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Author Topic: Praying for a soul...  (Read 895 times) Average Rating: 0
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ironsiderodger
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« on: October 15, 2008, 08:46:29 AM »

Hey guys,

here's a bit of a sticky subject for my western sensibilities. I noted in a few instances where somebody had asked or offered prayers for a person who had passed away, and all the cases seemed to be someone who was Orthodox and at least presented themselves on this earth as an avid follower of Christ. So my badly phrased question is then (and I'm not waiting to spring some foamy-mouthed pat protestant answer on you), can someone who professes their faith, who lives the faith, has been baptized, has partaken of not just the Sacraments, but also the Divine Nature- can this persons soul still be in danger after they die? Can all of the saving- body, mind, and soul, be for nought (I'm not talking here of once saved always saved... at least I don't think I am) and somehow after someone dies they can still blow it?

I'm also aware of the Toll Houses- but I believe I've also seen that the theory is not by any means wholly accepted in Orthodoxy.

Thanks as always for your time.
« Last Edit: October 15, 2008, 09:02:55 AM by ironsiderodger » Logged
Thomas
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« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2008, 09:26:49 AM »

In simplest terms, we pray for those who have reposed just as we do for those who are alive because they are part of the Church. In western terms there is the Church Militant(those on earth and alive) and the Chuirch Triumphant (Those who have reposed in the Lord and continue to await the final judgement). We pray for those who have reposed just as we ask them to pray for us, it is part and partial to intercommunion within the Church, praying one for another.

Thomas
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« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2008, 09:40:45 AM »

Everyone and everything in the Cosmos is saved in and through Christ, and so we pray for all. In the Divine Liturgy, the Gifts of the Altar are offered even for Most Holy Theotokos, she who is "more honourable than the Cherubim and more glorious than the Seraphim".
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« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2008, 09:47:27 AM »

can someone who professes their faith, who lives the faith, has been baptized, has partaken of not just the Sacraments, but also the Divine Nature- can this persons soul still be in danger after they die? Can all of the saving- body, mind, and soul, be for nought (I'm not talking here of once saved always saved... at least I don't think I am) and somehow after someone dies they can still blow it?

The thing is, only God knows the heart of a human being - we do not. So, it's probably just not possible to make the conclusion that so-and-so REALLY "lived the faith." And that's probably the reason why Orthodox generally believe that something happens with the soul of a person who just died. Maybe not universally, but in some instances - definitely. If something of the "old man" (Eph. 4:22) still remains there, in the soul of the departed, if there are some passions that he/she never conquered, if there are some sins that he/she never repented of - then there will be some trials for this soul, something that in Slavic languages is called "mytarstva," a series of events when forces of good and forces of evil wrestle for this poor soul; and that causes the soul a lot of distress and suffering. For the soul itself, it's already too late to do anything to alleviate these sufferings; yet, they can be alleviated through intercessions of the Theotokos and of the saints. That's why we pray for the souls of the departed and ask the saints to pray to the Lord with us and for us.
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