Memorials & Trisagia
Death alters but does not destroy the bond of love and faith which exists among all the members of the Church. Orthodoxy believes that through our prayers, those “who have fallen asleep in the faith and the hope of the Resurrection” continue to have the opportunity to grow closer to God. Therefore, the Church prays constantly for her members who have died in Christ. We place our trust in the love of God and the power of mutual love and forgiveness. We pray that God will forgive the sins of the faithful departed, and that He will receive them into the company of Saints in the heavenly Kingdom.
The Orthodox Church remembers the departed in the prayers of every Divine Liturgy. In addition, the Memorial Service is always offered for all the faithful departed on four “Saturdays of the Souls:” the two Saturdays preceding Great Lent; the first Saturday of Great Lent; and the Saturday before Pentecost. The Service is sometimes offered on Memorial Day.
When Are Memorial Services Performed?
Memorial services for the departed are traditionally conducted on: The Sunday just prior to or after the fortieth day after the death, The sixth month anniversary
The first, second and third year anniversaries of the death.
In order to arrange a Memorial Service for a loved one at the Annunciation, the Church must be contacted at least two weeks in advance in order for it to be entered into the Church calendar.
On the day of the Memorial Service, the family and friends of the deceased should be in Church at 10:00am for the beginning of the Divine Liturgy, and in order to sit together in the front pews.
The kollyva (boiled wheat) is traditionally offered and distributed to the faithful at the conclusion of the service.
Koliva (Κωλυβα) (pictured above)
When the Memorial Service is offered, it is customary for the family of the deceased to bring a tray of boiled wheat to the Church. The wheat, known as koliva (boiled wheat), is a symbol of the Resurrection.When speaking of the Resurrection, our Lord said: “Unless the grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone, but if it dies it bears much fruit” (John 12:24).
The tray of Koliva is placed on a table to the side of the solea during the Liturgy Service with candles. Some families also elect to place a small spray of flowers on the table.
Family members must arrange in advance for the Koliva. For a nominal fee arrangements for the Koliva can be made through the Church Office. The proceeds going to the Philoptochos Agape fund.
Arrangements to purchase a custom Koliva at Artopolis Bakery must be made independently. Koliva is not on the menu so you must call to inquire.
Memorial services are not permitted on the following days:
From the Saturday of Lazarus (before Palm Sunday) through the Sunday of Thomas (after Easter)
All the Feast days of our Lord
All the Feast days of the Theotokos
Please contact Father Chrysostomos at the Church Office for further information.