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Author Topic: The 40 days after departure  (Read 4413 times) Average Rating: 0
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minasoliman
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« on: March 15, 2006, 07:35:00 PM »

Hi guys,

I used to think this was just an "Egyptian" thing, but my father had a discussion with a Yugoslavian Orthodox Christian who has the same tradition.

After someone passes away, we hold a service for them on the 40th day (other than the funeral).  I heard HH Pope Shenouda got rid of it so on grounds that this was only a "Pharaonic" tradition and not an Orthodox one.

I was wondering if other Orthodox Churches (both OO and EO) as well as the RC's do the same?  We also hold a service on the third day (I don't know why), but on a side note, do you do the same as well?

God bless.

Mina
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« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2006, 07:59:17 PM »

The Eastern Orthodox do that on the same days as the Copts because it's a pious Orthodox belief that around the third day after death the soul starts its particular judgement (a kind of 'performance review' where you get all your good and bad deeds read out to you), which ends around the 40th day.

Russian folklore calls the form of that judgement the aerial toll-houses.

Before the third day, again pious belief says something (source: Fr Seraphim (Rose), The Soul After Death), IIRC that the soul may 'haunt' places on earth familiar to him or her while alive. And/or the soul may hang around in the same invisible (to us) dimension where the particular judgement will happen.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2006, 08:02:36 PM by The young fogey » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2006, 08:18:06 PM »

Quote
Russian folklore calls the form of that judgement the aerial toll-houses.

Sorry but its not just a Russian folk custom - St. Basil the New was Greek.  
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minasoliman
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« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2006, 10:54:32 PM »

Wow...interesting.

Thank you for that.

God bless.
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« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2006, 12:36:23 AM »

The service is also done for the psychological/emotional well-being of the family. Aroudn the 40th day after a death, thats when the family members begin to really miss their presence- thats what a priest told me.
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« Reply #5 on: March 16, 2006, 09:03:51 AM »

You see in the traditional Orthodox cultures something similar to the Jewish ones - a series of services that in part help the grieving family with their loss by bringin the community to them to help with the process.  That's why in many Orthodox cultures the Memorial (different than the Trisagion) can be done at 3 days, 7, 14, 30, 90, 6 month, 1 year.  This gradual cycle of remembrance allows the family to slowly progress through their grief, and allows community support for the process.  That's why the Jewish and Orthodox grieving processes are viewed as highly effective, even within psychology communities (I was getting this from my secular psych profs in college).
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minasoliman
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« Reply #6 on: March 16, 2006, 10:20:55 AM »

7, 14, 90, and 6 months I don't believe we have, but we do have annual remembrances (yes, that's right, every year).

God bless.

Mina
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« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2006, 01:03:02 PM »

The Indian Church has the same practice.  
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