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Author Topic: Orthodox burial communities  (Read 1743 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: March 12, 2012, 04:00:02 PM »

does anyone have one of these at their parish or know of one?

Recently a deacon and his wife who lead a burial community at Holy Ascension Orthodox Church in South Carolina have written a handbook entitled “A Christian Ending” on this subject.

http://www.achristianending.com/

I think is sounds like a great idea.
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« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2012, 05:04:46 PM »

does anyone have one of these at their parish or know of one?

Recently a deacon and his wife who lead a burial community at Holy Ascension Orthodox Church in South Carolina have written a handbook entitled “A Christian Ending” on this subject.

http://www.achristianending.com/

I think is sounds like a great idea.

Very much so.
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« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2012, 05:26:14 PM »

it seems like a good, common sense  book but one thing strikes me as inaccurate, and projecting-my personal piety unto the past sort of thing :where they recommend continually playing liturgical music, reading prayers, no small talk and all this solemn-ish attitude in the presence of a dead person. There are cases and cases but Orthodox burials that I'm familiar with either through direct participation or family stories I was told weren't exactly like this. Wakes often become  something close to a party with lots of drinking, jesting and gossiping and so on.
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« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2012, 05:37:24 PM »

it seems like a good, common sense  book but one thing strikes me as inaccurate, and projecting-my personal piety unto the past sort of thing :where they recommend continually playing liturgical music, reading prayers, no small talk and all this solemn-ish attitude in the presence of a dead person. There are cases and cases but Orthodox burials that I'm familiar with either through direct participation or family stories I was told weren't exactly like this. Wakes often become  something close to a party with lots of drinking, jesting and gossiping and so on.

Are wake party's common in orthodox families?
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LizaSymonenko
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« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2012, 05:50:40 PM »

My parish tradition is that a meal is served after the funeral (usually in the parish hall, sometimes at someones home, or restaurant).  It's just a chance to let the family get support from friends and family, for stories and memories to be talked about.  However, even so, it was originally meant to bring comfort to the mourning family, however, today it is just an added burden and cost.  No longer do we bring food to the distressed family who are too grieved to cook for themselves.  No, now they have to feed the public that comes to the funeral.  That's just another thing for them to worry about.  I think it's all messed up.  If you can't cook for 50, you have to hire a caterer, or book a room in a restaurant...it's all extra work and expense for the family.

Anyway, perhaps the "wake" can be slightly jolly, reminiscing about the person, telling stories, etc., however, the funeral in my opinion, should be free of frivolity.

So many times it seems people don't even notice the person lying in the coffin, as they tell jokes, gossip and talk about mundane daily work issues, while standing right next to the casket.  Just seems out of place.

When my uncle was passing away from a stroke, I read up for the first time on Orthodox funerals, etc.  It was my first brush with death since my grandfather died when I was a small child.

I think it would be great to put all the facts in one location so the family that is stressed, worried, and grieving doesn't have to "search" on what to do and how to do it.

I sat with my uncle and read Psalms to him.  I had read that there's a particular prayer to be read at the parting of the soul and the body (I can't remember at the moment which one), but, I had that page marked and when the bells started going off, and lights were blinking and the buzzers screaming, and the room filled with medical personnel because he was "coding" I grabbed his hand and while squeezing it read from the book.  I don't know if it made any difference to him, but, IF it even may have, I was going to do it.  Anything to help him.

We, my mom and I, also spent the night with him in church and read all but the last page of the Psalter.  I was faltering over the words, when people began arriving in the morning for the funeral and a man gently came up to me and took the Psalter and candle from my hands and read the end in a loud booming and clear voice.

It's all important.  The panachida's as well.  On day 3, 9, 40.  

Knowing all these things would be so helpful to the family that is going out of their minds with grief.

After my uncle died, I whipped up a brochure for our church, explaining the basics.  It's just too hard to do "research" when you can't even remember your own name.

I'll have to take a look at this book.


« Last Edit: March 12, 2012, 05:51:05 PM by LizaSymonenko » Logged

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« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2012, 06:39:12 PM »


So, do people actually still use "burial shrouds"?  I have found them for sale on an Orthodox site.



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« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2012, 09:21:57 PM »

"So, do people actually still use "burial shrouds"?  I have found them for sale on an Orthodox site."

Yes, Liza.  What site?
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« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2012, 09:35:39 PM »


St. Joseph School for Boys Bookstore.

http://www.easterngiftshop.com/orthodox-funeral-items/orthodox-burial-shroud--FBurialShr.html

May I ask how it is used?  Does it just lie over the body?  Can it be used by regular folk (laypeople)?

I've seen it used by monastics before.
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« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2012, 10:05:53 PM »

Unlike a pall used in the Roman Catholic Church, which is placed on the coffin, the Orthodox do place these shrouds directly on the deceased inside the coffin.  They are used for lay people.

There are such shrouds sold in the Holy Land and people have them as a blessing from Jerusalem to be buried with.  Such a shroud is touched to the anointing stone in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.
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« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2012, 10:11:17 PM »

Thanks for the link!

This is an interesting topic.  One I have interest in as well.
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« Reply #10 on: March 15, 2012, 12:17:39 AM »

Never seen one like that used back home, although people prepared their own shrouds. Grandparents' were loom-waved at home either of hemp or linen.
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« Reply #11 on: March 15, 2012, 01:09:26 AM »

Never seen one like that used back home, although people prepared their own shrouds. Grandparents' were loom-waved at home either of hemp or linen.

That's something people in America ought to do: prepare for their own death preparing the implements of their burial.
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« Reply #12 on: March 15, 2012, 10:57:06 AM »

Never seen one like that used back home, although people prepared their own shrouds. Grandparents' were loom-waved at home either of hemp or linen.

that's awesome.
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« Reply #13 on: March 15, 2012, 11:20:36 AM »

So, do people actually still use "burial shrouds"?  I have found them for sale on an Orthodox site.

Yes, people still use them.  Clergy, laity, monastics - I've seen them at all kinds of funerals.  Usually they cover most of the body during the funeral, but are folded away from the upper body; after the anointing of the body, they are pulled over the face, too, and then the casket is closed.
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« Reply #14 on: March 15, 2012, 11:26:07 AM »

someone remind me, are most orthodox funerals closed casket?
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« Reply #15 on: March 15, 2012, 01:25:17 PM »


No, they are "suppsed" to be open casket.

However, in the most States (US) if the body is not embalmed, then by law it needs to be closed.

When my uncle passed away we did not have him embalmed.  When family was with him alone, we were allowed to open the casket, however, for the funeral, it needed to be closed.  When we were alone we propped it open, and made sure he was lying okay, put in his icon, the cross in his hand, a candle...and I snuck in a bottle of Mountain Dew at his feet.  :-D  He loved Mt. Dew!

The priest opened the coffin briefly at the funeral to lay the "document of absolution" in his hands, and the paper wreath lopsided on his head!  Smiley  He was in a hurry to close the casket and kind of just threw the items in.   I would have fixed them, but, there was no more "alone" time with him.  I don't think it matters if it's lopsided.  Adds character!

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« Reply #16 on: March 15, 2012, 01:30:13 PM »

So, do people actually still use "burial shrouds"?  I have found them for sale on an Orthodox site.

Yes, people still use them.  Clergy, laity, monastics - I've seen them at all kinds of funerals.  Usually they cover most of the body during the funeral, but are folded away from the upper body; after the anointing of the body, they are pulled over the face, too, and then the casket is closed.

Not to sound really uninformed....but....since we are on the topic....what is the "benefit" of the shroud?  

Just wondering if it's worth the investment.  Smiley    ....and does it make a difference what's depicted on it?

That one site has two choices, the one pictured above and the more expensive one (below).  I've seen this one used more often than the one above.



« Last Edit: March 15, 2012, 01:31:29 PM by LizaSymonenko » Logged

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« Reply #17 on: March 16, 2012, 06:42:34 PM »

We are starting one at our parish. I've done pretty good research into them as far as the history of it goes, and the reasoning behind them. Of course I really cant do much more until Im Chrismated (which is in 4 weeks BTW  Wink )

If you like, I can send you my notes on the subject.

PP
« Last Edit: March 16, 2012, 06:42:58 PM by primuspilus » Logged

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« Reply #18 on: March 16, 2012, 09:35:49 PM »


I'm always open to learning. 

I would appreciate any/all information.

Cheesy

Congratulations on you upcoming Chrismation!

You must be so excited!!!
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« Reply #19 on: March 16, 2012, 09:40:58 PM »


No, they are "suppsed" to be open casket.

However, in the most States (US) if the body is not embalmed, then by law it needs to be closed.

When my uncle passed away we did not have him embalmed.  When family was with him alone, we were allowed to open the casket, however, for the funeral, it needed to be closed.  When we were alone we propped it open, and made sure he was lying okay, put in his icon, the cross in his hand, a candle...and I snuck in a bottle of Mountain Dew at his feet.  :-D  He loved Mt. Dew!

The priest opened the coffin briefly at the funeral to lay the "document of absolution" in his hands, and the paper wreath lopsided on his head!  Smiley  He was in a hurry to close the casket and kind of just threw the items in.   I would have fixed them, but, there was no more "alone" time with him.  I don't think it matters if it's lopsided.  Adds character!

Huh, interesting. We didn't embalm Mary, and (here in PA) were allowed to have it open casket, but we were definitely pressured to make things go quickly, and had to do things in one shot.
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« Reply #20 on: March 16, 2012, 09:50:44 PM »

My priest's wife died this week. She was not embalmed and it was an open casket. But she was in the ground within 48 hours. It was all done very quickly and there was a lot of preparation beforehand, as all saw the death coming.
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« Reply #21 on: March 16, 2012, 10:38:26 PM »

someone remind me, are most orthodox funerals closed casket?

The one's that I have attended have all been open.
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« Reply #22 on: March 19, 2012, 10:59:52 AM »

Quote
I'm always open to learning. 

I would appreciate any/all information
My sponsor, my priest, and myself are having a teleconference with a burial society on saturday. I'll send the copy of the notes and my hostorical notes as well. PM me your email.

Quote
Congratulations on you upcoming Chrismation!

You must be so excited!!!
Heck yeah Smiley Looking forward to it Smiley

PP
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« Reply #23 on: March 19, 2012, 11:21:50 AM »


I'm excited for you!

Thanks for the offer.

I can't wait to read all the info!
 Grin
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« Reply #24 on: March 19, 2012, 12:16:47 PM »

Quote
I'm always open to learning. 

I would appreciate any/all information
My sponsor, my priest, and myself are having a teleconference with a burial society on saturday. I'll send the copy of the notes and my hostorical notes as well. PM me your email.

Quote
Congratulations on you upcoming Chrismation!

You must be so excited!!!
Heck yeah Smiley Looking forward to it Smiley

PP

i would like to know what you find out also, if you would be so kind. I will PM you Smiley
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« Reply #25 on: March 19, 2012, 12:23:02 PM »

I got both of your PM's. I'll email you everything after vespers on Saturday evenin.
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