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Why we pray for the dead

Praying for the dead in the Christian Orthodox Church is based on our belief in life after death and the Resurrection. Love amount us is not broken even after death, and that is the reason the Orthodox Church continues to pray for its members even after they enter everlasting life.

Individual memorial prayers

Individual memorial prayers are rendered for the dead on the third, eight, and fortieth day, six months and one year after death, and annually thereafter.
• On the third day after death the soul begins it journey through rigorous interrogations called "Mitarstva" or "Toll Gates."
• On the eight day after death, angels approach the soul and accompany it at its journey the throne of God.
• On the fortieth day after the separation of the soul from the body, the interrogations of the soul is ended. The soul received temporary judgment, after which it is rewarded by temporary joy or punishment until the Second Coming of our Lord on Earth and until the Final Judgment by the Son of God over the World. On the fortieth day we pray to the Lord to be merciful to the soul and to reward it with blessed life and joy.
• The sixth month memorial for the dead is observed in order to beseech the Lord to lessen the sufferings and magnify the joy of our deceased relatives or friends.
• The annual memorial. Every year we remember the day of our physical birth into the world, therefore, we should also remember the day of the death of our loved ones. That is their spiritual birth into a new spiritual life. It is their spiritual birth into the heavenly kingdom. Usually, on this day, Christian Orthodox erect and bless a monument at the grave site. Every Orthodox monument should have the sign of the holy Cross engraved on it.

Memorial days - ZADUSHNITSE

In our holy Orthodox Church one day of the week - Saturday - is dedicated to the dead. We should pray for our dead every Saturday, except on Great Holidays. Every Holy Liturgy, except on Great Holidays, we commemorate the deceased during "proskomidia": oblation, great entrance and during special Litany for deceased.
The Holy Orthodox Church assigned several days of the year strictly for memorial services. Those days are:
• Memorial or Soul Saturdays, in Serbian called "Zadushnitse"
• Meat Fare Saturdays (before Easter Lent)
• Second, third and fourth Saturdays of Paschal Lent
• Monday after St. Thomas Sunday
• Pentecostal Saturday, before Pentecost
• Saturday before Venerable St. Kirijak - Miholjdan
• Saturday before St. Demetrius day
• St. Lazarus of Serbia day - Vidovdan. On Vidovdan Serbian Orthodox pray for all those who gave their lives for our Christian faith and for our freedom.

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