tells them that, if they want to do something for the benefit of their souls that they should obey the Church rules and pray for them privately and give alms. He also mentions the canon to St. Varus.

#8 Joshua K.

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Posted 27 April 2010 - 12:32 AM

Thank you Eric that makes sense. I was wondering though, in Fr. Seraphim Rose's book 'The Soul after Death', he mentions the fact that those in hell/hades are somehow helped through not only the prayers of the Orthodox faithful, but being remembered in Liturgies. What does Fr. Seraphim mean by this? How is this done, since we cannot commemorate them in Holy Communion, or publicly in the divine services?
Christos Voskrese!
Anthony

#9 Eric Peterson

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Posted 27 April 2010 - 12:23 PM

It is done through God's mercy, since God desires the salvation of sinners even more than we do. When we pray and ask God to have mercy on someone, Elder Paisios says, whether they're dead or alive, we give God an excuse to intervene. He is so ready to do this. He cannot override a person's free will, but at the request of another, He acts. He has an excuse, as Elder Paisios explains.

#10 Michael Astley

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Posted 27 April 2010 - 11:40 PM

Thank you Eric that makes sense. I was wondering though, in Fr. Seraphim Rose's book 'The Soul after Death', he mentions the fact that those in hell/hades are somehow helped through not only the prayers of the Orthodox faithful, but being remembered in Liturgies. What does Fr. Seraphim mean by this? How is this done, since we cannot commemorate them in Holy Communion, or publicly in the divine services?
Christos Voskrese!
Anthony


Because, as the priest chants aloud at almost every Liturgy, when we come together as the people of God to make Eucharist we are "offering unto Thee thine own of thine own, on behalf of all, and for all". With the eucharistic offering by Christ of Himself at the hands of the priest we offer our own labours and loves and concerns. It is for this reason that, in all traditional Orthodox rites of east and west, the intercessions are included specifically in the Anaphora - the offering.

If we examine the intercessions in the anaphora of St Basil, we see references to all sorts and conditions of people, with no distinction between those within and without the Church. We pray for those who have wandered and gone astray from the Church and even "for those who love us and those also who hate us", "for Thou art the Helper of the helpless and the Hope of the hopeless".

So yes, at my parish, we do commemorate the non-Orthodox during the Liturgy. However, we do not do so at the Great Entrance or the proskomide. The latter is an expression of the communion of the various orders of the Church gathered around Christ the Head, and this is shown in the arrangement of the particles and in the fact that, after the communion of the people, the particles are swept into the Blood of Christ, with a prayer that those thereby commemorated may be cleansed of their sins, (washed in the Blood of the Lamb). It is, in some sense, a sharing in the communion of the Church, and it would be improper to include in this those who are not in the Church. This does not mean that we do not pray for them, however.

In Christ,
Michael

#11 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 07:16 PM

The supplicatory petitions for all men reflect God’s equal love for all men.  The Divine Liturgy and the sacrifice in it is offered for the whole world just as Christ was incarnate, crucified and rose on the third day and His ascension into heaven for the whole world.   Such is God’s wish – that all be saved and come unto the knowledge of the truth.   But just as not all the world accepts Christ, not all the world accepts His Church and her sacraments.  And so the Holy Gifts themselves though offered for the whole world and intended for all men, may be communed, both actually and by commemoration, only by the Orthodox Christians.


The position is, I believe, well set forth here: http://www.antiochia...ne_Services.pdf

 



 


Edited by Andreas Moran, 16 May 2013 - 07:16 PM.


#12 Dusja

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Posted 17 May 2013 - 09:11 AM

I just happened to be cleaning my desk (piles of all kinds of papers) and found a small hand-written note from the Russian translation of Fr. Paisios' Spiritual Counsels, volume II, page 155 (rough translation; I don't have the English translation at hand) about prayers (commemoration included). He prayed for all:

 

For those who suffer physically and spiritually and for those, who need prayers most of all

 

This includes everyone, both living and those who have departed.

 

In our parish, our archpriest has the privilege granted by His Holiness Patriarch Kirill to commemorate Lutherans in memorial services/panikhidas, but he is the only one with this right, it doesn't apply to the other priests of the Moscow Patriarchate here in Finland (I'm not sure who has this privilege in the neighboring MP parish, though).



#13 Iliana Kefalakou

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 04:04 PM

Hello,

 

Thankyou to everyone for your posts and all the answers to questions because it is a great help for those who are inexperienced.. 

 

I have a further, slightly unrelated question: is it common practice to include the Priest's name to whom we give the names in for Proskomide, to include it also on the list?  

 

I have not so far been including his name because I don't know if this is done, but it seems intuitively right to do it doesn't it?

 

Iliana



#14 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 10:08 PM

Why would one do this as he is partaking directly?  Incidentally, I have read that Starets Ioan Krestiankin said more than once that commemorating non-Orthodox in the proskomidi confers no benefit on them.



#15 Father David Moser

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 10:27 PM

We pray for everyone.  However all things are to be done "decently and in order".  In this case the meaning of these two instructions are that we pray in our private prayers for anyone and everyone, however, in the Divine Liturgy (and that includes names given in for the proskomedia) we pray only for those who are within the Church.  The Divine Liturgy is the work of the Church for the benefit of those in the Church.  There are other venues in which we pray for those outside the Church - but not here. 

 

Therefore it is only appropriate to submit names for the Orthodox living and departed for commemoration at the proskomedia and during the litanies of the Divine Liturgy.  Often, however, whether through ignorance or neglect, some people will submit the names of non-Orthodox friends and relatives at this time.  When that is the case, as a priest, I do not toss them out or ignore them, but I pray for them as best I can at that moment, but do not remove particles for them for the commemoration.  If I do not know if a person is Orthodox or not, after reading the names, I simply remove particles saying "... and for all those Orthodox Christians remembered here..."  And yes, it is appropriate to include the serving clergy in the commemorations for the Divine Liturgy - and not only appropriate but we are commanded to pray for those who care for our souls.

 

We do pray for the non-Orthodox living in other services such as the molieben or a paraklasis.  We do not say public/corporate prayers for the non-Orthodox departed, however one could pray for them in one's private prayers.

 

Fr David



#16 Owen Jones

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 01:54 AM

I'm confused.  Don't the litanies include prayers for many, many people who are not Orthodox???  people in the Armed forces.  the President, travelers.  Are we saying that we are only praying for those groups of people if they are Orthodox?  It doesn't say, we pray for those people who are in the Armed forces who are Orthodox.  It says those who are in the armed forces. 



#17 Father David Moser

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 02:47 AM

The text of those litanies varies with the translation used in the various jurisdictions.  In my service book the litany is "For (this land) and all the faithful and pious who dwell there in, let us pray to the Lord"  The term "faithful and pious" is understood to mean those who are in the Church.  As for the prayers for travelers, sick, in prison, etc - yes those are understood to refer to those who are Orthodox Christians who are in that particular situation.

 

Fr David



#18 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 06:48 AM

Just to be clear, do items (3.) and (4.) in the document to which a link is given in post #11 above correctly state the position?



#19 Lakis Papas

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 11:59 AM

I'm confused.  Don't the litanies include prayers for many, many people who are not Orthodox???  people in the Armed forces.  the President, travelers.  Are we saying that we are only praying for those groups of people if they are Orthodox?  It doesn't say, we pray for those people who are in the Armed forces who are Orthodox.  It says those who are in the armed forces. 

 

We must put the issue in a broader historical context.
 
The prayers that refer to state officials, military and social structures were first created when these institutions were entirely Christian. Then, there was no question of commemorating heterodox.
 
I think, nowadays we continue the tradition of those prayers, although the staff of the institutions are not Christians. I think, today prayer refers to persons most in regards to their institutional role and less in terms of their personal spiritual journey.
 
As for travelers, patients, etc., similarly the prayerful invocation originates from a society that was completely Christianized. Now, things are different.
 
The adoption of these prayers, without changes, is due to the tradition of the church to adopt in full the prayers of the saints, even if later the social and religious structure of society is changed.
 
The Church is ecumenical, this does not mean that it is a religious organization. It is the living body of the Lord. There are people outside of this Body. Hence,only those who are members of the Body take part in the vital processes of the Body of Christ. The prayers referred to the participation in the life of Christ can not include those who are not members of the Body of Church - such as participation in body's life is exclusive to its members. Prayer for non-members is limited to the restoration of the natural order and a call for repentance (a call that is made primarily by example).
 

So, those ritual acts relate to participation in the life of the Church are unsuitable for non-baptized persons. This is not an act of exclusion. It is an act of confession that the body of Christ is eschatological. The Holy Spirit brings the Body of Christ to present, while transferring the future in the past - from Divine Liturgy:

 

Remembering, therefore, this command of the Savior, and all that came to pass for our sake, the cross, the tomb, the resurrection on the third day, the ascension into heaven, the enthronement at the right hand of the Father, and the second, glorious coming, We offer to You these gifts from Your own gifts in all and for all.

 



#20 Jim McQuiggin

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 03:57 PM

I was present when my bishop gave clear instructions to my priest that non-Orthodox are to be commemorated in the Divine Liturgy. My priest does so during the Great Entrance. We have several mixed marriages in our parish (including my own), so he names both husband and wife in those cases. Also, there are other situations such as the current news of the kidnapped metropolitans in Syria. How can you pray for one but not the other?

 

He does not set aside a particle for them at the Proskomedia for the very reasons that have already been given.

 

Even at the Anaphora, the deacon proclaims: And (be mindful) of the people here present, those whom they are remembering, and of all mankind.

 

We do not exclude the non-Orthodox. They exclude themselves.






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