I would just like a liturgical reference demonstrating that the Eastern Orthodox do in fact believe that a person who does not reprent in life can repent and be saved after death.
Fr. Ambrose, can you provide at least one quick liturtical reference?
As for the forgiveness of Mortal Sins after death, what is the concrete evidence that Eastern Christians accept this idea. Where in the Liturgy or councils can this belief be found? Why would the East profess such a clearly unscriptural belief?
It is misleading and confusing to allow Roman Catholics to have the impression that the Orthodox (and Eastern Catholics) mean the same thing as Roman Catholics when they speak of "mortal sin." The words may be the same but the presuppositions are not. Mary, being a Ruthenian Catholic, could probably explain it far better than I can.
Also, click on the Tag "Forgiveness after death" and it will bring up threads where these things have been discussed previously.
Dear Papist, Apologies, I have only just noticed your question. Not sure though what you want the liturgical reference to refer to...? Could you please explain.
The Third Kneeling Prayer which we read recently on Pentecost Sunday prays to the Lord Almighty that he will release those who are held in the bondage of Hell.
"...who also on this all-perfect and saving feast, art graciously pleased to accept
propitiatory prayers for those who are imprisoned in Hell, promising unto us and
unto those held in bondage great hope of release from the vileness that doth
hinder us and hinder them. We who are living will bless thee, and will pray,
and offer unto thee propitiatory prayers and sacrifices for their souls."
It is this very prayer which the Copts recently removed from their Services and which the Russian Metropolitan Hilarion questioned them about.
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."
Here is the original article ...
"Orthodox Worship as a School of Theology"http://orthodoxeurope.org/page/12/1.aspx