Praying for the dead

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We believe that the souls of men who have fallen into mortal sins and at death have not despaired, but have still repented before parting with the present life, who only have not managed to offer any fruits of repentance (such fruits could be their prayers, tears, kneelings during prayer vigils, contrition, consoling the poor and actions expressing love for God and neighbor) - the souls of such men go down to Hades and endure punishments for the sins committed by them, not being deprived, however, of hope for relief. They receive relief according to God's endless goodness through the prayers of the priests and the benefactions performed for the dead, and especially by virtue of the Bloodless Sacrifice, which, in particular, a sacred minister offers for each Christian and for his close ones, and in general the Catholic and Apostolic Church offers it daily for all.

Epistle of the Eastern Patriarchs

Nothing unreasonable, nothing useless has been handed down from Christ's preachers and disciples and accepted successively by God's Church; to perform the commemoration of those fallen asleep in the right faith at the divine and most glorious Mystery is a deed very pleasing to God and beneficial.

Saint Gregory of Nyssa

The priest humbly entreats God's goodness, that He remit the transgressions of the dead man which have happened through human weakness, that He accept him into the bosom of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, "from whence pain, sorrow and sighing have fled," disregarding, in His love for man, every sin committed by him who has departed from life. For no one is pure of sin, as say the prophets.

Hieromartyr Dionysius the Areopagite

When the names of those who have fallen asleep are remembered in prayers, what can be more beneficial for them this? The lving believe that the dead also are not deprived of existence, but live with God. Just as the Holy church teaches us to pray for brethren who with afaith and hope are traveling, that the prayers performed for them are beneficial, in such a way ought one to understand also the prayers performed for those who have departed from this world.

Hierarch Epiphanius of Cyprus

Address of our Cathedral

  • 4001 17th St. N.W.,
  • Washington, D.C., 20011

Phone  (202) 726-3000




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