Author Topic: Episcopal Funerals (and the Orthodox view on Death)  (Read 3608 times)

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Offline Fr. George

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Episcopal Funerals (and the Orthodox view on Death)
« on: April 11, 2005, 10:54:36 PM »
*(I would suppose that this comment could go in a number of fora; but since the Liturgy forum doesn't get enough "action" I thought I would put it here).

I find it interesting that the American views and stigmas about death and dying have seeped into Orthodoxy; one example is how they have changed the way that we do Episcopal Funerals.  The (at least recent) Orthodox tradition is to fully vest the hierarch (including mitre and staff) and sit him at the throne during the Trisagion, Liturgy, and funeral.  Can you imagine the reaction of Americans to a corpse being placed in a chair dressed in Orthodox Episcopal-wear?  They would think we were nuts, out of touch, or whatever.....

But tonight, as normally happens around someone's death, an Orthodox priest provides perspective as to why we don't see things that way (this time coming from Fr. Nicholas Triantafilou, president of Holy Cross) - the West sees the cessation of breath as the end of Life and the beginning of Death; but the moment when the heart stops is really just a translation into a new part of Life, the part of Life that we have always been hoping for, preparing for... When we bury a hierarch, we pray that God allow him to take up in Heaven the position he had on Earth - standing in front of God's altar, praying for the salvation of the people.  We pray that he be granted the honor of continuing a ministry that even the Angels are in awe of....

So there's my two cents; I'd like to hear others' perspectives on the changes in the way we do funerals (not just Episcopal funerals; and let's not limit ourselves to the funeral proper, but also to the Trisagion, the mourning cycle, etc.) and the culture clash we see regarding death.

And if this has been covered previously in a thread - my apologies for being (relatively) new to the Board.
"O Cross of Christ, all-holy, thrice-blessed, and life-giving, instrument of the mystical rites of Zion, the holy Altar for the service of our Great Archpriest, the blessing - the weapon - the strength of priests, our pride, our consolation, the light in our hearts, our mind, and our steps"
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Offline Elpidophoros

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Re: Episcopal Funerals (and the Orthodox view on Death)
« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2008, 04:23:52 PM »
Quote
The (at least recent) Orthodox tradition is to fully vest the hierarch (including mitre and staff) and sit him at the throne during the Trisagion, Liturgy, and funeral.

Yes,the tradition says to sit the departed bishop in a throne and bury him in the sitting position....but in fact I only have seen some old calenarists and Non-Chalcedonians did this.Any one ever observed such practise in a canonical EO church recently??











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« Last Edit: December 04, 2008, 02:08:39 AM by Salpy »

Offline Anastasios

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Re: Episcopal Funerals (and the Orthodox view on Death)
« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2008, 04:42:58 PM »
Quote
The (at least recent) Orthodox tradition is to fully vest the hierarch (including mitre and staff) and sit him at the throne during the Trisagion, Liturgy, and funeral.

Yes,the tradition says to sit the departed bishop in a throne and bury him in the sitting position....but in fact I only have seen some canonical Orthodox who follow Orthodox tradition old calenarists and  monophysites did this.Any one ever observed such practise in a modernist/tradition-changing canonical EO church recently??


Post edit to reflect accuracy...those "uncanonical" Old Calendarists proved once again to be the ones that actually are being "canonical" in their observance...! :)
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Offline Anastasios

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Re: Episcopal Funerals (and the Orthodox view on Death)
« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2008, 04:45:19 PM »
To change an Orthodox funeral custom in favor of American afraid-of-death culture is an atrocity.

Among Hispanic Catholics and some Appalachian Protestants there is a final kiss goodbye, etc.  This is so much better than "visitation" where you sit around and chat nice pleasantries while Uncle Ned is either closed up or sitting nicely in his casket "looking just like he is asleep" awwwww....  (gag)
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Offline Elisha

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Re: Episcopal Funerals (and the Orthodox view on Death)
« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2008, 06:03:03 PM »
This is so much better than "visitation" where you sit around and chat nice pleasantries while Uncle Ned is either closed up or sitting nicely in his casket "looking just like he is asleep" awwwww....  (gag)

I have two of these in the past few years with some relatives.  They were well meaning, but I find this rather "skipping" of the mourning phase a bit troubling.  The "memorial service" had really nothing to do with a funeral and was just nice smiley pleasantries and "praises", along with people telling feel-good memory stories to reminisce.

Offline Fr. George

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Re: Episcopal Funerals (and the Orthodox view on Death)
« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2008, 01:42:08 AM »
Wow, some of our folks here are great at bringing up old threads - I had completely forgotten about this one (and, so it seems, so had everyone else until yesterday!).

The above was posted within a few days of Archbishop IAKOVOS' funeral at HC.  They buried him in full vestments, but did not have him sitting at the throne for Liturgy or the Trisagion at the School (I don't know what they did in NY), which is (I think) the reason why I wrote the piece (I was a bit disappointed).    They did, however, leave him in a position in the center of the Church where all could venerate the Gospel and kiss his right hand (which I have seen at each Priest's funeral I have attended).
"O Cross of Christ, all-holy, thrice-blessed, and life-giving, instrument of the mystical rites of Zion, the holy Altar for the service of our Great Archpriest, the blessing - the weapon - the strength of priests, our pride, our consolation, the light in our hearts, our mind, and our steps"
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Offline arimethea

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Re: Episcopal Funerals (and the Orthodox view on Death)
« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2008, 02:17:25 AM »
I have been told that sitting the departed Bishop in his throne is reserved only for Patriarchs. The person telling me this also related that you have to tie the Bishop very tightly to the chair because they tend to fall out.

I should mention the person who told me this is a bishop who wants a very quick and simple funeral.
Joseph

Offline Fr. George

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Re: Episcopal Funerals (and the Orthodox view on Death)
« Reply #7 on: December 04, 2008, 02:23:16 AM »
I have been told that sitting the departed Bishop in his throne is reserved only for Patriarchs. The person telling me this also related that you have to tie the Bishop very tightly to the chair because they tend to fall out.

I should mention the person who told me this is a bishop who wants a very quick and simple funeral. 

Very interesting...
"O Cross of Christ, all-holy, thrice-blessed, and life-giving, instrument of the mystical rites of Zion, the holy Altar for the service of our Great Archpriest, the blessing - the weapon - the strength of priests, our pride, our consolation, the light in our hearts, our mind, and our steps"
Met. Meletios of Nikopolis & Preveza, from his ordination.

Offline Salpy

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