The most-godly Fathers placed the present commemoration of the Second Coming of Christ after the two parables of the preceding Sundays so that no one, having learned of God's love for mankind, might lead of life of negligence, saying to himself, "God loves mankind, and when I finally cease sinning, everything will go easily."
Hence they appointed the remembrance of that fearful day in order to frighten the negligent with the thought of death and the anticipation of the future torments and rouse them to the acquisition of virtue so that they will not merely trust in God's love for man but also bear in mind that He is a just Judge who rewards everyone according to his deeds.
As Hieromonk Benedict points out, when St John Chrysostom was exclusive addressing the departed souls of the "heavily sinful", his previously "strict" teachings became "consoling." Do not the Church Fathers advise us to be very strict on ourselves (under the guidance of our spiritual father) while, at the same time, looking towards other souls with compassion and love?
In Our Orthodox Christian Faith, Fr. Athanasios Frangopoulos explains:
Since in Hades "there is no repentance", and the righteous' condition remains stationary in its virtue and the unrighteous' condition remains the same in its evil and condemnation, then why do we perform Memorial Services for the dead and ask God to forgive the departed and to number them amongst the righteous? Why do we need Memorial Services? Memorial Services are necessary and are performed both for the benefit of the living as well as for the benefit of the departed. ... the Memorial Services are performed primarily for the departed. And indeed, for those departed who repented - possibly even at the hour of their death - but were not able to confirm and manifest this repentance through active penitence and through good works. It is also true, of course, that even for those who died in iniquity and sin we hold Memorial Services and offer up prayers to God on their behalf. And we do this, not because we believe that by the Memorial Service they suddenly move out of Hell and enter into Paradise. No we do not believe such a thing. We do believe, however, that even the worse of sinners can repent at the last moment, being goaded and moved by God's grace to repentance and the seeking of God's mercy and be saved. Did this not happen in the case of the Good Thief who was crucified with Jesus? At first he, too, blasphemed the Crucified Christ, as did the other thief. But in a moment he repents, utters the words "Lord, be mindful of me" and inherits Paradise. And who can know how many sinful souls, guilty souls, the souls of theives and robbers, repented at the last moment and asked God's mercy? But because this is unknown to us, for this reason we perform Memorial Services for all the departed and ask God to show compassion on them.
Fr. Athanasios earlier clarified that "sinful man is saved by Christ's sacrifice while his good works - his and not another's - are the manifestation and the fruit of his faith in Christ and of his active love." This may be one root from which almsgiving on behalf to the departed may blossom. The Gospel reading for the Sunday of the Last Judgment is Matthew 25:31-46. If there is someone in need - sick, hungry, thirsty - and an offering is given in the name of the departed, it is an act of love for Christ and mystically, in a way only God knows and only God can allow, it may aid that soul "who repented - possibly even at the hour of their death - but were not able to confirm and manifest this repentance through active penitence and through good works."