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Intercession and devotion of the recently reposed


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#1 Caleb Shoemaker

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Posted 04 May 2010 - 12:02 AM

As we have been making our move into Orthodoxy, I have been coming across the videos on youtube of Abp. Job, and reading the lives of some other recently reposed monastics/bishops. I'm finding myself drawn to these people who I never met and whose lives had no impact in my own until just recently. I'm hoping some of the priests, especially, will answer this.

Is it wrong to ask these men and women for their prayers and intercessions? I know they aren't officially recognized as saints as of yet, but is it wrong to feel this connection to these people and ask for their prayers and think of them as saints?

#2 Father David Moser

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Posted 04 May 2010 - 12:27 AM

I, personally, would be cautious in approaching someone that I didn't know in life to pray for me after their repose unless they were known by the Church to be a saint. OTOH, neither it is wrong to do so. Many people (myself included) asked for help from St John of SF long before he was officially glorified as a saint and I also frequently will ask for help from Archbishop Anthony of SF who reposed in 2000 (I think that was the year - I could be wrong), but then he was my Vladyka in life. I have also stood at the grave of our dear Hieromonk Averky and talked to him about various problems and joys that I have experienced since his death.

If you are going to ask for help from someone who has reposed but who is not yet glorified as a saint by the Church, the best way to do so is to have a pannykhida (memorial service) served for them and during that time, give them your request. Before the glorification of St John, people would come to his crypt regularly and have a pannykhida for him and leave their prayers, written on slips of paper under his mitre (which was sitting on top of the coffin). Even today when people come to venerate his relics they will slip a written prayer in the space underneath the coffin (a small opening was provided for that very purpose.)

So, I don't think that there is in anything inherently wrong with such prayers - however the best way to pray to a non-saint reposed person is to have a pannykhida said for them.

Fr David moser

#3 Caleb Shoemaker

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Posted 04 May 2010 - 12:37 AM

Dear Father, thank you for your answer. May I ask, what is a pannykhida? You describe it as memorial service, but what is it? Again, newbie here, and I need a little more info from time to time. Is there a description I could read online somewhere, or an example?

#4 Olga

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Posted 04 May 2010 - 01:08 AM

Caleb, the panikhida (another spelling to that provided by Fr David) is a requiem for the dead. It is usually** conducted as a stand-alone service, and it runs for about 20 minutes. It is, in essence, a shortened form of the Orthodox funeral service. The Greek practice tends to be the shorter Trisaghion, usually conducted towards the end of a Divine Liturgy. Here's a link to the Russian service:

http://www.fatherale...nnihida_r_e.htm

May I recommend you consult an Orthodox priest regarding the holding of a requiem for any departed Orthodox person, be he layman or cleric, as there are differences in practice between Orthodox jurisdictions and traditions.

** There are specific times of the year, particularly during some of the Saturdays of Great Lent, where "general commemorations" of the dead are carried out as part of a liturgy, known as "Saturdays of the souls".

#5 Christophoros

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Posted 04 May 2010 - 12:47 PM

The Greek practice tends to be the shorter Trisaghion, usually conducted towards the end of a Divine Liturgy.


The brief memorial service conducted after the Divine Liturgy in the Greek Church is not the same as the Trisagion service.

http://www.denver.go...icals/TE-03.pdf

In Christ,
Chris




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