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Funerals & Memorials

Relatives of the deceased person are requested to contact the local priest to arrange the time and the other details of the funeral.

Inspired by affection towards her departed children, the Orthodox Church has, since early times, adopted the custom of burying her dead (as is evidenced in the catacombs and from the graves of martyrs and the saints). Cremation, therefore, is contrary to the tradition of our Church and forbidden for Orthodox Christians. In cases where relatives cannot go against the expressed wishes of their departed loved ones, the funeral service may take place in the church, and at the end of the service the remains will be handed over to the relatives.

Memorial Services

These are special prayers offered by the Church for the repose of the departed. Such memorial services (mnimossina) are offered on the third, ninth, and fortieth days following a person’s passing away. They are also offered for the third, sixth and ninth months. From then on, yearly memorials are observed, as well as on the four Saturdays set aside for the dead during the ecclesiastical year.

Memorial services cannot be held from the Saturday of Lazarus until the Sunday of the Incredulity of Thomas (inclusive); nor on the holy days between Christmas and Theophany, at Pentecost, and on all Holy Days of Our Lord (Despotikai eortai) and the Dormition of the Mother of God (15th August).

In addition, it is recommended that the title feast of the Church as well as the principal feasts of Our Lord and His Mother be avoided. If it is essential that the Memorial Service should be held, then it should take place after the Dismissal of the Divine Liturgy and the distribution of Antidoron.

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