Author Topic: Orthodox version of the "Eternal Rest" prayer  (Read 5670 times)

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Offline MichaelArchangelos

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Orthodox version of the "Eternal Rest" prayer
« on: October 24, 2012, 11:42:46 PM »
A common Roman Catholic prayer for the dead goes: "Réquiem ætérnam dona ei (eis) Dómine; et lux perpétua lúceat ei (eis). Requiéscat (Requiéscant) in pace. Amen"

(Eternal rest grant unto him/her (them), O Lord; and let perpetual light shine upon him/her (them). May he/she (they) rest in peace. Amen.)

I say this prayer when I hear on the news that somebody has died, and at other times. However, what is the Orthodox equivalent of such a prayer? When you hear that someone has died, what do you say?

« Last Edit: October 24, 2012, 11:43:34 PM by MichaelArchangelos »

Offline JamesRottnek

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Re: Orthodox version of the "Eternal Rest" prayer
« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2012, 11:50:48 PM »
A common Roman Catholic prayer for the dead goes: "Réquiem ætérnam dona ei (eis) Dómine; et lux perpétua lúceat ei (eis). Requiéscat (Requiéscant) in pace. Amen"

(Eternal rest grant unto him/her (them), O Lord; and let perpetual light shine upon him/her (them). May he/she (they) rest in peace. Amen.)

I say this prayer when I hear on the news that somebody has died, and at other times. However, what is the Orthodox equivalent of such a prayer? When you hear that someone has died, what do you say?



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Offline witega

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Re: Orthodox version of the "Eternal Rest" prayer
« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2012, 12:11:14 AM »
A common Roman Catholic prayer for the dead goes: "Réquiem ætérnam dona ei (eis) Dómine; et lux perpétua lúceat ei (eis). Requiéscat (Requiéscant) in pace. Amen"

(Eternal rest grant unto him/her (them), O Lord; and let perpetual light shine upon him/her (them). May he/she (they) rest in peace. Amen.)

I say this prayer when I hear on the news that somebody has died, and at other times. However, what is the Orthodox equivalent of such a prayer? When you hear that someone has died, what do you say?

Memory eternal.

This ties back to a longer prayer (similar in content to the one you posted) which the priest says at the service for the departed. At the culmination of the prayer, the priest intones, "And make his (her/their) memory to be eternal", immediately following which the congregation sings the above phrase 3 times. This is one of the the most basic hymns that every Orthodox knows and knows well. (If you look on the New or Prayer sub-forums for threads about the death of someone, you will find this phrase posted over and over).
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Offline Alpo

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Re: Orthodox version of the "Eternal Rest" prayer
« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2012, 02:12:05 AM »
A common Roman Catholic prayer for the dead goes: "Réquiem ætérnam dona ei (eis) Dómine; et lux perpétua lúceat ei (eis). Requiéscat (Requiéscant) in pace. Amen"

(Eternal rest grant unto him/her (them), O Lord; and let perpetual light shine upon him/her (them). May he/she (they) rest in peace. Amen.)

I say this prayer when I hear on the news that somebody has died, and at other times. However, what is the Orthodox equivalent of such a prayer? When you hear that someone has died, what do you say?



I see no reason for you to not continue to use the prayer you already know.

+ 1

The prayer in question is originally Orthodox as it comes from Orthodox church of Rome. Here's two Orthodox requiem masses (pdf): Antiochian, ROCOR. Both contain that prayer.

« Last Edit: October 25, 2012, 02:13:09 AM by Alpo »
But the stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.
Leviticus 19:34

Offline Cantor Krishnich

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Re: Orthodox version of the "Eternal Rest" prayer
« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2012, 02:53:04 AM »
A common Roman Catholic prayer for the dead goes: "Réquiem ætérnam dona ei (eis) Dómine; et lux perpétua lúceat ei (eis). Requiéscat (Requiéscant) in pace. Amen"

(Eternal rest grant unto him/her (them), O Lord; and let perpetual light shine upon him/her (them). May he/she (they) rest in peace. Amen.)

I say this prayer when I hear on the news that somebody has died, and at other times. However, what is the Orthodox equivalent of such a prayer? When you hear that someone has died, what do you say?



The prayer you are using is okay. But if you want to use a prayer that is more Eastern you could use the Kontakion or Troparion of the Dead. The  Exclamation "Eternal Memory" is also used.

Kontakion of the Dead:
With the saints give rest, O Christ, to the soul of Thy servant where sickness and sorrow are no more, neither sighing, but life everlasting.

Apolyptikon/Troparion of the Dead:
Thou only Creator Who with wisdom profound mercifully orderest all things, and givest unto all that which is useful, give rest, O Lord, to the soul of Thy servant who has fallen asleep, for he has placed his trust in Thee, our Maker and Fashioner and our God.
Most Holy Theotokos, Save Us!
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, Have Mercy Upon Me a Sinner!

Offline MichaelArchangelos

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Re: Orthodox version of the "Eternal Rest" prayer
« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2012, 06:24:07 AM »
Thanks. I'll continue to use the prayer.

With regard to the Kontakion, Apolyptikon and Troparion of the Dead, is it permissible to use these to pray for non-Orthodox?

Offline Shanghaiski

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Re: Orthodox version of the "Eternal Rest" prayer
« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2012, 03:40:58 PM »
Thanks. I'll continue to use the prayer.

With regard to the Kontakion, Apolyptikon and Troparion of the Dead, is it permissible to use these to pray for non-Orthodox?

It depends.

In general, non-Orthodox departed are not prayed for by name in the churches under most circumstances. At home, some pray these prayers and others. With some Orthodox prayers for the dead, it is assumed the person being prayed for is Orthodox--some have references to the person's Orthodox faith and reception of Orthodox sacraments, etc.

Some just use the prayer rope and say: "Grant rest, O Lord, to Thy servant N."
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Offline podkarpatska

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Re: Orthodox version of the "Eternal Rest" prayer
« Reply #7 on: October 25, 2012, 04:04:39 PM »
Thanks. I'll continue to use the prayer.

With regard to the Kontakion, Apolyptikon and Troparion of the Dead, is it permissible to use these to pray for non-Orthodox?

It depends.

In general, non-Orthodox departed are not prayed for by name in the churches under most circumstances. At home, some pray these prayers and others. With some Orthodox prayers for the dead, it is assumed the person being prayed for is Orthodox--some have references to the person's Orthodox faith and reception of Orthodox sacraments, etc.

Some just use the prayer rope and say: "Grant rest, O Lord, to Thy servant N."

It depends is a better answer as the practice varies among various parishes, priests and jurisdictions. You will find in fact that 'it depends' is a really common answer to almost any Orthodox question excepting those relating to fundamental doctrine!

Offline Joseph Hazen

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Re: Orthodox version of the "Eternal Rest" prayer
« Reply #8 on: October 25, 2012, 10:22:26 PM »
When my Grandmother passed the priest prayed for her by name at Vespers (she died that day). It meant more to me than I even knew it would until he said it. It was only during one part though, there were other parts where he wouldn't have been able to list her among the others.

I've heard of priests doing private memorials for non-Orthodox family members. I'm not normally one to bend traditions, but this is a different situation to me. It can really help during a really tough time, and it's not going to foster bad ecumenicism IMO.

Offline Benjamin the Red

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Re: Orthodox version of the "Eternal Rest" prayer
« Reply #9 on: October 26, 2012, 12:21:44 AM »
The prayer in the OP is a beautiful Latin prayer, and I encourage you to continually use it!

However, it is similar to a prayer used in the Byzantine rite. At the end of a service on behalf of the departed, a "Trisagion" or "Pannikhida", be priest will intone, "Grant rest eternal and blessed repose, O Lord, to the soul of thy servant Name, who has fallen asleep, and make his/her/their memory to be eternal." The people then sing three times, slowly, "Memory eternal." Very beautiful.
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Offline MichaelArchangelos

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Re: Orthodox version of the "Eternal Rest" prayer
« Reply #10 on: October 26, 2012, 12:33:13 AM »

It depends.

In general, non-Orthodox departed are not prayed for by name in the churches under most circumstances. At home, some pray these prayers and others. With some Orthodox prayers for the dead, it is assumed the person being prayed for is Orthodox--some have references to the person's Orthodox faith and reception of Orthodox sacraments, etc.

Some just use the prayer rope and say: "Grant rest, O Lord, to Thy servant N."

It was the words "Thy servant" that made me wonder whether the prayer was appropriate to use for non-Orthodox. Are non-Orthodox considered to be servants of God? Would this vary as to whether the person was an atheist (who obviously doesn't serve God since he or she doesn't believe in God) or a Protestant (who believes in both God and Jesus Christ) for example?

Offline Benjamin the Red

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Re: Orthodox version of the "Eternal Rest" prayer
« Reply #11 on: October 26, 2012, 01:23:17 AM »

It depends.

In general, non-Orthodox departed are not prayed for by name in the churches under most circumstances. At home, some pray these prayers and others. With some Orthodox prayers for the dead, it is assumed the person being prayed for is Orthodox--some have references to the person's Orthodox faith and reception of Orthodox sacraments, etc.

Some just use the prayer rope and say: "Grant rest, O Lord, to Thy servant N."

It was the words "Thy servant" that made me wonder whether the prayer was appropriate to use for non-Orthodox. Are non-Orthodox considered to be servants of God? Would this vary as to whether the person was an atheist (who obviously doesn't serve God since he or she doesn't believe in God) or a Protestant (who believes in both God and Jesus Christ) for example?

In the case of non-Orthodox, or at least non-Christians, I would advise saying something like "Grant rest, O Lord, to Name."
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Offline cateran

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Re: Orthodox version of the "Eternal Rest" prayer
« Reply #12 on: October 26, 2012, 03:46:09 PM »
A common Roman Catholic prayer for the dead goes: "Réquiem ætérnam dona ei (eis) Dómine; et lux perpétua lúceat ei (eis). Requiéscat (Requiéscant) in pace. Amen"

(Eternal rest grant unto him/her (them), O Lord; and let perpetual light shine upon him/her (them). May he/she (they) rest in peace. Amen.)

I say this prayer when I hear on the news that somebody has died, and at other times. However, what is the Orthodox equivalent of such a prayer? When you hear that someone has died, what do you say?

There is also an addendum to the prayer which reads:-

"May his/her their soul(s) and the souls of all the faithful departed, rest in peace. Amen.

Offline Shanghaiski

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Re: Orthodox version of the "Eternal Rest" prayer
« Reply #13 on: October 26, 2012, 08:04:11 PM »
"For all things are Thy servants," it says in our liturgical prayers.

Everything created offers service to God, in its own way, even rocks. As the Lord said, "were these silent, even the stones would cry out."

So, I don't think there's any problem at all calling a non-believer a servant of God. In the end, we shall all be judged as to what kind of servants we were in this life. Some who called themselves Christians and others who did not will no doubt be surprised.
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Offline JamesRottnek

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Re: Orthodox version of the "Eternal Rest" prayer
« Reply #14 on: October 26, 2012, 08:45:40 PM »
"For all things are Thy servants," it says in our liturgical prayers.

Everything created offers service to God, in its own way, even rocks. As the Lord said, "were these silent, even the stones would cry out."

So, I don't think there's any problem at all calling a non-believer a servant of God. In the end, we shall all be judged as to what kind of servants we were in this life. Some who called themselves Christians and others who did not will no doubt be surprised.

Or take the example of Cyrus, King of Persia.  He was, without doubt, either a polytheist or a Zoroastrian.  However, "Thus says the Lord to his anointed, to Cyrus, whom he has taken by his right hand to subdue nations before him and strip the loins of kings, to force gateways before him that their gates be closed no more: I will go before you levelling the heights. I will shatter the bronze gateways, smash the iron bars. I will give you the hidden treasures, the secret hoards, that you may know that I am the Lord." (Isaiah 45:1-3) so evidently one can be the "anointed" of God, and yet not be a follower of God's religion (at least, explicitly).
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Offline RaphaCam

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Re: Orthodox version of the "Eternal Rest" prayer
« Reply #15 on: December 22, 2016, 11:21:28 PM »
We use this prayer in our memorial service being Eastern Rite Orthodox, is anyone aware of similar cases elsewhere? Alpo's links have expired but I can see by the url that the Antiochian one was WR.
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Offline Dominika

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Re: Orthodox version of the "Eternal Rest" prayer
« Reply #16 on: December 23, 2016, 12:21:35 PM »
We use this prayer in our memorial service being Eastern Rite Orthodox, is anyone aware of similar cases elsewhere? Alpo's links have expired but I can see by the url that the Antiochian one was WR.

No. But I see that e.g Polish Ortodox parishes in Brazil use Latin melody and usage of Paschal "alleluia" so it seems one more Western thing kept in your local Church.
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Offline RaphaCam

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Re: Orthodox version of the "Eternal Rest" prayer
« Reply #17 on: January 06, 2017, 11:48:42 AM »
No. But I see that e.g Polish Ortodox parishes in Brazil use Latin melody and usage of Paschal "alleluia" so it seems one more Western thing kept in your local Church.
Yeah, just checked it with the subdeacon who does all the chanting. I askede about our panikhida so he said something about some Polish liturgically traditionalist monsenior, but it wasn't clear whether he mentioned him to say he brought these innovations, or to say Poland left them after his lead... He also mentioned how he only heard something equal to our Alleluias when passing in front of a RC parish in Poland.
"May the Lord our God remember in His kingdom all Holy Catholic Apostolic Church, which heralds the Word of Truth and fearlessly offers and distributes the Holy Oblation despite human deficiencies and persecutions moved by the powers of this world, in all time and unto the ages of ages."

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Offline Bob2

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Re: Orthodox version of the "Eternal Rest" prayer
« Reply #18 on: January 06, 2017, 01:56:08 PM »
Thanks. I'll continue to use the prayer.

With regard to the Kontakion, Apolyptikon and Troparion of the Dead, is it permissible to use these to pray for non-Orthodox?
Here another option for personal prayers for Non-Orthodox departed:


Canon of Supplication to the Holy Martyr Varus
TO WHOM THE GRACE WAS GIVEN TO PRAY
FOR THOSE DECEASED ANCESTORS OF CLEOPATRA
WHO HAD NOT BEEN VOUCHSAFED
TO RECEIVE HOLY BAPTISM

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Re: Orthodox version of the "Eternal Rest" prayer
« Reply #19 on: January 06, 2017, 05:30:55 PM »
No. But I see that e.g Polish Ortodox parishes in Brazil use Latin melody and usage of Paschal "alleluia" so it seems one more Western thing kept in your local Church.
Yeah, just checked it with the subdeacon who does all the chanting. I askede about our panikhida so he said something about some Polish liturgically traditionalist monsenior, but it wasn't clear whether he mentioned him to say he brought these innovations, or to say Poland left them after his lead... He also mentioned how he only heard something equal to our Alleluias when passing in front of a RC parish in Poland.

Yeha, RC parish; because it's not used even at Polish Orthodox parishes here. For me personally, it's not something bad; actually, I'd like even to hear such "alleluia", but before the Gospel reading.
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Re: Orthodox version of the "Eternal Rest" prayer
« Reply #20 on: January 07, 2017, 04:38:55 PM »
Also, some conclusion I just arrived yesterday: maybe Latin influence is the reason the Kyrie eleison is one of the three only untranslated parts of our liturgy I'm aware of (the others would be the Ton Despotin, which is generally left untranslated; and Mnogaja Leta).
« Last Edit: January 07, 2017, 04:39:08 PM by RaphaCam »
"May the Lord our God remember in His kingdom all Holy Catholic Apostolic Church, which heralds the Word of Truth and fearlessly offers and distributes the Holy Oblation despite human deficiencies and persecutions moved by the powers of this world, in all time and unto the ages of ages."

Check my blog "Em Espírito e em Verdade" (in Portuguese)

Offline Dominika

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Re: Orthodox version of the "Eternal Rest" prayer
« Reply #21 on: January 08, 2017, 04:21:25 PM »
Also, some conclusion I just arrived yesterday: maybe Latin influence is the reason the Kyrie eleison is one of the three only untranslated parts of our liturgy I'm aware of (the others would be the Ton Despotin, which is generally left untranslated; and Mnogaja Leta).
How Kyrie eleison can be treated as a Latin influence?  :o
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Re: Orthodox version of the "Eternal Rest" prayer
« Reply #22 on: January 08, 2017, 06:05:30 PM »
How Kyrie eleison can be treated as a Latin influence?  :o
Our Antiochians and the Russian mission use Senhor, tem piedade,while our Roman Catholics use Kyrie eleison. I don't recall having heard any Orthodox recording in English with Kyrie, eleison being left untranslated in Greek. Not sure if this makes sense but I was wondering this could be the case.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2017, 06:06:25 PM by RaphaCam »
"May the Lord our God remember in His kingdom all Holy Catholic Apostolic Church, which heralds the Word of Truth and fearlessly offers and distributes the Holy Oblation despite human deficiencies and persecutions moved by the powers of this world, in all time and unto the ages of ages."

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Re: Orthodox version of the "Eternal Rest" prayer
« Reply #23 on: January 09, 2017, 02:23:08 PM »
How Kyrie eleison can be treated as a Latin influence?  :o
Our Antiochians and the Russian mission use Senhor, tem piedade,while our Roman Catholics use Kyrie eleison. I don't recall having heard any Orthodox recording in English with Kyrie, eleison being left untranslated in Greek. Not sure if this makes sense but I was wondering this could be the case.

I meant that in fact Kyrie eleisoni s a Greek influence (even if trough Latin, it's still Greek linguistically, and also in some way liturgically, since this phrase in Byzantine i. e. Greek rite is used much more frequently than in Latin one).

Anyway Arabs, Albanians and Slavs (Poles, Serbs, Ukrainians and probably others) do use from time to time, depending on the occassion and the moment, the untranslated version of Kyrie eleison. I've heard also English recording with Kyrie eleison, but it's Greek jurisdiction.
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