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Author Topic: Prayers for the departed within OO (any differences from EO view??)  (Read 2570 times) Average Rating: 0
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OrthodoxPilgrim
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« on: November 07, 2008, 01:45:43 AM »

Good day to all and I hope all of you are enjoying your day,

In my journey into Orthodoxy, I am slowly learning Orthodoxy's doctrines and teachings and am trying to better understand them. Now, during my readings into this topic tonight. I came across a Coptic website that mentioned that prayers for the departed are only given to those who are within the Church and not to those who died outside of the faith. The quote here:

"Q2: Who are they whom the Church does not pray for?
A2: In accordance with the words of St. John, “There is a sin leading to death. I do not say that he should
pray about that” (1 Jn 5:16), the Church does not pray for those who died in their sins without repentance
like those who committed suicide for instance for the prayer will not benefit them anyway. Notice also that
we pray that the spirits may be reposed in Paradise not in purgatory."

(Lecture 1: On Praying for the Departed, "The Salvation that We Are Awaiting" by Fr. Shenouda Maher. Source: http://www.suscopts.org/messages/lectures/misclecture1.pdf , Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States_

So, basically, from my limited understanding of what the OO view is, the prayers for the depareted are those who have been departed, without repenting their sins. However, an EO source, indicates several stories of the Holy Fathers, indicating that those who weren't even able to repent, were brought in prayers and were forgiven by God. Take a look:

" St. Gregory the Dialogist also relates that during the lifetime of St. Benedict of Nursia 13 there lived two women who had the unfortunate habit of judging their neighbors, speaking evil and reproaching others. Learning of this, the Venerable Benedict said to them: "Curb your tongues, or I will have to excommunicate you from the Holy Mysteries." But, all the same, they did not
cease their evil habits and even said nothing in reply to the saint's paternal admonition. Several days later both women died in their virginity and were buried together in the church. When the Divine Liturgy was served and the deacon exclaimed: "Catechumens, depart!", many Christians beheld the two virgins leaving their tombs and the church, for they were unable to remain there during the Divine Liturgy. This occurred at each Divine Liturgy. When St. Benedict discovered this, he took pity on them and, taking a prosphora, he commanded them to take it to the church and to remove a particle from it for the repose of their souls. He also ordered them
commemorated during the performance of the Mysteries of Christ. After that, none of the Christians saw them leaving the church. From this, all understood that, owing to the Holy Church's prayer for the departed and the offerings, the departed virgins had received forgiveness from God. 14

The Greek Emperor Theophilus 15 lived carelessly and did not concern himself with the salvation of his soul. Death found this sovereign in the midst of his sinful life. The Empress St. Theodora, Theophilus' consort, was horrified at the heavy lot that would befall her husband in eternity. At her behest, prayers were increased in the churches, alms were distributed, good works were
performed. And what was the result? The prayers of the Church reached the Lord. Theophilus was forgiven, to the spiritual joy of his grieving spouse and to the consolation of the Church, which has so merciful and mighty a Lord, Who gives life to the dead and leads them forth from the abyss of hell, not only bodily, but spiritually. 16

"But who can number," asks St. John of Damascus, "all of the testimonies found in the biographies of holy men, in the accounts of the lives of the holy martyrs and the divine revelations, which clearly indicate that even after death tremendous benefit is rendered to the
departed by prayers, Liturgies and the distribution of alms for them. For nothing given to God perishes in return, but is rewarded by Him with the greatest interest."

St. John of Damascus relates: "A certain holy man had a disciple who was living heedlessly. And what happened? Death found him in the midst of his carelessness. The merciful Heavenly Father, roused by the tears and cries of the elder, revealed to him the youth burning in flames up to his neck, like the merciless rich man mentioned in the parable of Lazarus. And when the saint subjected his flesh to strict mortification, fervently beseeching God for the forgiveness of his disciple, he beheld him enveloped in flame up to his waist. Finally, when the holy man had increased his ascetic labors yet more, God revealed him in a vision to the elder, removed from the flame and completely free."" (Source: http://www.stvladimiraami.org/pamphlets/prayerforthedeadol.pdf)

Now, please say that I am missing something...because from most of my studies on this particular subject (limited as it may be) I was always under the impression that the EO and OO views on prayers for the departed were the same and that prayers were offered to those among us, dear and beloved, who not only repented but those who didn't.....I guess I ought to be asking is: Is the practise of ONLY praying for those departed who repented a practise solely seen within the Coptic Church?....are there EO churches who share the same view.....

Please help me understand this here....If I am mistaken, then I offer my humble and sincere apologies...I come as an earnest learner so please feel free to instruct me accordingly.

In Christ,

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« Last Edit: November 07, 2008, 01:53:10 AM by OrthodoxPilgrim » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2008, 01:53:38 AM »

I can't speak for the traditions of other OO Churches, but I have been told that in the Armenian Church you can pray for anyone who has departed.  You can even pray for the souls of non-Christians.
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« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2008, 03:47:47 AM »

Quote
Is the practise of ONLY praying for those departed who repented a practise solely seen within the Coptic Church?....are there EO churches who share the same view.....

In my own experience I have never been told that I could only pray for Orthodox Christians, or only for those who repented before they passed away. As for 1 John 5:16-17, I did a mini-study on that passage a few years back, and I found that there were multiple interpretations of the passage among the Fathers. Fwiw, here are the results of my mini-study...

Clement of Alexandria taught that there are "differences of sin". According to him, "Mistake is a sin contrary to calculation; and voluntary sin is crime; and crime is voluntary wickedness... Mistake is the involuntary action of another towards me, while a crime alone is voluntary, whether my act or another's." Clement says that 1 Jn. 5:16-17 "manifestly teaches the differences of sins" (Stromata, 2, 15)

According to St. Ambrose of Milan, we cannot take the words of this passage in a woodenly literal way. St. Ambrose believes that St. John was not saying that there were people who really couldn't be prayed for, but only that some people's sin(s) are so terrible that we sinners are unworthy to pray for them. The meaning of the passage then would be that it would take the powerful and effective prayers of a very righteous man for certain sins to be forgiven (cf James 5:16). Thus St. Ambrose says:

Quote
"Rightly, then, is it said: 'Who shall entreat for him?' It implies that it must be such an one as Moses to offer himself for those who sin, or such as Jeremiah... Such intercessors, then, must be sought for after very grievous sins, for if any ordinary persons pray they are not heard. So that point of yours will have no weight, which you take from the Epistle of John, where he says: 'He who knows that his brother sinneth a sin not unto death, let him ask, and God will give him life, because he sinned not unto death. There is a sin unto death: not concerning it do I say, let him ask.' (1 Jn. 5:16) He was not speaking to Moses and Jeremiah, but to the people, who must seek another intercessor for their sins; the people, for whom it is sufficient they entreat God for their lighter faults, and consider that pardon for weightier sins must be reserved for the prayers of the just. For how could John say that graver sins should not be prayed for, when he had read that Moses prayed and obtained his request, where there had been wilful casting off of faith, and knew that Jeremiah also had entreated?

How could John say that we should not pray for the sin unto death, who himself in the Apocalypse wrote the message to the angel of the Church of Pergamos? 'Thou hast there those that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to put a stumbling-block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication. So hast thou also them that hold the doctrines of the Nicolaitans. Repent likewise, or else I will come to thee quickly.' (Rev. 2:14-16) Do you see that the same God Who requires repentance promises forgiveness? And then He says: 'He that hath ears let him hear what the Spirit saith to the churches: To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna.' (Rev. 2:17) Did not John himself know that Stephen prayed for his persecutors, who had not been able even to listen to the Name of Christ, when he said of those very men by whom he was being stoned: 'Lord, lay not this sin to their charge'? (Acts 7:60) And we see the result of this prayer in the case of the Apostle, for Paul, who kept the garments of those who were stoning Stephen, not long after became an apostle by the grace of God, having before been a persecutor." - St. Ambrose of Milan, Two Books Concerning Repentance, 1, 10

Similar to St. Ambrose, St. Jerome also believes that we must not take this verse in a woodenly literal way.  According to St. Jerome, St. John was exaggerating in 1 John 5:16-17 so as to emphasise that some sins could receive forgiveness easier than other sins. St. Jerome therefore seems to agree with the interpretation of St. Ambrose, but looks at what this interpretation means from a slightly different perspective. He says:

Quote
"If you cut off a finger, or the tip of the ear, there is indeed pain, but the loss is not so great, nor is the disfigurement attended by so much pain as it would be were you to take out the eyes, mutilate the nose, or saw through a bone. Some members we can dispense with and yet live: without others life is an impossibility. Some offences are light, some heavy. It is one thing to owe ten thousand talents, another to owe a farthing. We shall have to give account of the idle word no less than of adultery; but it is not the same thing to be put to the blush, and to be put upon the rack, to grow red in the face and to ensure lasting torment. Do you think I am merely expressing my own views?Hear what the Apostle John says: 'He who knows that his brother sinneth a sin not unto death, let him ask, and he shall give him life, even to him that sinneth not unto death. But he that hath sinned unto death, who shall pray for him?' (1 John 5:16) You observe that if we entreat for smaller offences, we obtain pardon: if for greater ones, it is difficult to obtain our request: and that there is a great difference between sins. And so with respect to the people of Israel who had sinned a sin unto death, it is said to Jeremiah: 'Pray not thou for this people, neither entreat for them, and do not withstand me, for I will not hear thee.' (Jer. 7:16)" - St. Jerome, Against Jovinianus, 2, 30

In his interpretation of this passage, St. Augustine focuses on the fact that St. John is in 1 John 5:16-17 speaking of a "brother" of ours: in other words, someone in the Church:

Quote
"Nor can the question in hand be solved, unless we acknowledge that there are certain sins in brethren which are more heinous than the persecution of enemies... Hence I am of opinion that the sin of a brother is unto death, when any one, after coming to the knowledge of God through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, makes an assault on the brotherhood, and is impelled by the fires of envy to oppose that grace itself by which he is reconciled to God. But the sin is not unto death, if any one has not withdrawn his love from a brother, but through some infirmity of disposition has failed to perform the incumbent duties of brotherhood. And on this account our Lord also on the cross says, 'Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do:' (Lk. 23:34) for, not yet having become partakers of the grace of the Holy Spirit, they had not yet entered the fellowship of the holy brotherhood. And the blessed Stephen in the Acts of the Apostles prays for those by whom he is being stoned, (Acts 7:60) because they had not yet believed on Christ, and were not fighting against that common grace.

And the Apostle Paul on this account, I believe, does not pray for Alexander, because he was already a brother, and had sinned unto death, viz. by making an assault on the brotherhood through envy. But for those who had not broken off their love, but had given way through fear, he prays that they may bepardoned. For thus he expresses it: 'Alexander the coppersmith did me much evil: the Lord will reward him according to his works. Of whom be thou ware also; for he hath greatlywithstood our words.' Then he adds for whom he prays, thus expressing it: 'At my first defence no man stood with me, but all men forsook me: I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge.' (2 Tim. 4:14-16)" - St. Augustine, Explanation of the Sermon on the Mount, 1, 22
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« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2008, 03:55:10 AM »

An Orthodox Christian can pray for anyone, Orthodox or not, in his private prayers. However, only Orthodox Christians (living or departed) can be commemorated liturgically, i.e. at the Proskomedia, at the general commemorations of the dead during Great Lent and at other times of the year, and at individual requiems/panikhidi/mnemosyna. Similarly, only Orthodox Christians are permitted a church funeral.
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« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2008, 05:44:26 AM »

An Orthodox Christian can pray for anyone, Orthodox or not, in his private prayers. However, only Orthodox Christians (living or departed) can be commemorated liturgically, i.e. at the Proskomedia, at the general commemorations of the dead during Great Lent and at other times of the year, and at individual requiems/panikhidi/mnemosyna. Similarly, only Orthodox Christians are permitted a church funeral.
I remember in the hagiography of St. John of San Francisco, someone who asked the saint to pray for his non-Orthodox mother.  He claimed to have a vision where he saw his mother crying and St. John came to her dressed as a simple monk (as the narrator pointed out, NOT dressed in the vestments of a bishop) and laid his hand on her head, which the narrator took as saint John praying personally, not in his official capacity.
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« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2008, 12:07:49 PM »

I believe the Syrian, Armenian, and Indian churches also pray for the departed, even those who may have not repented in this lifetime (whether or not they pray for those outside the Orthodox faith, I don't know).  Recently, the Coptic Church (very very recently, like a decade ago) removed prayers in our liturgical tradition that may indicate beliefs different from what the recent heirarchs have taught, as the OP suggests.  Some people have accused them of Protestant tendencies, but I believe it is just a one-sided patristic leaning.  I and many other Copts have disagreed with such removals.  In fact, it's strange they can do this when our recent departed and saintly Pope kept it and believed it.

The prayer that was changed is:

Quote
Graciously, O Lord, repose all their souls in the bosom of our fathers the saints Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Sustain them in green pastures by still waters in the Paradise of Delight, the place from which sorrow, distress and sighing have fled, in the light of Your saints. Raise their bodies on the day You have appointed according to Your faithful and true promises. Grant them the blessing of Your promises what eye has not seen, nor ear has heard, neither has entered into in the heart of Man,
that which You, O Lord, have prepared for those who love Your Holy Name. For there is no death for Your servants, but merely a departure. Any negligence or carelessness that has overtaken them as human beings living in this world of flesh, then You, as the Good God and Lover of Mankind, graciously forgive them.
Your servants, O Lord, Your Christian Orthodox servants who are in the world from east to west, every one by his own name and every one by her own name: graciously, O Lord, repose them all. For no-one is undefiled even if he lives a single day on earth. As for those, O Lord, whose souls You have taken, repose them and grant them that they will deserve the Kingdom of Heaven. As for us, grant us all, O Lord, Christian perfection which pleases You.

The parts I quoted were the parts that are apparently controversial.

I pray our bishops come to their senses, and perhaps our sister churches may address this to HH.
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« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2008, 12:32:11 PM »

I've always found that these references in their proper context are talking about either the preparation of the gifts, or  the commemoration in the Eucharistic Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom (right after the consecration, as the priest is incensing the body and blood, he'll pray names from a list given to him by whoever baked the prophora, of those living and those who have departed)  and not as a general rule. I would think the Coptic Liturgy has something quite similar. (I've never been in a Coptic Altar so I don't know, but this is what happens every week during the EO Liturgy even if 99% of the people in the Church don't hear it because the congregation is singing, it happens)

I really do think it's talking about the commemorations within the Liturgy itself at the consecration, but as a general rule we are to pray for EVERYONE, and in fact in the Liturgy (in the EO) we do during the Great Litany.

It's been awhile since I've been to a Coptic Liturgy or read their Liturgy book, but I'm sure it's the same with them as well. I just cannot remember since it's been a few years and half of it was Arabic/Coptic and half English, so I might have missed some things. Smiley

As for praying for only those who have repented, how can WE as fallible human beings possibly know that? I've read many of Pope Shenouda's books, and probably as much Coptic material than I have EO material (and I'm EO) and I've never seen that suggested anywhere until now. I'm thinking there has to be some context missing from that....likely talking about something like an unrepentant murderer who denies Christ on his death bed or something.

Besides, the stories you posted, especially the first one, what I get out of that story is that they WERE praying for the departed sinful women who were unrepentant. That's what lead to their forgiveness.

Quote


When St. Benedict discovered this, he took pity on them and, taking a prosphora, he commanded them to take it to the church and to remove a particle from it for the repose of their souls. He also ordered them commemorated during the performance of the Mysteries of Christ. After that, none of the Christians saw them leaving the church. From this, all understood that, owing to the Holy Church's prayer for the departed and the offerings, the departed virgins had received forgiveness from God.

St. Benedict realizes the 2 women need the prayers of the Church (even though they were sinful) and removes the 2 particles during the Preparation of the bread, and they are prayed for during the Liturgy and  after that they were forgiven by God because they were prayed for by the Church militant. I don't get anything negative out of that story at all. What I get from that story is that our prayers are beneficial to the departed, not the opposite. But that could be just my positive interpratation of that, maybe I'm being optimistic or something....Smiley





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« Reply #7 on: November 07, 2008, 12:39:36 PM »


The prayer that was changed is:

Quote
Graciously, O Lord, repose all their souls in the bosom of our fathers the saints Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Sustain them in green pastures by still waters in the Paradise of Delight, the place from which sorrow, distress and sighing have fled, in the light of Your saints. Raise their bodies on the day You have appointed according to Your faithful and true promises. Grant them the blessing of Your promises what eye has not seen, nor ear has heard, neither has entered into in the heart of Man,
that which You, O Lord, have prepared for those who love Your Holy Name. For there is no death for Your servants, but merely a departure. Any negligence or carelessness that has overtaken them as human beings living in this world of flesh, then You, as the Good God and Lover of Mankind, graciously forgive them.
Your servants, O Lord, Your Christian Orthodox servants who are in the world from east to west, every one by his own name and every one by her own name: graciously, O Lord, repose them all. For no-one is undefiled even if he lives a single day on earth. As for those, O Lord, whose souls You have taken, repose them and grant them that they will deserve the Kingdom of Heaven. As for us, grant us all, O Lord, Christian perfection which pleases You.


Those parts you put in bold are beautiful prayers, it's a pity they've been "removed"....I wonder why? The second one reminds me of a one prayed in the Greek Orthodox Church's memorial service, "for no one is without sin, You alone are without sin"...and I've forgotten the rest of it...but it's very similar. Smiley

Anyways, those prayers give me hope, and Christ is our ultimate hope. Hopefully they'll put those prayers back into use, because without our future hope, what's the point of faith to begin with?

Thanks for posting those....
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« Reply #8 on: November 07, 2008, 01:12:59 PM »

Quote
Is the practise of ONLY praying for those departed who repented a practise solely seen within the Coptic Church?....are there EO churches who share the same view.....

In my own experience I have never been told that I could only pray for Orthodox Christians, or only for those who repented before they passed away. As for 1 John 5:16-17, I did a mini-study on that passage a few years back, and I found that there were multiple interpretations of the passage among the Fathers. Fwiw, here are the results of my mini-study...

Clement of Alexandria taught that there are "differences of sin". According to him, "Mistake is a sin contrary to calculation; and voluntary sin is crime; and crime is voluntary wickedness... Mistake is the involuntary action of another towards me, while a crime alone is voluntary, whether my act or another's." Clement says that 1 Jn. 5:16-17 "manifestly teaches the differences of sins" (Stromata, 2, 15)

According to St. Ambrose of Milan, we cannot take the words of this passage in a woodenly literal way. St. Ambrose believes that St. John was not saying that there were people who really couldn't be prayed for, but only that some people's sin(s) are so terrible that we sinners are unworthy to pray for them. The meaning of the passage then would be that it would take the powerful and effective prayers of a very righteous man for certain sins to be forgiven (cf James 5:16). Thus St. Ambrose says:

Quote
"Rightly, then, is it said: 'Who shall entreat for him?' It implies that it must be such an one as Moses to offer himself for those who sin, or such as Jeremiah... Such intercessors, then, must be sought for after very grievous sins, for if any ordinary persons pray they are not heard. So that point of yours will have no weight, which you take from the Epistle of John, where he says: 'He who knows that his brother sinneth a sin not unto death, let him ask, and God will give him life, because he sinned not unto death. There is a sin unto death: not concerning it do I say, let him ask.' (1 Jn. 5:16) He was not speaking to Moses and Jeremiah, but to the people, who must seek another intercessor for their sins; the people, for whom it is sufficient they entreat God for their lighter faults, and consider that pardon for weightier sins must be reserved for the prayers of the just. For how could John say that graver sins should not be prayed for, when he had read that Moses prayed and obtained his request, where there had been wilful casting off of faith, and knew that Jeremiah also had entreated?

How could John say that we should not pray for the sin unto death, who himself in the Apocalypse wrote the message to the angel of the Church of Pergamos? 'Thou hast there those that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to put a stumbling-block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication. So hast thou also them that hold the doctrines of the Nicolaitans. Repent likewise, or else I will come to thee quickly.' (Rev. 2:14-16) Do you see that the same God Who requires repentance promises forgiveness? And then He says: 'He that hath ears let him hear what the Spirit saith to the churches: To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna.' (Rev. 2:17) Did not John himself know that Stephen prayed for his persecutors, who had not been able even to listen to the Name of Christ, when he said of those very men by whom he was being stoned: 'Lord, lay not this sin to their charge'? (Acts 7:60) And we see the result of this prayer in the case of the Apostle, for Paul, who kept the garments of those who were stoning Stephen, not long after became an apostle by the grace of God, having before been a persecutor." - St. Ambrose of Milan, Two Books Concerning Repentance, 1, 10

Similar to St. Ambrose, St. Jerome also believes that we must not take this verse in a woodenly literal way.  According to St. Jerome, St. John was exaggerating in 1 John 5:16-17 so as to emphasise that some sins could receive forgiveness easier than other sins. St. Jerome therefore seems to agree with the interpretation of St. Ambrose, but looks at what this interpretation means from a slightly different perspective. He says:

Quote
"If you cut off a finger, or the tip of the ear, there is indeed pain, but the loss is not so great, nor is the disfigurement attended by so much pain as it would be were you to take out the eyes, mutilate the nose, or saw through a bone. Some members we can dispense with and yet live: without others life is an impossibility. Some offences are light, some heavy. It is one thing to owe ten thousand talents, another to owe a farthing. We shall have to give account of the idle word no less than of adultery; but it is not the same thing to be put to the blush, and to be put upon the rack, to grow red in the face and to ensure lasting torment. Do you think I am merely expressing my own views?Hear what the Apostle John says: 'He who knows that his brother sinneth a sin not unto death, let him ask, and he shall give him life, even to him that sinneth not unto death. But he that hath sinned unto death, who shall pray for him?' (1 John 5:16) You observe that if we entreat for smaller offences, we obtain pardon: if for greater ones, it is difficult to obtain our request: and that there is a great difference between sins. And so with respect to the people of Israel who had sinned a sin unto death, it is said to Jeremiah: 'Pray not thou for this people, neither entreat for them, and do not withstand me, for I will not hear thee.' (Jer. 7:16)" - St. Jerome, Against Jovinianus, 2, 30

In his interpretation of this passage, St. Augustine focuses on the fact that St. John is in 1 John 5:16-17 speaking of a "brother" of ours: in other words, someone in the Church:

Quote
"Nor can the question in hand be solved, unless we acknowledge that there are certain sins in brethren which are more heinous than the persecution of enemies... Hence I am of opinion that the sin of a brother is unto death, when any one, after coming to the knowledge of God through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, makes an assault on the brotherhood, and is impelled by the fires of envy to oppose that grace itself by which he is reconciled to God. But the sin is not unto death, if any one has not withdrawn his love from a brother, but through some infirmity of disposition has failed to perform the incumbent duties of brotherhood. And on this account our Lord also on the cross says, 'Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do:' (Lk. 23:34) for, not yet having become partakers of the grace of the Holy Spirit, they had not yet entered the fellowship of the holy brotherhood. And the blessed Stephen in the Acts of the Apostles prays for those by whom he is being stoned, (Acts 7:60) because they had not yet believed on Christ, and were not fighting against that common grace.

And the Apostle Paul on this account, I believe, does not pray for Alexander, because he was already a brother, and had sinned unto death, viz. by making an assault on the brotherhood through envy. But for those who had not broken off their love, but had given way through fear, he prays that they may bepardoned. For thus he expresses it: 'Alexander the coppersmith did me much evil: the Lord will reward him according to his works. Of whom be thou ware also; for he hath greatlywithstood our words.' Then he adds for whom he prays, thus expressing it: 'At my first defence no man stood with me, but all men forsook me: I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge.' (2 Tim. 4:14-16)" - St. Augustine, Explanation of the Sermon on the Mount, 1, 22

Thank you Brother for your kindness is posting your findings on this matter.....So from your findings, can I deduce from all this that  Within EO, it is perfectly ok to pray for our dearly departed ones who have not repented ?....

From a historical perspective, the context of the letter of 1 John is written admist the Gnostic crisis that seemed to have taken root in some of the churches....The Apostle by referring to sins that cannot be forgiven, is referring to sins brought about my espousing and believing in Gnostic doctrines and therefore is accompanied by spiritual death and anguish that cannot pardoned...I recall the words of our Lord : 

Matthew 12:31-32

31 "Therefore I say to you, any sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven men, but blasphemy against the Spirit shall not be forgiven.

32 "And whoever shall speak a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him; but whoever shall speak against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, either in this age, or in the {age} to come.

Mark 3:28-30

28 "Truly I say to you, all sins shall be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they utter;

29 but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin"--

30 because they were saying, "He has an unclean spirit."

Luke 12:10

10 "And everyone who will speak a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him; but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him.

Now, the immediate context of those verses is the rejection of the witness of the Spirit of God in the ministry of the Lord and/or the attribution of the Holy Spirit's work to Satan...that I understand. However, don't these passages imply the presence of some forms of unpardonable sins...and if there are unpardonable sins, can we in reality, pray for those who have not repented and were actually happy about their unrepentant status?

And the problem with attributing literary features such as hyperbole on the above statements is that it, lexically, does not show those types of aesthetic features....so for me, that is sort of out of the picture (for now, at least).

I have not yet checked patristic commentary on the above passages...I probably will soon. But if someone can get the ball rolling on this, I'd appreciate it a lot.

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« Reply #9 on: November 07, 2008, 01:19:33 PM »

Quote
I'm thinking there has to be some context missing from that....likely talking about something like an unrepentant murderer who denies Christ on his death bed or something.

Nope..I am far from error-proof. But the document that I cited is provided and you are more than welcome to read it and correct me if in case, there is a contextual misunderstanding...I don't there is any, but you are more than welcome to correct me.

 
Quote
Besides, the stories you posted, especially the first one, what I get out of that story is that they WERE praying for the departed sinful women who were unrepentant. That's what lead to their forgiveness.


That is exactly why I posted those stories..lol...there seems to be a difference (sure it may all be simply a superficial difference and one that is simply irrelevant in the greater scheme of things) in how the prayers of the departed are seen within the EO and the OO (or, just the Coptic Church, or all of them???)....

Quote
St. Benedict realizes the 2 women need the prayers of the Church (even though they were sinful) and removes the 2 particles during the Preparation of the bread, and they are prayed for during the Liturgy and  after that they were forgiven by God because they were prayed for by the Church militant. I don't get anything negative out of that story at all. What I get from that story is that our prayers are beneficial to the departed, not the opposite. But that could be just my positive interpratation of that, maybe I'm being optimistic or something....Smiley

I agree with you 100 percent on this...however, again this is the crux of the problem: EO, seems to be of the opinion that those who have not repented are still prayer worthy, whereas the OO don't seem to think so (Salpy, however reminded me that the Armenians pray for all...so I guess this is a Coptic thing then???)








[/quote]
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« Reply #10 on: November 07, 2008, 01:21:12 PM »

Quote
I'm thinking there has to be some context missing from that....likely talking about something like an unrepentant murderer who denies Christ on his death bed or something.

Nope..I am far from error-proof, but the document that I cited is provided and you are more than welcome to read it and correct me if in case, there is a contextual misunderstanding...I don't think there is any, but you are more than welcome to correct me.

 
Quote
Besides, the stories you posted, especially the first one, what I get out of that story is that they WERE praying for the departed sinful women who were unrepentant. That's what lead to their forgiveness.


That is exactly why I posted those stories..lol...there seems to be a difference (sure it may all be simply a superficial difference and one that is simply irrelevant in the greater scheme of things) in how the prayers of the departed are seen within the EO and the OO (or, just the Coptic Church, or all of them???)....

Quote
St. Benedict realizes the 2 women need the prayers of the Church (even though they were sinful) and removes the 2 particles during the Preparation of the bread, and they are prayed for during the Liturgy and  after that they were forgiven by God because they were prayed for by the Church militant. I don't get anything negative out of that story at all. What I get from that story is that our prayers are beneficial to the departed, not the opposite. But that could be just my positive interpratation of that, maybe I'm being optimistic or something....Smiley

I agree with you 100 percent on this...however, again this is the crux of the problem: EO, seems to be of the opinion that those who have not repented are still prayer worthy, whereas the OO don't seem to think so (Salpy, however reminded me that the Armenians pray for all...so I guess this is a Coptic thing then???)
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« Reply #11 on: November 07, 2008, 09:38:34 PM »

Quote
can I deduce from all this that  Within EO, it is perfectly ok to pray for our dearly departed ones who have not repented ?....

I would yield to what LBK said on the matter, apparently it's ok to pray for anyone in your private prayers, but it's a different story when it comes to liturgical prayers.
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« Reply #12 on: November 07, 2008, 10:58:57 PM »

Please ignore MinaSoliman's comments.

The verses he has highlighted were NOT those removed from the Kneeling Prayers. The verses he has highlighted are effectively the same as those being chanted every Liturgy during the Litany of the Departed.

The verses that were removed from the Sagda prayers were expressly concerned with those presently in hades.

The Coptic Church's refined position (and this is indeed the position of the Coptic Church as a whole, not simply of H.H.) on the relevant issue is not in any sense innovative, and finds strong support in the works of St John Chrysostom in particular.

The diversity of thought present in the OO Church in relation to whether or not we can legitimately hope for the release of those who have been committed to hades is one that mirrors that of the early Church.

The Church does not presume to know who has or has not sufficiently repented before their departure, except in suicide cases (H.H. does recognise exceptions, however, such as when mental illness is a relevant factor).

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Mina, please watch your tone when speaking about our Bishops. The only one that needs to come to their senses is yourself my friend.
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« Reply #13 on: November 07, 2008, 11:43:38 PM »

Please ignore MinaSoliman's comments.

The verses he has highlighted were NOT those removed from the Kneeling Prayers. The verses he has highlighted are effectively the same as those being chanted every Liturgy during the Litany of the Departed.

The verses that were removed from the Sagda prayers were expressly concerned with those presently in hades.

The Coptic Church's refined position (and this is indeed the position of the Coptic Church as a whole, not simply of H.H.) on the relevant issue is not in any sense innovative, and finds strong support in the works of St John Chrysostom in particular.

The diversity of thought present in the OO Church in relation to whether or not we can legitimately hope for the release of those who have been committed to hades is one that mirrors that of the early Church.

The Church does not presume to know who has or has not sufficiently repented before their departure, except in suicide cases (H.H. does recognise exceptions, however, such as when mental illness is a relevant factor).

+

Mina, please watch your tone when speaking about our Bishops. The only one that needs to come to their senses is yourself my friend.

EkhristosAnesti,

I must admit that I was hoping to get your input on the matter all along...I, being a new face on these forums, have come to greatly admire your posts and through them, I have greatly benefited in terms of my understading of Oriental Orthodoxy all the more...thank you for your efforts (especially at erkohet.com)...I REALLY appreciate this.

Now, on to the subject in discussion. If you could please spare a few more minutes on this with me, I would greatly appreciate this...

Can you please explain to me, as a Coptic, from a Coptic perspective, as to who we are praying for exactly in the prayers for the departed ? My own study into Orthodoxy and common sense says that we, as a Church, pray for those Orthodox Christian brothers and sisters and fathers and mothers who have departed in the Church...this is what LBK referred to above..and this is what I always understood to be...and we pray for those who may not be of the faith in our private prayers....Maybe I am making mountains out of molehills here (and for that I apologize in advance) but would you be able to either direct me to or post some passages from the OO Fathers (if there is any...because aside a snippet from St. Cyril of Alexandria, I was unable to find anymore) who can shed more light on this matter...

Thanks again.

In Christ

+
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« Reply #14 on: November 07, 2008, 11:49:25 PM »

An Orthodox Christian can pray for anyone, Orthodox or not, in his private prayers. However, only Orthodox Christians (living or departed) can be commemorated liturgically, i.e. at the Proskomedia, at the general commemorations of the dead during Great Lent and at other times of the year, and at individual requiems/panikhidi/mnemosyna. Similarly, only Orthodox Christians are permitted a church funeral.

Although I've always heard prayers for specific and non-Orthodox rulers included in the  liturgies...
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« Reply #15 on: November 08, 2008, 02:12:07 AM »

I'm sorry if I caused any offense.  I previously thought this is what changed, and I thought that maybe my own local church hasn't removed it because they didn't update their books (and not everything the Synod decrees as the practice liturgically is followed by every church in my experience, like the removal of "O Kyrios" or the practice of what to say in the Creed during seasons), but I guess I was wrong.

What then was the original prayer, i.e. do you have a quote?
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« Reply #16 on: November 08, 2008, 01:08:01 PM »

Nope..I am far from error-proof. But the document that I cited is provided and you are more than welcome to read it and correct me if in case, there is a contextual misunderstanding...I don't there is any, but you are more than welcome to correct me.

I admit, I didn't really have time to read the whole thing, I was just kind of giving my general thoughts as to possibilities.


Quote
That is exactly why I posted those stories..lol...there seems to be a difference (sure it may all be simply a superficial difference and one that is simply irrelevant in the greater scheme of things) in how the prayers of the departed are seen within the EO and the OO (or, just the Coptic Church, or all of them???)....

Our Coptic brothers and sisters can answer better than anyone, hopefully they will. But just from a cursory reading of Coptic books, articles, and Church fathers, I never, ever saw anything like what you encountered in the article. The Coptic Church was in fact my first intro  to Orthodoxy, and for 6 months I mainly read Coptic materials, lectures, etc...Had it been feasible I'd probably be Coptic Orthodox today, but God had different plans. Smiley

Anyways, in all my reading and corespondences I was never told, nor ever read that Copts don't pray for "unrepentant" souls who have passed away. That sounds too much like western legalism to me. As far as I know they hold the exact same theology as all the other jurisdictions, both EO and OO. I suppose Liturgical practices are different, and maybe even theological opinions differ, but most Copts seem to hold to the idea to simply trust in God's mercy not only for unrepentant Christians, but non Christians as well. Thats been my experience anyway.



Quote
I agree with you 100 percent on this...however, again this is the crux of the problem: EO, seems to be of the opinion that those who have not repented are still prayer worthy, whereas the OO don't seem to think so (Salpy, however reminded me that the Armenians pray for all...so I guess this is a Coptic thing then???)

Again, maybe that's just the opinion of one or two priests, who knows? I'll try to read the source when I have the time.

Peace . . .


PS: I decided to read your link to the Coptic page, and realized it was a tiny article...(should have checked yesterday but I didn't...sorry). Anyways, the only thing I noticed is that it says something to the fact that "we don't pray for unrepentant souls, like those who have committed suicide"....or something to that effect. And yet, even then there is an exception made if mental illness is involved. (which in the case of suicide usually turns out to be the case after all) Plus that paper is rather short and so I wouldn't draw to much of a conclusion based on that alone. But that's just how I read it...again, the Coptic members here will be much more help than I can.


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« Reply #17 on: November 08, 2008, 01:10:18 PM »


The Church does not presume to know who has or has not sufficiently repented before their departure, except in suicide cases (H.H. does recognise exceptions, however, such as when mental illness is a relevant factor).

This has always been my understanding of the Coptic Church's position, which sounds indentical to the EO one. No mortal man can possibly know who has repented and who has not. Only God knows.

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« Reply #18 on: November 09, 2008, 08:27:58 AM »

Quote
Our Coptic brothers and sisters can answer better than anyone, hopefully they will. But just from a cursory reading of Coptic books, articles, and Church fathers, I never, ever saw anything like what you encountered in the article. The Coptic Church was in fact my first intro  to Orthodoxy, and for 6 months I mainly read Coptic materials, lectures, etc...Had it been feasible I'd probably be Coptic Orthodox today, but God had different plans. Smiley

Same here..heh. During my days in Anglicanism (and even before it), my first glimpse of ORthodoxy was through the Coptic Church. I guess that would sort of explain my knee jerk reaction to the above document....I certainly look up to many of them for a lot and I guess after reading that, i was immediately confused and needed clarification....


Quote
Anyways, in all my reading and corespondences I was never told, nor ever read that Copts don't pray for "unrepentant" souls who have passed away. That sounds too much like western legalism to me. As far as I know they hold the exact same theology as all the other jurisdictions, both EO and OO. I suppose Liturgical practices are different, and maybe even theological opinions differ, but most Copts seem to hold to the idea to simply trust in God's mercy not only for unrepentant Christians, but non Christians as well. Thats been my experience anyway.

Yeah, the same here...which is why I was scratching my head when I read that....but then again, as posted above, could it have something to do with the Unforgivable Sin outlined in the Scriptures?


In Christ,

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« Reply #19 on: November 09, 2008, 10:28:37 AM »

Quote
Our Coptic brothers and sisters can answer better than anyone, hopefully they will. But just from a cursory reading of Coptic books, articles, and Church fathers, I never, ever saw anything like what you encountered in the article. The Coptic Church was in fact my first intro  to Orthodoxy, and for 6 months I mainly read Coptic materials, lectures, etc...Had it been feasible I'd probably be Coptic Orthodox today, but God had different plans. Smiley

Same here..heh. During my days in Anglicanism (and even before it), my first glimpse of ORthodoxy was through the Coptic Church. I guess that would sort of explain my knee jerk reaction to the above document....I certainly look up to many of them for a lot and I guess after reading that, i was immediately confused and needed clarification....


Quote
Anyways, in all my reading and corespondences I was never told, nor ever read that Copts don't pray for "unrepentant" souls who have passed away. That sounds too much like western legalism to me. As far as I know they hold the exact same theology as all the other jurisdictions, both EO and OO. I suppose Liturgical practices are different, and maybe even theological opinions differ, but most Copts seem to hold to the idea to simply trust in God's mercy not only for unrepentant Christians, but non Christians as well. Thats been my experience anyway.

Yeah, the same here...which is why I was scratching my head when I read that....but then again, as posted above, could it have something to do with the Unforgivable Sin outlined in the Scriptures?


In Christ,

+



I believe the Unforgiveable Sin is shutting oneself out from grace, locking the doors from within while Christ knocks.

I don't think that is relevant.  Even is some soul was guilty of it, that should not change anyone from not praying for that soul.  Intercessory prayer is Christ in us, who came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentence and Who died for sinners.  To refuse to prayer for the unrepentent would contradict even the OT (Exodus 32):
Quote
.
7 Then the LORD spoke to Moses, “Go down at once, for your people, whom you brought up from the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves. 8 “They have quickly turned aside from the way which I commanded them. They have made for themselves a molten calf, and have worshiped it and have sacrificed to it and said, ‘This is your god, O Israel, who brought you up from the land of Egypt!’” 9 The LORD said to Moses, “I have seen this people, and behold, they are an obstinate people. 10 “Now then let Me alone, that My anger may burn against them and that I may destroy them; and I will make of you a great nation.”  11 Then Moses entreated the LORD his God, and said, “O LORD, why does Your anger burn against Your people whom You have brought out from the land of Egypt with great power and with a mighty hand? 12 “Why should the Egyptians speak, saying, ‘With evil intent He brought them out to kill them in the mountains and to destroy them from the face of the earth’? Turn from Your burning anger and change Your mind about doing harm to Your people. 13 “Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, Your servants to whom You swore by Yourself, and said to them, ‘I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heavens, and all this land of which I have spoken I will give to your descendants, and they shall inherit it forever.’” 14 So the LORD changed His mind about the harm which He said He would do to His people.

So God tells Moses NOT to pray for Israel, and what does Moses immediately do? Pray for Israel (and if that wasn't enough he threatens God later "30 On the next day Moses said to the people, “You yourselves have committed a great sin; and now I am going up to the LORD, perhaps I can make atonement for your sin.” 31 Then Moses returned to the LORD, and said, “Alas, this people has committed a great sin, and they have made a god of gold for themselves. 32 “But now, if You will, forgive their sin—and if not, please blot me out from Your book which You have written!”).  Note, God could have destroyed Israel and still kept His oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, as Moses was their descendant.   But as the Martyrdom of Polycarp states: For it is the part of a true and well-founded love, not only to wish one's self to be saved, but also all the brethren.

Dostoyevsky has a snipet in the Brothers Karamozov of a Russian folktale based on a story from Constantinople: that one day the Theotokos went to Hell to see it for herself.  When she saw the suffering she asked pardon of God, who brought up the issue of justice for His Son's blood.  The Theotokos responds by asking all the saints in Heaven (who readily agree) to pray prostrate before the Throne for mercy for the damned, who, as a result, are given a reprieve during Paschaltide (much the antithesis to Tertullian's idea that the pleasure in heaven is heightened by the sight of the sufferings of the damned in hell, something Nietsche brought up, rightly).

My old priest used to say that your job as a Christian is make sure everyone else gets into Heaven before you.  His wife of blessed memory used to say that prayers for those not in heaven are salves for the burns.

This trying to juridicate on intercessory prayers is exactly the nonsense that led the Vatican to come up with merits, indulgences, etc and the Protestants to reject prayers for the departed and prayers to the saints.  I trust the Copts are not embarking on a similar path.
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« Reply #20 on: November 09, 2008, 10:51:52 AM »

Please ignore MinaSoliman's comments.

The verses he has highlighted were NOT those removed from the Kneeling Prayers. The verses he has highlighted are effectively the same as those being chanted every Liturgy during the Litany of the Departed.

The verses that were removed from the Sagda prayers were expressly concerned with those presently in hades.

The Coptic Church's refined position (and this is indeed the position of the Coptic Church as a whole, not simply of H.H.) on the relevant issue is not in any sense innovative, and finds strong support in the works of St John Chrysostom in particular.

Can you give specifics as to this position, and its support in St. John?
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« Reply #21 on: November 09, 2008, 03:31:14 PM »

Can you give specifics as to this position, and its support in St. John?

Perhaps EA is a little busy in his studies, so I will try to answer with something I personally found.  Here's a bit of St. John Chrysostom's Commentary from Matthew 12:31-32 concerning blasphemy against the Holy Spirit:

Quote
Now as to your blasphemies against me, before the cross, I forgive them: and the daring crime too of the cross itself; neither shall ye be condemned for your unbelief alone. (For neither had they, that believed before the cross, perfect faith. And on many occasions He even charges them to make Him known to no man before the Passion; and on the cross He said that this sin was forgiven them.) But as to your words touching the Spirit, they will have no excuse. For in proof that He is speaking of what was said of Him before the crucifixion, He added, “Whosoever shall speak a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him; but whosoever shall speak against the Holy Ghost,” there is no more forgiveness. Wherefore? Because this is known to you; and the truths are notorious which you harden yourselves against. For though ye say that ye know not me; yet of this surely ye are not ignorant, that to cast out devils, and to do cures, is a work of the Holy Ghost. It is not then I only whom ye are insulting, but the Holy Ghost also. Wherefore your punishment can be averted by no prayers, neither here nor there.
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf110.iii.XLI.html

I'm going to ask EA my question again.  I personally can't find the Sagda prayers with me.  I was wondering when you, EA, get the chance, can you give us the traditional quote of what was prayed in the Sagda prayers before it was removed?

Thank you.

God bless.
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« Reply #22 on: November 09, 2008, 10:30:26 PM »

Quote
Our Coptic brothers and sisters can answer better than anyone, hopefully they will. But just from a cursory reading of Coptic books, articles, and Church fathers, I never, ever saw anything like what you encountered in the article. The Coptic Church was in fact my first intro  to Orthodoxy, and for 6 months I mainly read Coptic materials, lectures, etc...Had it been feasible I'd probably be Coptic Orthodox today, but God had different plans. Smiley

Same here..heh. During my days in Anglicanism (and even before it), my first glimpse of ORthodoxy was through the Coptic Church. I guess that would sort of explain my knee jerk reaction to the above document....I certainly look up to many of them for a lot and I guess after reading that, i was immediately confused and needed clarification....


Quote
Anyways, in all my reading and corespondences I was never told, nor ever read that Copts don't pray for "unrepentant" souls who have passed away. That sounds too much like western legalism to me. As far as I know they hold the exact same theology as all the other jurisdictions, both EO and OO. I suppose Liturgical practices are different, and maybe even theological opinions differ, but most Copts seem to hold to the idea to simply trust in God's mercy not only for unrepentant Christians, but non Christians as well. Thats been my experience anyway.

Yeah, the same here...which is why I was scratching my head when I read that....but then again, as posted above, could it have something to do with the Unforgivable Sin outlined in the Scriptures?


In Christ,

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I believe the Unforgiveable Sin is shutting oneself out from grace, locking the doors from within while Christ knocks.

I don't think that is relevant.  Even is some soul was guilty of it, that should not change anyone from not praying for that soul.  Intercessory prayer is Christ in us, who came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentence and Who died for sinners.  To refuse to prayer for the unrepentent would contradict even the OT (Exodus 32):
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7 Then the LORD spoke to Moses, “Go down at once, for your people, whom you brought up from the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves. 8 “They have quickly turned aside from the way which I commanded them. They have made for themselves a molten calf, and have worshiped it and have sacrificed to it and said, ‘This is your god, O Israel, who brought you up from the land of Egypt!’” 9 The LORD said to Moses, “I have seen this people, and behold, they are an obstinate people. 10 “Now then let Me alone, that My anger may burn against them and that I may destroy them; and I will make of you a great nation.”  11 Then Moses entreated the LORD his God, and said, “O LORD, why does Your anger burn against Your people whom You have brought out from the land of Egypt with great power and with a mighty hand? 12 “Why should the Egyptians speak, saying, ‘With evil intent He brought them out to kill them in the mountains and to destroy them from the face of the earth’? Turn from Your burning anger and change Your mind about doing harm to Your people. 13 “Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, Your servants to whom You swore by Yourself, and said to them, ‘I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heavens, and all this land of which I have spoken I will give to your descendants, and they shall inherit it forever.’” 14 So the LORD changed His mind about the harm which He said He would do to His people.

So God tells Moses NOT to pray for Israel, and what does Moses immediately do? Pray for Israel (and if that wasn't enough he threatens God later "30 On the next day Moses said to the people, “You yourselves have committed a great sin; and now I am going up to the LORD, perhaps I can make atonement for your sin.” 31 Then Moses returned to the LORD, and said, “Alas, this people has committed a great sin, and they have made a god of gold for themselves. 32 “But now, if You will, forgive their sin—and if not, please blot me out from Your book which You have written!”).  Note, God could have destroyed Israel and still kept His oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, as Moses was their descendant.   But as the Martyrdom of Polycarp states: For it is the part of a true and well-founded love, not only to wish one's self to be saved, but also all the brethren.

Dostoyevsky has a snipet in the Brothers Karamozov of a Russian folktale based on a story from Constantinople: that one day the Theotokos went to Hell to see it for herself.  When she saw the suffering she asked pardon of God, who brought up the issue of justice for His Son's blood.  The Theotokos responds by asking all the saints in Heaven (who readily agree) to pray prostrate before the Throne for mercy for the damned, who, as a result, are given a reprieve during Paschaltide (much the antithesis to Tertullian's idea that the pleasure in heaven is heightened by the sight of the sufferings of the damned in hell, something Nietsche brought up, rightly).

My old priest used to say that your job as a Christian is make sure everyone else gets into Heaven before you.  His wife of blessed memory used to say that prayers for those not in heaven are salves for the burns.

This trying to juridicate on intercessory prayers is exactly the nonsense that led the Vatican to come up with merits, indulgences, etc and the Protestants to reject prayers for the departed and prayers to the saints.  I trust the Copts are not embarking on a similar path.

Thank you very much Ialmisry for your thoughtful response...I never took into account Exodus 32, which does indeed shed more light on the matter and it does clarify some of the doubts I came in here with.....However, the Unforgivable Sin in the Scriptures and its commentary by the Blessed Golden Mouth may indeed have some more to say on the prayers for the departed, especially for those who diod not repent....

Nonetheless, thank you so much again...it was indeed an eye opener.

In Christ

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« Last Edit: November 09, 2008, 10:33:07 PM by OrthodoxPilgrim » Logged
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« Reply #23 on: November 10, 2008, 02:17:02 AM »

I just wanted to say I did some more research, and I apologize for my error earlier.  I found a translation from another forum, so I'm going to post this translation:

Quote
In the meeting of 29/5/1999:

The Holy Synod decided to remove the following three phrases from the Rite of the Kneeling Prayers, in the Third Litany:

1) "and also You absolve it and take it to that place [Paradise]"
2) "those who are in Hades now, we have the hope that You will absolve all those who are in various sufferings..."
3) "for those who are dead do not praise You, and those who are in Hades do not confess You, but we the living" (implying that we intercede for them).

And H.H. the Pope commented on what has been removed in the Third Litany of the Kneeling Prayers rite, that the transfer from Hades to Paradise is impossible after the completion of redemption, since that was done by Christ Himself during the time of redemption. The tranferring [from Hades to Paradise] was possible only for the saints of the Old Testament, and cannot apply later to those of the New Testament.

from http://www.theholysynod.copticpope.org/aspect23.htm

I'll try to find the prayer myself to put this all in context.

God bless.
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Vain existence can never exist, for \\\"unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain.\\\" (Psalm 127)

If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.
minasoliman
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« Reply #24 on: November 10, 2008, 04:48:12 AM »

I found the prayer, which resembles almost identically the EO kneeling prayer.

http://tasbeha.org/hymn_library/view/1119
http://www.goarch.org/chapel/liturgical_texts/pentecost_kneel

With a little comparison, it seems one can tell where the modified parts are and what was removed.

What's interesting, there seems to be a sentence that actually is not removed (I'm assuming removed yet) that implies the idea of forgiveness of sins and the moving from Hades to Paradise:

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Make them worthy of peaceful rest and of forgiveness of sins

Perhaps, this was supposed to be removed.  I'm also not sure whether there is a grammatical error here or not because of how it continues.

God bless.

PS I still disagree with what the bishops did.  The idea that these existed in our Coptic texts prove that the Coptic Church had a different opinion before this Synod.
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Vain existence can never exist, for \\\"unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain.\\\" (Psalm 127)

If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.
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