Prayer for the peace: who needs it more?
Virtually all religions of the world very carefullybelong to the posthumous fate of believers. In some cases, the deceased are worshiped, sometimes they are prayed for, sacrifices are made. A special burial rite is even for atheists, for deep in the soul everyone understands that death is a transition to some other state, and not just an end to biological life.
Prayer for the repose is accepted in Orthodoxy and veryis widespread. What is it? How is this prayer realized and what does it give? That's a very difficult question. According to the teaching of the Church, the posthumous fate of a person is determined by actions throughout life, and by the state of the soul at the time of death. After death, a person can no longer change for the worse or for the better. Proceeding from this, the prayer for the peace is completely useless.
But we must remember that prayer is a conversation withGod, and not a trading or exchange shop. That is, it can not be determined: once the prayer is read for the repose, it means that a person will become better. God the All-Good Creator, of course, graciously looks at our prayers and donations to improve the afterlife of the deceased. For the sake of the salvation of others, amazing feats of faith were sometimes performed. For example, the well-known St. Petersburg St. Xenia Blessed began her journey when her husband died without repentance. Her whole life is a kind of prayer for the repose of her beloved husband. And even if he was not a very pious person, one can not believe that the Lord would not accept this feat of love.
But, of course, no one can take on such a burden as Blessed Xenia, so there are certain traditions of funeral prayers.
The prayer for the peace of the soul begins as soon as the soul leaves the body, that is, as soon as the person has died. Already at this moment it is quite appropriate to say, "O Lord, rest the soul of Your servant."
Often at the coffin and in the first days after deathclose family members read the Psalter. It is a pious tradition, it is read for forty days and after each Glory prayer repeats itself: "Lord, rest the soul of Your servant ...".
But this is a home, so to speak, cell versionprayer. There is also a tradition of church prayers. First of all it is a funeral service. This is not a sacrament. Every sacrament must be carried out with the consent of a person. The funeral is a collection of prayers that are sung and read over the coffin. It is built in the form of a dialogue between the deceased's soul and God and relatives.
Every day there is such a prayer for the peace, asrequiem. It can be served at home and in the temple, it can be repeated many times a day. Particularly often the funeral services serve in the first forty days, when the soul, according to the teachings of the Church, has not yet passed a private court.
Later, of course, we must also pray.The Orthodox have even days of special remembrance of the deceased, when the Church calls to remember their loved ones especially, once again. The most effective prayer for repose is, of course, the priest's proskomed prayer in the altar during the Divine Liturgy. These are the so-called notes for the repose, which are served in a candle store. During the service for each listed in the note, a part of the prosphora is removed, and after the consecration of the holy Gifts, these particles are immersed in the Blood of Christ. It is believed that the soul at the same time, too, is attached to God.
Remembrance for the peace is possible on special days, at home, and in the temple. Do not forget your dead is very important for the living.