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Author Topic: toll houses, purgatory and prayers for the dead  (Read 1521 times) Average Rating: 0
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Victoria
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« on: May 24, 2011, 04:14:09 PM »

Here is my confusion with the whole topic-its seems like some OC accept "toll houses" concept and some don't. However, it seems just like concept of purgatory in RC. Here is the question-if there was no purgatory/toll houses, etc why do we pray for the dead? If they are in heaven, they don't need anymore "help" getting there and if they are in hell, no prayers are going to help them. So why do it then? Just in case because we don't know where they are ? Kind of confused here. I would appreciate any clarification, TIA:)
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« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2011, 04:16:46 PM »

Here is my confusion with the whole topic-its seems like some OC accept "toll houses" concept and some don't. However, it seems just like concept of purgatory in RC. Here is the question-if there was no purgatory/toll houses, etc why do we pray for the dead? If they are in heaven, they don't need anymore "help" getting there and if they are in hell, no prayers are going to help them. So why do it then? Just in case because we don't know where they are ? Kind of confused here. I would appreciate any clarification, TIA:)

What's your stand on the ontological will and providential will of God?
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« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2011, 04:33:51 PM »

Here is my confusion with the whole topic-its seems like some OC accept "toll houses" concept and some don't. However, it seems just like concept of purgatory in RC. Here is the question-if there was no purgatory/toll houses, etc why do we pray for the dead? If they are in heaven, they don't need anymore "help" getting there and if they are in hell, no prayers are going to help them. So why do it then? Just in case because we don't know where they are ? Kind of confused here. I would appreciate any clarification, TIA:)

What's your stand on the ontological will and providential will of God?
sorry, not sure what you mean. may be my English is not as good as i thought:(
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« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2011, 04:36:51 PM »

Here is my confusion with the whole topic-its seems like some OC accept "toll houses" concept and some don't. However, it seems just like concept of purgatory in RC. Here is the question-if there was no purgatory/toll houses, etc why do we pray for the dead? If they are in heaven, they don't need anymore "help" getting there and if they are in hell, no prayers are going to help them. So why do it then? Just in case because we don't know where they are ? Kind of confused here. I would appreciate any clarification, TIA:)

What's your stand on the ontological will and providential will of God?
sorry, not sure what you mean. may be my English is not as good as i thought:(

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« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2011, 04:49:33 PM »

I'm not sure how one can equate tollhouses with purgatory since the tollhouses don't exist for purification and have no material, purifying fire.
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« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2011, 05:34:03 PM »

Here is my confusion with the whole topic-its seems like some OC accept "toll houses" concept and some don't. However, it seems just like concept of purgatory in RC. Here is the question-if there was no purgatory/toll houses, etc why do we pray for the dead? If they are in heaven, they don't need anymore "help" getting there and if they are in hell, no prayers are going to help them. So why do it then? Just in case because we don't know where they are ? Kind of confused here. I would appreciate any clarification, TIA:)

What's your stand on the ontological will and providential will of God?
sorry, not sure what you mean. may be my English is not as good as i thought:(

Victoria, I was half kidding. These sorta topics bring out the "big issues".

I can say for me, that the practice of praying for the dead and AN Orthodox understanding as I understand it was pivotal to my desire to join the Church. It was one of those "moments" for me. A lot came together after that. To explain it, would be to tell a story.

Let's see if you find anything helpful here and if not, maybe my experience might be of help.

Your English is probably better than any language I attempt to communicate in, including English.

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« Reply #6 on: May 24, 2011, 06:49:31 PM »

We pray for people in Hell bacuse we can help them. Jesus went to Hell and rescued many and I believe we can go to Hell and rescue many just because Jesus said that what he did, we can do more since Jesus will pray for us to the Father.
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« Reply #7 on: May 24, 2011, 08:56:28 PM »

We pray for people in Hell bacuse we can help them. Jesus went to Hell and rescued many and I believe we can go to Hell and rescue many just because Jesus said that what he did, we can do more since Jesus will pray for us to the Father.

For example Victoria, I am sure your English is good enough to realize this is absolute nonsense.

I am not sure that there is one correct sentence in there.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2011, 08:56:59 PM by orthonorm » Logged

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« Reply #8 on: May 24, 2011, 09:00:22 PM »

We pray for people in Hell bacuse we can help them. Jesus went to Hell and rescued many and I believe we can go to Hell and rescue many just because Jesus said that what he did, we can do more since Jesus will pray for us to the Father.

For example Victoria, I am sure your English is good enough to realize this is absolute nonsense.

I am not sure that there is one correct sentence in there.
my thought about this quote was "huh?"
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« Reply #9 on: May 24, 2011, 09:09:10 PM »

http://www.monachos.net/forum/showthread.php?4309-Forty-days-liturgy
FROM THE COUNSELS OF ELDER CLEOPA:
Commemoration at Forty Divine Liturgies:

I want to relate a story to you. France was Orthodox until the year
1054, as was Italy, for until that time all countries were of ONE faith.
The Roman Catholics (Papists/Vatican Religion) separated from us in
1054, in the great papal schism when our Church was torn apart because
of papal reforms.

Before that time, there was a priest in France (which was still
Orthodox) who had a brother in the military. The French were at war
with the Mauritanians. Mauritania is what we refer to as French Africa,
right on the other side of the Gibraltar, toward Liberia. At one time it
was a Kingdom. So the French were there fighting against the
Mauritanians, on the other side of Gibraltar, in Africa.

The French priest’s brother went to Mauritania with his military
regiment. At that time war wasn’t like it is now with atomic bombs and
planes , canons and guns; then they fought with Swords, like in the days
of Stephen the Great1, with swords and arrows.

The French thus went into Mauritania to fight this great battle between
the European armies and those in Africa. Even though the French won the
battle, many of their soldiers were captured by the Mauritanians,
amongst whom was the priest’s brother. The priest was from Marseilles, a
French port which is on the Mediterranean Sea.

The priest did not know that his brother had fallen prisoner, and when
the other soldiers returned to France at the end of the war, he asked
them, “Have you seen my brother?” “Father, I think he died in all the
carnage of the battle. Bodies were laying like tree stumps –The Battle
was so bad- and I think that he died, poor man.”

The priest, with a BROTHER’S LOVE, decided to serve the Divine Liturgy
for Forty days in which he specifically commemorated his Brother.
However, the priest’s brother was not dead, but rather a prisoner, and
he was bound with chains in a prison with many others who were also
chained.

The priest would be serving Divine Liturgy at about 10:00 in the
morning, and at that exact time all the chains would fall off of his
brother, leaving him completely free.

The other prisoners said, “What is happening with you? Why do those
Chains fall off of you? Are you some kind of wizard?”

“No, I don’t know anything about magic stuff.”
“Yeah right!, You don’t know magic!”
All of his chains would break and fall off every day at 10:00. The
guards would chain him again and the next day the chains would break and
fall. Another set of chains, and another set broken like dust.
“This Guy is a real Wizard! He’ll just walk out of prison when he wants,
look, the chains can’t hold him!”

No One understood what was going on, and they would ask Him,
“What kind of magic do you have? Do you have some magical amulet hidden
in your shirt or in your pants?”
Saying this, the guards would strip him of his clothes. “Tie me up
naked, if you don’t believe me!”
They did exactly that, and the next day, the chains would again fall off
of him. The guards were baffled and asked each other, “Where does he
hide his magic? If we knew how to do what he does, we could escape from
anywhere!, “Now where do you hide your magic?” He insisted, “I don’t
know magic.”

“Then what religion are you?” they asked, since they were all Moslems.

“I am a Christian. I believe in Christ. I don’t know any incantations
because I believe otherwise. My brother is a priest in my homeland of
France, and I think that he is serving the Liturgy now and removes a
particle for me at Proskomedia, thinking that I am dead. If I WERE dead
and in hell, I would be unbound even there, like I am here. I think this
is what is happening, but I don’t even know for sure.”

“How long is this going to happen to you?”
“Our practice is to serve forty Liturgies. You will see that for these
forty days, the chains fall off of me.”
“After that, what will happen?”
“I don’t know what will happen, except that I will be delivered from
your hands.”
“How? You won’t slip out of our hands!”
“I believe that God would deliver me even if I were in hell, thanks to
the forty Liturgies; and he will certainly deliver me from your hands
here.”
“You’ll see what kind of supervision we put you under then!”
The guards figured out when the Forty days would be up, and did not put
chains on the Man during that time, “It’s useless to chain him because
during these forty days they just break apart and fall off of him!”

On the Fortieth day, they were all keeping watch over him. They put
double bars on the doors, bound him in chains again, and set a guard
just for him, “Don’t take your eyes off of him. Today is the fortieth
day and he claims that he will leave here!”

As the guards were watching him, suddenly they beheld that the roof of
the prison split open and a hand descended, took the prisoner by the
hair of his head, and he was gone.

Where did he go? He was deposited on the porch of his house in
Marseilles within a moment from the time he was lifted out of prison.

The Guards were asked, “What Happened!?”
“Christ came. We saw a hand,” (They did not know that it was the angel
of the Lord, not Christ himself.) “He snatched the prisoner from us and
we fell down trembling. No one could have even grabbed him by the foot.”
“How did he get out?”
“Through the roof of the prison, and then it closed back up again.”
One of the guards said, “Do you see how powerful the Christian faith is?
Do you see the strength of their Christ? It didn’t matter how much you
guarded him, but he took him when He wanted!”
When the priest saw his brother, he said “My Brother! You have come
home!, They told me you died. Today I finished serving the fortieth
Liturgy in which I removed a particle for your soul.”
The former prisoner said, “You did the right thing, Brother, for if I
had been in hell, you would have delivered me from there. Since I was
still on Earth, you brought me out of prison. May God reward you. Listen
to what happened to me…” and he proceeded to tell his brother about the
chains.
So you see how strong those prayers are during the forty Liturgies when
one is remembered at the Proskomedia.


There is another example of a miracle in connection with the forty
Liturgies. An elderly Hieromonk who was an abbot had a disciple who was
not very obedient.
The elder frequently told him, “Be obedient my son, or you will suffer
eternal torments.”
But the disobedient disciple still did not follow the counsel of the
elder. He died before his elder, but after his death, the elder had a
vision of the disciple in hell.
The Disciple said to him, “Father, Please serve forty Liturgies for me,2
for I was disobedient and bad, upsetting you so much.”
After the elder had completed serving those forty Divine Liturgies, he
again beheld his disciple, but this time he was clothed in robes as
bright as the sun, and he said to the elder, “Through your holy prayers
and intercessions which you made for me, I have been released and
saved.”

The End and Glory be to God!

« Last Edit: May 24, 2011, 09:14:11 PM by pasadi97 » Logged
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« Reply #10 on: May 24, 2011, 09:15:29 PM »

We pray for people in Hell because people from Hell told us they are helped by prayers and Jesus prayed for Lazarus. When Lazarus was dead he went to Hell since there was no baptism at that time. So through prayer Jesus brought Lazarus from hell into life. Because you're here , wondering about grammar is OK. On the other side people in Hell depend on us. So, we are able to do something about them. We don't know exactly what but we can pray to find out. Dear God please let us know what we can do with maximum efficiency for people in Hell , and force us to help these people as much as possible without any pain if possible. With 40 Liturgies many souls were saved. And I believe we can do more than 40 Liturgies.

There are Orthodox people that speak with God face to face and would be a good idea for them to ask what can we do for people in Hell.

Read this with ATTENTION:
"My brother is a priest in my homeland of
France, and I think that he is serving the Liturgy now and removes a
particle for me at Proskomedia, thinking that I am dead. If I WERE dead
and in hell, I would be unbound even there, like I am here. I think this
is what is happening, but I don’t even know for sure.”

“How long is this going to happen to you?”
“Our practice is to serve forty Liturgies. You will see that for these
forty days, the chains fall off of me.”
“After that, what will happen?”
“I don’t know what will happen, except that I will be delivered from
your hands.”
“How? You won’t slip out of our hands!”
“I believe that God would deliver me

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>even if I were in hell, <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<


thanks to
the forty Liturgies; and he will certainly deliver me from your hands
here.”
"

This is common in Romania and now you understand what Protestantism has lost BESIDE FOOD FOR ETERNAL LIFE, CONFESSION....AND SUCH.... In Romania there are Monasteries like Crasna or Dervent that mention one departed soul for 7 years, that is almost 2000 Holy Liturgies and this the GREATEST GIFT A DEPARTED SOUL CAN GET.

There was a priest with drunking problem. And Bishop was waiting and waiting and waiting for him to turn around . Anyhow he decided to move him but everytime he would try to sign the paper, souls would exit from the ground shouting and threatening him that he would not be able to do it.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>See how desperate are souls from other world for prayer?Huh?<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

So he asked the priest to come back to him and he asked the priest, Are you doing something special? Sure, said the priest, as a remorse I go in cemetery and pray for the souls there. And the Bishop let the priest alone and nobody was ever again doing nothing to him.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2011, 09:33:32 PM by pasadi97 » Logged
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« Reply #11 on: May 24, 2011, 09:48:07 PM »

We pray for people in Hell bacuse we can help them.

For example Victoria, I am sure your English is good enough to realize this is absolute nonsense.

I am not sure that there is one correct sentence in there.

Yet the Catholic Encyclopedia does say...

"In itself, it is no rejection of Catholic dogma to suppose that God might at times, by way of exception, liberate a soul from hell.

That seems plain enough. 

Admittedly it goes on to hedge its bets.  See

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,32546.msg514593/topicseen.html#msg514593
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« Reply #12 on: May 24, 2011, 09:58:52 PM »

http://www.monachos.net/forum/showthread.php?4309-Forty-days-liturgy
FROM THE COUNSELS OF ELDER CLEOPA:
Commemoration at Forty Divine Liturgies:


Pasadi97,

Thank you very very much for what you have relayed from the holy Elder Cleopa.

Here is another wonderful story, the story of Saint Varus and how God will forgive sins after death and bring people to salvation

Please see message 12
at
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,14478.msg424898.html#msg424898
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« Reply #13 on: May 24, 2011, 10:02:36 PM »

We pray for people in Hell bacuse we can help them.

For example Victoria, I am sure your English is good enough to realize this is absolute nonsense.

I am not sure that there is one correct sentence in there.

Yet the Catholic Encyclopedia does say...

"In itself, it is no rejection of Catholic dogma to suppose that God might at times, by way of exception, liberate a soul from hell.

That seems plain enough. 

Admittedly it goes on to hedge its bets.  See

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,32546.msg514593/topicseen.html#msg514593

That doesn’t seem to be the mainstream view or am i missing something? Undecided

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« Reply #14 on: May 24, 2011, 10:15:23 PM »

We pray for people in Hell bacuse we can help them.

For example Victoria, I am sure your English is good enough to realize this is absolute nonsense.

I am not sure that there is one correct sentence in there.

Yet the Catholic Encyclopedia does say...

"In itself, it is no rejection of Catholic dogma to suppose that God might at times, by way of exception, liberate a soul from hell.

That seems plain enough. 

Admittedly it goes on to hedge its bets.  See

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,32546.msg514593/topicseen.html#msg514593

That doesn’t seem to be the mainstream view or am i missing something? Undecided



We could probably say that it was mainstream during the first millennium when Rome was united with her sister Churches.  But isolation brought changes and one of them was that this belief was left behind and other attitudes came to prevail so that today the early belief of the Church is seen as very odd.  It lives on in the East but now and again, under Western influence which is not critically examined, you will find it is denied in modern Orthodox catechisms.
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« Reply #15 on: May 24, 2011, 10:22:43 PM »


Even the most serious sin may be forgiven after death and there is salvation from Hell. The scriptural foundation for this is 2 Maccabees 12: 39-45 where prayer and almsgiving by the living obtained the remission of hell-meriting (mortal) sin for the dead.

Then we may look at the words of one of Russia's contemporary respected theologians Metropolitan Hilarion...  I would infer from his words that all of the OO Churches pray for those in hell, with the exception of the Coptic Church which has, only recently, decided against such prayers.

Praying for those in hell...

I was reading an article recently by Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev called "Orthodox Worship as a School of Theology", and I came across the following:-

Bishop Hilarion: "Several years ago I came across a short article in a journal of the Coptic Church where it stated that this Church had decided to remove prayers for those held in hell from its service books, since these prayers “contradict Orthodox teaching”. Puzzled by this article, I decided to ask a representative of the Coptic Church about the reasons for this move. Recently I had the possibility to do so, and a Coptic Metropolitan replied that the decision was made by his Synod because, according their official doctrine, no prayers can help those in hell.

"I told the metropolitan that in the liturgical practice of the Russian Orthodox Church and other local Orthodox Churches there are prayers for those held in hell, and that we believe in their saving power. This surprised the Metropolitan, and he promised to study this question in more detail."

This Orthodox teaching is contrary to the Roman Catholic.

Here is the original article ...

http://orthodoxeurope.org/page/12/1.aspx
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« Reply #16 on: May 24, 2011, 10:29:48 PM »

The problem is that non christian ideas became widespread in the west. Like the one that the fate of the souls can not be changed and this is OLD LAW idea since OLD LAW was powerless.

As a result, Western Christians in afterlife were stuck, people would cease praying for them. One more reason to go against ecumenism trying to move EOC into wrong direction.
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« Reply #17 on: May 24, 2011, 10:30:26 PM »

All sins, even the worst, may be forgiven after death.  This is the teaching of sacred Scripture.

The history of Judas Maccabeus is an important one in this matter.   It proves that the West is wrong when it believes that grave sin, mortal sin, cannot be forgiven after death.  The text of Maccabees demonstrates that it can.  

To give some context to the incident in Maccabees... What had happened was that many of the dead Jewish soldiers were found to have small idols in their clothing.  They had been worshipping idols, seeking their protection in warfare,  and the text says that this idolatry is the reason God allowed them to be slain in battle.

So the surviving soldiers began to offer profound prayers that this dreadful sin would be forgiven and Judas Maccabeus decided to send a large quantity of silver to the Jerusalem temple for prayers for the forgiveness of these idolaters.

The whole incident substantiates not just prayers for the dead but the Orthodox hope and belief that sin, very serious sin (mortal sin if you will), may be forgiven by God after death.

This remains the tradition among the Orthodox.


2 Macc 12: 39-46
King James Version
http://etext.virginia.edu/toc/modeng/public/Kjv2Mac.html


 And upon the day following, as the use had been, Judas and his company came to take up the bodies of them that were slain, and to bury them with their kinsmen in their fathers' graves.  Now under the coats of every one that was slain they found things consecrated to the idols of the Jamnites, which is forbidden the Jews by the law. Then every man saw that this was the cause wherefore they were slain.  All men therefore praising the Lord, the righteous Judge, who had opened the things that were hid, Betook themselves unto prayer, and besought him that the sin committed might wholly be put out of remembrance. Besides, that noble Judas exhorted the people to keep themselves from sin, forsomuch as they saw before their eyes the things that came to pass for the sins of those that were slain. And when he had made a gathering throughout the company to the sum of two thousand drachms of silver, he sent it to Jerusalem to offer a sin offering, doing therein very well and honestly, in that he was mindful of the resurrection:  For if he had not hoped that they that were slain should have risen again, it had been superfluous and vain to pray for the dead. And also in that he perceived that there was great favour laid up for those that died godly, it was an holy and good thought. Whereupon he made a reconciliation for the dead, that they might be delivered from sin.
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« Reply #18 on: May 24, 2011, 10:42:21 PM »

There are 2 other stories with Elder Cleopa.

In one a priest was going to a public bath and on the way to the bath he was praying for owner of the bath.
Every time he would go there a youg man would come helping him.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>The young man was released form Hell as a result of priest prayers<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

Anyhow. So the priest was praying and was very content with young man and said to him, let me give you something to eat. The young man
said, what to eat? I can not eat since I am a soul. Make for me 40 Liturgies and I will escape Hell.

The priest did 40 Liturgies and the man escaped Hell comming to priest and thanking him.

Anyhow, I have a question for eastern orthodox. When putting a name on a dyptich, the priest is removing a particle automatically or this is something you have to request separately? I believe removing a particle is very powerful, and I am not sure if naming would be enough or naming should have removing a particle? For sure naming and removing a particle is enough from what I read. I don't know about naming somebody from dyptich without removing a particle.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2011, 10:46:26 PM by pasadi97 » Logged
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« Reply #19 on: May 24, 2011, 10:51:43 PM »


Anyhow, I have a question for eastern orthodox. When putting a name on a dyptich, the priest is removing a particle automatically or this is something you have to request separately?

Two things can happen...

1.  The priest will place an individual crumb of bread on the discos for every name on the lists which are sent to the altar.   He usually scrapes the crumbs off the lower section of the prosphora.  Some really meticulous priests may cut out a tiny triangle of bread for each name.

2.  If there are a great number of names the priest will read each name on the individual "diptychs"  but he will cut out only one small triangle for them all.  Then he will read the next diptych and do the same.


No.1 is the better way.
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