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How to remember the dead: folk traditions and the opinion of priests

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Losing a loved one is a big loss. It is especially sad if a person passed away on his birthday, although this does not happen often. It happens that life circumstances do not allow the commemoration to be held on the right date. What to do if it falls on the deceased’s birthday? In such cases, friends and relatives think about whether the deceased is commemorated on this day or whether it is necessary to conduct a commemoration at another time.

Ancestral Traditions

Oddly enough, the ancestors understood some of the laws of life more than modern people living in progressive times. They possessed wisdom and good intuition, had a close relationship with nature. How did you relate to the remembrance in ancient times:

Previously, traditions were a little different, and people acted in ways that are now not accepted. For example, they did not carry a funeral meal at the grave of the deceased. And also did not carry out the rite of remembrance in honor of the day of the birth of the deceased. And even more so did not dare to celebrate his name day.

This is by no means connected with disrespect, as you might think. Of course, native people always remember this day. Just a legend of those years says that the new date of birth of the soul is the day of her death. Therefore, the day on which the soul separated from the body is considered the day of remembrance.

Death was presented as the moment of the birth of a new life in another body, so the deceased was remembered on the date of his transition to another world. For this reason, it was not worth even thinking about whether it is possible to celebrate the birthday of a deceased person.

Remembering the deceased on a name day was considered incorrect. Ancestors believed that this forcibly attracts the soul to its old life and does not allow to die completely in the old body and be born again. It also negatively affects the condition of loved ones of the deceased. After all, they suffer, load themselves with sad thoughts and cannot let go of the one who is no longer with them.

Modern opinion

The commemoration of the dead in Orthodoxy is not forbidden even on the day of name day. What priests say about how to remember the deceased on his birthday:

  • On this date it is not forbidden to go to the cemetery and, moreover, even welcome. It is good to give alms to the cemetery during the name day of the deceased. Of course, you can not spend gatherings at the grave of a deceased person and even more so drink alcohol. This can harm the soul of a departed person.
  • At this time you need try to keep your emotions in check, do not give vent to tears. You need to visit the deceased with good intentions. You can bring artificial flowers and a candle to the grave.
  • Priests forbid crying at the grave on commemoration date, because the soul can begin to suffer, spiritually dying from anxiety.
  • It should be noted that commemoration of the dead mother, father, son or daughter has no restrictions. Parents and children are the most sacred thing that can be, and the church does not impose any rules in such cases.
  • St. Peter wrote the command to commemorate the parents. From his immortalized words one can learn about how life is arranged after death, what verse from the hymnal should be read after the death of the father and mother, and how much it needs to be done.
  • When it comes to more distant relatives, for example, grandmother, priests recommend that they commemorate at the appointed time.
  • If a pregnant woman lost, her absence from the funeral ceremony would not be considered disrespectful, even if the deceased was her husband. Expecting a child is a very difficult time. Why torture yourself with negativity? It is unlikely that a constantly mourning mother can be congratulated on the birth of an absolutely healthy child. You can mentally honor the memory, and after a while, come to church and order a candle for the soul of the deceased.

Thinking about whether it is possible to remember a dead person’s birthday, worth listening to church advice. It should be noted that the clergy really have the wisdom and can argue their view on why this or that tradition appeared.

Deceased's birthday


The current generation is not too superstitious, so few think about how they remember the deceased on their birthday. Now the wake is carried out as follows:

  • If people are believers, then they go to the temple. Usually, a memorial prayer is read at this time, priests ask God for the soul of the deceased.
  • Some ask the priest to go with them to the grave, so that he would pray and honor the memory of the deceased. After that, relatives, having come home, spend a funeral dinner.
  • In some countries, people give sweets to neighbors and relatives, thereby inviting them to share the memory of the deceased.

Visiting a cemetery in the name day of a deceased person has become a sustainable tradition encouraged by the church. And many unbelievers do the same.

A person can decide how to remember a soul mate. If you fail to come to the grave during this period, nothing terrible will happen. Most importantly, only those fond memories remain of those who are no longer on this earth.

When visiting a cemetery, people give due respect to the deceased. Therefore, if there is even the slightest opportunity, it is worth taking advantage of it.

Commemoration of the departed: folk customs

Even before the adoption of Christianity, the Slavs devoted much time to commemorating their deceased relatives. Today, pagan and church traditions are largely intertwined. Often the accepted Orthodox tradition of Parental Sabbaths coincides with them. But initially, of course, there were differences. To this day, it is believed that the dead do not leave us completely. There is even a way to protect yourself from evil influence by awakening the protection of the race. This, perhaps, was the reason for such a thorough commemoration of the dead.

Traditionally, the Slavs commemorated the dead for Semik and the Russian week, for Radonitsa and Easter for the Dead, as well as for Trinity week. Ukrainians and Belarusians also had a holiday of Grandfathers. In each of these days, they remembered their deceased relatives and friends. The days of the Russian week were especially eventful, since it was believed that children and girls who did not die of their own death were walking on the ground at this time. To appease them, they performed some ceremonies, supporting long-standing folk traditions.

In addition to going to the cemetery, they prepared traditional dishes. Traditionally, funeral foods include pancakes and kutia. They also cooked jelly. Food was taken to the cemetery and left there, some were also distributed to the poor. It is believed that before the adoption of Christianity, the Slavs held funeral feasts at the graves of their fellow tribesmen. In some places on Radonitsa, the people had a custom to specially heat the bath. The people themselves did not wash there. Clean clothes were left for the deceased, and in the morning on the scattered ash in advance they looked for traces of the dead.

Memorial Days

From time immemorial, the dead were remembered on the third, ninth and fortieth days after death, as well as a year later. Subsequently, the commemoration on the fortieth day was associated with Orthodoxy: the soul of the deceased during this time is going through ordeals before heaven or hell can be accepted, as Christians believe. The people also say that on the third day the image changes, on the ninth the body decays, and on the fortieth - the heart. In the Christian tradition, this custom is associated with faith in the Triune God. Thus, the living ask God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit to forgive the transgressions of the deceased.

According to church tradition, the deceased are remembered on their birthday and on Angel's day. Among other things, the church sets special dates for the commemoration of the dead - Parental Saturdays. They are often tied to certain events and holidays. There are two Ecumenical Parental Saturdays in the year. They are important in that the liturgy commemorates not only those who died by natural death, but also suicides, whom the church does not according to the rules sing. In addition to them, all the dead are not commemorated by their death or not buried. The first of the Ecumenical Parental Saturdays is meatless Saturday, before the Maslenitsa (cheese) week. The second is Saturday before the Trinity Day. Also for the commemoration of the departed are given Saturdays 2,3 and 4 weeks of Great Lent and some other days. You can learn more about Parent Saturdays and all other Christian holidays from the Orthodox calendar for next year.

The opinion of the church on the commemoration of the departed

Remembering the dead correctly is considered prayer and alms. According to the church, the more often you do this, the more you save the soul of the one you are praying for. They usually wear black or navy blue clothing, often not new. The rest of the usual attributes of mourning are traditionally considered pagan and wrong from the point of view of the church.

To this day, they often put an empty cutlery for the deceased and even leave the place on which he usually sat. The practice of pouring a stack of vodka to the deceased and putting a piece of bread on it is even more common. The Church considers such pagan traditions untrue, but they are widespread and familiar to the people, so everyone chooses according to his faith.

Right and wrong - a relative concept. The only advice that may be in such a matter is a respectful attitude to the deceased. Even if you consider yourself a believing Christian, there is no need for a funeral service for an atheist if he did not want it before his death. The same applies to representatives of a different faith: the deceased would like his burial to take place precisely according to the rules that his faith establishes for him. Therefore, see off on the last journey, taking into account the characteristics of this person. But praying for loved ones is not forbidden. The more often you go to church and read prayers for your family, the more noticeable your well-being will be in your home.

In such a sensitive issue as the commemoration of the departed, the ancient Slavs showed reverence and love for the family and ancestors. We wish you close and mutual warm relations in the family, and do not forget to click on the buttons and

What prayer to remember the dead? How often to remember the dead?

The deceased Christians commemorate every day. In each prayer book you can find a prayer for the departed, it is an integral part of the house prayer rule. Also, the deceased can be remembered by reading the Psalter. Every day, Christians read one kathisma from the Psalms. And in one of the chapters we remember our relatives (relatives), friends who have departed to the Lord.

Why remember the dead?

The fact is that life continues after death. Moreover, the final fate of man is not decided after death, but at the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, which we all are waiting for. Therefore, before the second coming, we can still change this fate. When we are alive, we can do it ourselves, doing good deeds and believing in Christ. Having died, we can no longer influence our own post-mortem, but people who remember us and have heart problems can do this. The best way to change the posthumous fate of the deceased is to pray for him.

When is the dead remembered? What days do the dead remember? What time of day can I remember?

The time of day when you can remember the deceased is not regulated by the Church. There are folk traditions that go back to paganism and clearly prescribe how and at what time to remember the dead - but they have nothing to do with Christian prayer. God lives in space without time, and we can reach heaven at any moment of the day or night.
The Church has established special commemoration days for those who are dear to us and have departed to another world - the so-called Parental Saturdays. There are several of them in the year, and all but one (May 9 - Commemoration of the dead soldiers) have a rolling date:
Meatless Saturday (Ecumenical Parental Saturday) March 5, 2016.
Saturday of the 2nd week of Lent March 26, 2016.
Saturday of the 3rd week of Lent on April 2, 2016.
Saturday of the 4th week of Great Lent on April 9, 2016.
Radonitsa May 10, 2016
May 9 - Commemoration of the dead soldiers
Saturday Trinity (Saturday before the Trinity Day). June 18, 2016.
Saturday Dimitrievskaya (Saturday before the day of memory of Dmitry Solunsky, which is celebrated on November 8). November 5, 2016.
In addition to Parental Saturdays, the deceased are commemorated in the church for every service - at the proskomidia, the part of the Divine Liturgy that precedes it. Before the Liturgy, you can submit memorial notes. In the note is written the name with which the person was baptized in the genitive case.

How to remember for 9 days? How to remember for 40 days? How to remember for six months? How to remember for a year?

The ninth and fortieth days from the day of death are special milestones on the way from earthly life to eternal life. This transition does not occur immediately, but gradually. During this period (until the fortieth day), the deceased person gives an answer to the Lord. This moment is extremely important for the deceased, it is akin to childbirth, the birth of a little man. Therefore, during this period, the deceased needs our help. Prayer, good deeds, changing oneself for the better in honor and memory of one close to us.
Six months - such a church commemoration does not exist. But there will be nothing wrong if you remember for six months, for example, having come to the temple to pray.
An anniversary is a day of remembrance when we, those who loved a person, gather together. The Lord bequeathed to us: Where two or three are gathered in My name, there I am in the midst of them (Matthew 18-20). And a joint commemoration, when we read a prayer for relatives and friends who are no longer with us, is a vivid, sonorous testimony before the Lord that the dead are not forgotten, that they are loved.

Is it possible to funeral suicides? How to remember suicides?

The question about the funeral service and church commemoration of suicides is a very controversial one. The fact is that the sin of suicide is one of the gravest. This is a sign of a person’s distrust of God.
Each such case must be considered separately, because suicides are different - conscious or unconscious, that is, in a state of severe mental disorder. The question of whether the funeral service and commemoration in the church of a baptized person who committed suicide lies entirely with the responsibility of the ruling bishop. If a tragedy happened to one of your loved ones, you need to go to the ruling bishop of the area where the deceased lived and ask for permission for the funeral. The bishop will consider this question and give you an answer.

As for home prayer, you can certainly remember the person who committed suicide. But the most important thing is to do good deeds in his honor and memory.

What can be remembered? Can I remember vodka? Why is pancake commemorated?

Trizny, funeral feasts, came to us from the depths of centuries. But in antiquity they looked different. It was a treat, a feast not for the relatives of the deceased, but for the poor, cripples, orphans, that is, those who need help and can never arrange such a meal for themselves.
Unfortunately, over time, the fever has turned from mercy into a regular home feast, often with heavy alcohol consumption ...
Of course, such libations have nothing to do with the real Christian commemoration, and in no way can they affect the posthumous fate of the deceased.

How to remember the unbaptized?

A person who did not want to unite himself with the Church of Christ, naturally, cannot be remembered in the temple. His posthumous fate remains at the discretion of the Lord, and here we can not influence the situation.
Unbaptized relatives can be remembered by praying for them at home and doing good deeds in their honor and memory. Try to change your life for the better, be faithful to Christ, remembering all the good things that a person who died unbaptized has done in his life.

How are Muslims remembered? How are the Jews remembered? How are Catholics remembered?

On this issue, it makes no difference whether the Muslim was deceased, a Catholic, or a Jew. They are not in the bosom of the Orthodox Church, therefore they are remembered as unbaptized. Their names cannot be written in notes on the proskimidia (proskomidia is the part of the Divine Liturgy that precedes it), but good deeds and prayer can be done in their memory.

How to remember the dead in the temple?

All those who commemorate themselves with the Church of Christ in the Sacrament of Baptism are commemorated in the temple. Even if a person for some reason did not go to the temple throughout his life, but was baptized, he can and should be remembered. Before the Divine Liturgy, you can submit a note “for proskimidia”.
Proskomidia is the part of the Divine Liturgy that precedes it. At proskomidia, bread and wine are prepared for the future Sacrament of Communion - the offering of bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ. It not only prepares the future Body of Christ (the Lamb - a large prosphora) and the future Blood of Christ for the Sacrament (wine), but also reads a prayer for Christians - living or dead. For the Mother of God, saints and us, simple believers, particles are taken out of the baffles. Pay attention when you are given a small prosphora after Communion - it’s as if “someone picked a piece” out of it. This priest removes particles from the prosphora for each name written in the note "on proscidia."
At the end of the Liturgy, slices of bread, symbolizing the souls of living or dead Christians, are immersed in the bowl of the Blood of Christ. At this moment, the priest reads the prayer, "Lord, washed away, the sins of the saints remembered by Your Blood through the Honest Prayers of Your Saints."
Also in the temples are special memorial services - memorial services. You can file a note separately for a memorial service. But it is important not only to submit a note, but also to try to personally attend the service where it will be read. You can find out about the time of this service from the temple attendants, who are given a note.

How to remember the dead at home?

In each prayer book you can find a prayer for the departed, it is an integral part of the house prayer rule. Also, the deceased can be remembered by reading the Psalter. Every day, Christians read one kathisma from the Psalms. And in one of the chapters we remember our relatives (relatives), friends who have departed to the Lord.

How to remember in the post?

During the Lent, there are special days for the commemoration of the departed — Parent Saturdays and Sundays, when full (as opposed to shortened on other days of Lent) Divine Liturgies are served. During these services, a pro-Mosquito commemoration of the dead is performed, when a piece symbolizing his soul is taken out from each of the great prosphora for each person.

How to remember the newly deceased?

From the first day of the repose of a person over his body, the Psalter is read. If the deceased is a priest, then the gospel is read. The psalm must be continued even after the funeral, until the fortieth day.
Also the newly departed commemorates the funeral service. The funeral service is supposed to be performed on the third day after death, and it is important that it is carried out not in absentia, but over the body of the deceased. The fact is that all those who loved a person come to the funeral service, and their prayer is special, conciliar.
You can remember the newly-deceased and the victim. For example, to distribute to the needy his good, good things - clothes, household items. This can be done from the first day after the death of a person.

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