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The Orthodox Funeral Service

Introduction by Rt. Rev. Alexander Schmemann

Our God "is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living". (Mk. 12:27) Our greatest joy is our belief in Christ's resurrection and the resurrection of all in Him. And the Church's constant prayer for the departed members is thus the affirmation that they are still alive in Christ, that we are all united in God's love, that, in the words of St Paul- "neither death, nor life...shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Rom. 8:38)

The Orthodox funeral service is a wonderful expression of this faith. Both its words and music convey to us the certitude that death is not the absurd end, which deprives life of its meaning and permeates everything with its poison of despair, but the passage into the "desired fatherland", the return to Him in whom is all joy, all peace, all fulfillment. Indeed it makes it a movement toward Paradise.

THE FUNERAL SERVICE

The Priest leads the procession. He is preceded by Servers carrying procession lamps and is followed by the Deacon carrying the censer, the Choir singing Holy God... Family and friends follow the choir. When they enter the temple the remains are set down in the Narthex until they are moved into the Nave just before the service begins.

Priest: + Blessed is our God, always, now and ever and unto ages of ages.

People: Amen.

The Trisagion Prayers

Choir Holy God! Holy Mighty! Holy Immortal! Have mercy on us. (3x)

Reader: Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.

O most-holy Trinity, have mercy on us!
O Lord, cleanse us from our sins!
O Master, pardon our transgressions!
O Holy One, visit and heal our infirmities, for Your name's sake!

Lord, have mercy. (3x)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.

Our Father, Who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.

Priest: For Thine is the Kingdom, and the power, and the glory, of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages.

Choir: Amen.

Reader Psalm 90 (91)

He who lives by the help of the Most High will pass the night in the protection of the God of Heaven.

He will say to the Lord, "You are my protector and my refuge, my God," and in Him I will hope.

For He will deliver you from the trap of the hunters and from the embarrassing word.

He will overshadow you with His shoulders, and under His wings you will hope. His truth will surround you with armor.

You will not be afraid of any terror by night, nor of the arrow that flies by day, of a thing going by in the dark, of an accident or a noonday demon.

A thousand will fall at your side and ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you.

Only with your eyes you will look on, and you will see the reward of sinners.

For You, Lord, are my hope; You made the Most High Your refuge.

No evils will come to you, and no scourge will come near your dwelling.

For He will command His angels regarding you to guard you in all your ways.

They will lift you on their hands, lest you strike your foot against a stone.

You will step on the asp and the adder; the lion and the serpent you will trample underfoot.

"Because he has set his hope on Me, I will deliver him; I will protect him, because he knows My name.

He will call to Me and I will answer him. I am with him in trouble, I will deliver him and glorify him. With a long life I will satisfy him, and I will show him My salvation."

The Seventeenth Kathisma

Stasis I - Psalm 118 (119):1-12

Choir: Alleluia!

Priest: Blessed are they who are faultless in the way, who live by the law of the Lord.

Blessed are they who search out His testimonies, who seek Him with their whole heart.

For those who do lawlessness do not walk in His ways.

You have ordered Your commandments to be strictly kept.

O that my ways were directed to keep Your requirements.

Then I shall not be ashamed when I regard all Your commandments.

I will praise and thank You with honesty of heart, when I have learned the justice of Your judgments.I will keep Your requirements; O do not utterly forsake me.

How will a young man direct his way? By obeying Your words.

With my whole heart I have searched for You; let me not be driven from Your commandments.

Your words I have hidden in my heart, that I may not sin against You.

Blessed are You, O Lord; teach me Your statutes.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.

Choir: Alleluia!

Stasis II - Psalm 118 (119):72-84

Choir: Have mercy on Your servant.

Priest: The law of Your mouth is better for me than thousands of gold and silver.

Your hands have made me and molded me; give me understanding and I will learn Your commandments.

Those who fear You will be glad when they see me, because I have hoped in Your words.

I know, O Lord, that Your judgments are just and that You have rightly humbled me.

But let Your mercy comfort me according to Your word to Your servant.

Let Your compassion come to me and I shall live, for Your law is my meditation.

Let the proud be ashamed, for they unjustly sinned against me; but I will reflect on Your commandments.

Let those who fear You turn to me, and those who know Your testimonies.

Let my heart be faultless in Your requirements, that I may not be ashamed.

My soul is pining for Your salvation; I hope in Your words.

My eyes fail for Your word, saying, "When will You comfort me?"

For I have become like a wineskin in the frost, yet I have not forgotten Your requirements.

I open my mouth and draw in the Spirit, because I long for Your commandments.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.

Choir: Have mercy on Your servant.

Stasis III - Psalm 118 (119):132-144

Choir: Alleluia!

Priest: Look upon me and have mercy on me with the judgment of those who love Your name.

Direct my steps according to Your word, and let no lawlessness have dominion over me.

Deliver me from the accusations of men, and I will keep Your commandments.

Let Your face beam on Your servant and teach me Your requirements.

My eyes shed streams of water when I do not keep Your law.

You are just, O Lord, and Your judgments are right.

You have strictly enjoined as Your testimonies righteousness and truth.

Your zeal consumes me, because my enemies forget Your words.

Your word is very fiery, and Your servant loves it.

Young and despised as I am, I do not forget Your requirements.

Your justice is eternal justice, and Your law is truth.

Troubles and sufferings have found me; Your commandments are my meditation.

I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek Your servant, for I have not forgotten Your commandments.

The Eulogitaria for the Departed

Verse 12 of Psalm 118 (119) is the refrain:

Choir: Blessed are You, O Lord, teach me Your statutes.

The choir of saints has found the Fountain of Life and the Door of Paradise; may I also find the way through repentance. I am the lost sheep; call me O Savior. and save me.

Give rest, O God, to Your servant and establish (him, her) in Paradise, where the choirs of the saints and of the just, O Lord shine as the stars of heaven. Give rest, to Your servant who has fallen asleep, and overlook all (his, her) transgressions.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,

Devoutly let us praise the threefold splendor of the one Godhead, crying out: Holy are You, O Father, Who are from everlasting, O Son co-eternal and Spirit Divine. Illumine us who serve You in faith, and deliver us from us from fire eternal.

...now and ever, and unto ages of ages.

Rejoice, O Pure One, who for the salvation of all brought forth God in the flesh. Through whom the human race has found salvation: through you may we find Paradise, O pure Most Blessed Mother of God.

Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Glory to You, O God.

The Litany for the Departed

Deacon: Again and again in peace let us pray to the Lord.

People: Lord, have mercy.

Deacon: Again we pray for the repose of the soul of the servant of God _____, who has fallen asleep, and that (he, she) may be pardoned all (his, her) sins, both voluntary and involuntary.

People: Lord, have mercy.

Deacon: Again we pray that the Lord God will establish (his, her) soul where the Just repose.

People: Lord, have mercy.

Deacon: For the mercies of God, the Kingdom of Heaven, and the remission of (his, her, their) sins, let us ask of Christ, our immortal King and God.

People: Grant it, O Lord.

Deacon: Let us pray to the Lord.

Priest: O God of spirits, and of all flesh, You have trampled death and made the devil powerless, and have given life to Your world. May You, Yourself, Lord, give rest to the soul of Your servant ______ who has fallen asleep, in a place of brightness, a place of refreshment, a place of repose; where all suffering, sorrow, and sighing have fled away.

Since You are a good and loving God, pardon every transgression which (he, she,) has committed, whether by word, or deed, or thought; for there is no one who lives yet does not sin, for only You are without sin. Your righteousness is an eternal righteousness, and Your word is truth.

For You are the resurrection, the life, and the repose of your servant ______ who has fallen asleep, O Christ our God, and to You we ascribe glory, together with Your Father, Who is without beginning, and Your most holy, good, and life-creating Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages.

People: Amen.

Troparia

Choir: Give rest to the Just, O Our Saviour, to Your servant and establish (him her) in Your courts as it is written. Disregarding as You are good (his her) trespasses both voluntary and involuntary and all things done with knowledge or in ignorance, O You who love man-kind.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.

O Christ our God, who from a Virgin shown forth into the world, through her making us children of light, have mercy on us.

Reader: Psalm 50 (51)

Have mercy on me, O God, in Your great mercy, and in Your abundant compassion blot out my transgression.

Wash me thoroughly from my lawlessness and cleanse me from my sin.

For I know my sinfulness and my sin is before me continually.

Against You only have I sinned and done what is evil in Your sight, that You may be justified in Your words and win when You are judged.

For I was conceived in iniquities and in sins my mother gave me birth.

But You love truth; the hidden and secret things of Your wisdom You have made known to me.

You will sprinkle me with hyssop and I shall be clean. You will wash me and I shall be whiter than snow.

Make me hear joy and gladness. The bones that have been humbled will rejoice.

Turn Your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquities.

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.

Do not cast me away from Your presence or take Your Holy Spirit from me.

Restore to me the joy of Your salvation and strengthen me with Your ruling Spirit.

I will teach Your ways to the lawless, and sinners will return to You.

Deliver me from bloodshed, O God, O God of my salvation. My tongue will rejoice in Your righteousness.

O Lord, You will open my lips and my mouth will declare Your praise.

For if You desired sacrifice, I would have given it. You take no delight in whole burnt offerings.

A sacrifice for God is a broken spirit; a broken and humbled heart God will not despise.

Gladden Zion, O Lord, with Your goodwill, and let the walls of Jerusalem be built.

Then You will delight in the sacrifice of righteousness, in offering and whole burnt offerings. Then they will offer young bulls on Your altar.

The Canon

Ode I

Choir: When Israel had passed on foot over the sea as if it were dry land, and beheld their pursuer, Pharaoh, drowning in the sea, they cried aloud to God: let us sing a song of victory.

Priest: Give rest, O Lord, to the soul of Your departed servant.

Choir: Give rest, O Lord, to the soul of Your departed servant.

Priest: Glory to the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit

Choir: now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.

Ode III

Choir: There is none as holy as You, O Lord, my God.

You have exalted the power of Your faithful, O blessed One, and have established us on the rock of Your confession.

Priest Give rest, O Lord, to the soul( of Your departed servant.

Choir: Give rest, O Lord, to the soul of Your departed servant.

Priest: Glory to the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit

Choir: now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.

Ode VI

Choir: Beholding the sea of life surging with the storm of temptations, and taking refuge in Your calm haven I cry to You: "Raise up my life from corruption, O greatly merciful One."

Priest: Give rest, O Lord, to the soul of Your departed sevant

Choir: Give rest, O Lord, to the soul of Your departed servant.

Priest: Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,

Choir: now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen

Kontakion

With the Saints give rest O Christ, to the soul of Your servant. Where there is neither sickness or sorrow and no more sighing but life everlasting. You only are immortal who has created and fashioned man. For out of the earth were we mortals made and into the same earth we will return again, As You commanded when You made me, saying to me for you are dust and into dust you will return. Where ever we mortals all shall go, making our lamentation the song: Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia

Ode IX

Choir: It is not possible for men to see God. whom the ranks of angels dare not gaze . But through you, O All- pure One, was the Word incarnate revealed unto men: Whom magnifying together with the heavenly hosts, We call you blessed.

Priest Give rest, O Lord, to the soul of Your Departed servant.

Choir: Give rest, O Lord, to the soul of Your departed servant

Priest: Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,

Choir: now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.

Stichera of St. John of Damascus in Tone 8

Choir: I mourn and weep when I ponder death and see our beauty made in the image of God laid in the grave, disfigured, dishonored, and lacking form. O wonder! What is this mystery that comes to pass for us? Why should we be given over to corruption? And why should we be wedded to death? Truly, as it is written, it is by the command of God Who gives the departed rest.

The Beatitudes in Tone 6

Choir: In Your kingdom remember us, O Lord. When You come into Your Kingdom

Reader: What pleasure of life remains unmixed with grief?

What glory stands unchanging on earth?

All are weaker than shadow.

All are more deceitful than dreams.

Only a moment and death shall sweep them all away. But in the light of Your countenance and in the sweetness of Your beauty, give rest to (him, her, them) whom You have chosen, for You are the Lover of mankind.

Choir: Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.

Reader: As a flower withers and a dream fades, so is each man's flesh dissolved by death. But at the sound of the trumpet like a mighty earthquake, all the dead shall rise again to meet you, O Christ, our God. On that day, O Master, receive all Your departed servants in the mansions of the saints.

Choir: Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

Reader: What distress does the soul have as it departs from the body? How many tears does it shed? And no one has mercy on it. It directs its eyes to the angels to whom it entreats in vain. Extending hands to men, it has no one to help. Therefore, my beloved brethren, having considered the shortness of this life, let us ask repose with Christ for the departed, and for our souls great mercy.

Choir: Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.

Reader: All human accomplishments are vanity, since none exists after death. Riches do not endure. Glory does not come along with us. For when death comes, all these have utterly vanished. Therefore, let us cry to Christ, the immortal One: Give rest to (him, her, ) who has departed from us.

Choir: Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled.

Reader: Where are this world's pleasures? Where is the display of glories that pass away? Where are the gold and the silver? Where are the throng of servants and their clamor? All are ashes, dust, and shadows. But come, let us cry to the immortal King: "Judge (him, her,) who has departed from us, O Lord, to be worthy of Your eternal blessings. Give rest to (him, her,) in unending blessedness."

Choir: Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.

Reader: I remembered the prophet who said: I am earth and ashes. And I thought of those in the tombs and saw their bones laid bare. Then I said: "Who is the king or the soldier? Who is the rich man or the beggar? Who is the just man or the sinner?" But give rest to Your servant) with the Saints, O Lord.

Choir: Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

Reader: Your creating command was my beginning and foundation. For it was Your will to make me, a living being, from a nature both visible and invisible. You formed my body from the earth and gave me a soul by Your divine and life-giving breath. Therefore, give rest, O Christ, to Your servant in the land of the living, in the mansions of the righteous.

Choir: Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the sons of God

Reader; You are the Lord of souls and bodies, the consolation of the afflicted, and hold our breath in Your hands. Give rest in the land of the righteous to your servant(s) whom You have taken.

Choir: Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.

Reader: May Christ give you rest in the land of the living. May He open to you the gates of paradise. May He declare you to be a citizen of the kingdom, and grant forgiveness of sins to you who love Him.

Choir: Blessed are you when men shall revile you and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely for My sake.

Reader: Let us go and look in the graves and see that man is food for the worms, bare bones, and stench. And we shall learn what becomes of wealth, beauty, strength, and comeliness.

Choir: Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven.

Reader: Let us listen to what the Almighty cries: Woe to those who seek to behold the fearful day of the Lord. For that day is darkness, and everything will be tried by fire.

Reader Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.

The Epistle Reading

Deacon: Let us attend!

Priest: + Peace be unto all.

Reader: And to your spirit.

Deacon: Wisdom!

Reader: The Prokeimenon in the sixth tone.

Blessed is the way in which you shall walk today, O soul, for a place of rest is prepared for you.

Choir: Blessed is the way in which you shall walk today, O soul, for a place of rest is prepared for you.

Reader: To you, O Lord, have I cried. My God, do not be silent with me, lest I become like those who go down to the pit.

Choir: Blessed is the way in which you shall walk today, O soul, for a place of rest is prepared for you.

Reader: Blessed is the way in which you shall walk today, O soul...

Choir: .for a place of rest has been prepared for you.

Deacon: Wisdom!

Reader: The reading from the first Epistle of the holy Apostle Paul to the Thessalonians.

Deacon: Let us attend!

1 Thessalonians. 4:13-17

Reader: Brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.

Priest: + Peace to you who read.

Reader: And to your spirit. Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

Choir: Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

Reader: Blessed is (he, she,) whom You have chosen and taken, O Lord.

Choir: Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

Reader: His remembrance is from generation to generation

The Gospel

Deacon: Wisdom! Let us attend! Let us listen to the Holy Gospel.

Priest: + Peace be unto all.

People: And to your spirit.

Deacon: The reading from the Holy Gospel according to Saint John.

People: Glory to You, O Lord, glory to You.

Deacon: Let us attend!

John 5:24-30

Priest: The Lord said to the Jews who came to Him: "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life. Most assuredly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear will live. For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son to have life in Himself, and has given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of Man. Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth; those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation. I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me."

People: Glory to You, O Lord, Glory to You.

Homily

Post Gospel Verses

Reader: As you see me set before you mute and without breath, weep for me, my brethren, family, and all who know me, for I spoke with you only yesterday, and suddenly the fearful hour of death came upon me. Come, all those who love me and give me the last kiss, for never again shall I journey or talk with you ‘til the end of time. For I go to a Judge Who is impartial, where servant and master stand side by side. King and soldier, rich and poor, are held in equal esteem. For each will be glorified by his own deeds, or will be put to shame. But I ask and implore you all to pray without ceasing for me to Christ our God, that I may not be put into the place of torment because of my sins, but that He may appoint me to a place where there is the light of life.

The Litany for the Departed

Deacon: Have mercy on us, O God, according to Your great mercy we implore You hear us and have mercy.

People: Lord, have mercy. (3x)

Deacon: Have mercy on us, O God, according to Your great goodness, we implore you, hear us and have mercy.

People: Lord, have mercy. (3x)

Deacon: Again we pray for the repose of the soul of the servant of God ______, who has fallen asleep, and that (he, she,) may be pardoned all (his, her,) sins, both voluntary and involuntary.

People: Lord, have mercy. (3x)

Deacon: Again we pray that the Lord God will establish (his, her,) soul where the Just repose.

People: Lord, have mercy. (3x)

Deacon: For the mercies of God, the Kingdom of Heaven, and the remission of (his, her,) sins, let us ask of Christ, our immortal King and God.

People: Grant it, O Lord.

Deacon: Let us pray to the Lord.

People: Lord, have mercy.

Priest May the Lord Jesus Christ, our God, Who gave His divine commandments to His holy disciples and apostles, that they should bind and loose the sins of the fallen, and we, in turn, have received authority to do the same, forgive you, my spiritual child, whatever transgressions you have committed in life, voluntary or involuntary, . And if your servant has fallen under a curse of (his, her,) father, or mother, or under (his, her,) own anathema; or if (he, she,) provoked one of the priests and received from him an unbreakable bond; or if (he, she) incurred excommunication by a bishop, and through indifference and thoughtlessness did not receive forgiveness, forgive (him, her,) Lord, through me, a sinner and Your unworthy servant. This we ask through the intercessions of Your most pure and ever-virgin Mother, and of all Your saints.

People: Amen.

Priest: Most Holy Theotokos , save us!

More honorable than the cherubim, and more glorious than the seraphim: without defilement You gave birth to God the Word. True threotokos we magnify you.

Priest: Glory to You, O Christ our God, glory to You.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.

Lord, have mercy (3x)

Father, bless.

Priest: May He Who rose from the dead, Christ our true God, through the prayers of His most pure mother, of the holy, glorious, and all-laudable apostles, of our pious and God-bearing fathers, and of all the saints, place the soul of His departed servant in the mansions of the righteous. May He grant (him, her, ) repose in the bosom of Abraham and number (him, her,) with the righteous; and may He have mercy on us, for He is good and loves mankind.

People: Amen.

Priest: Give rest eternal, in blessed falling asleep, O Lord, to the soul of Your servant ____ who has departed this life, and make (his, her, ) memory to be eternal.

People: Memory eternal! (3x)

At this point everyone files by the casket to pay their last respects to the departed. Family members are last after which the casket is closed. If a Liturgy follows, the casket remains open.

Troparia

Choir: Come now, brethren, let us go, let us leave one final kiss with the dead. For (he, she) has vanished from among us and now proceeds to the grave. No longer is (he, she) mindful of days or troubled with the suffering of the flesh. Where is (his, her) family now? Where are the friends that (he, she) knew? For (he, she) is divided from among them, let us pray the Lord to grant (him, her) rest!

What is this division, O brethren, this wailing and weeping of an hour? Let us kiss who was with us yesterday, the one whom we go now to inter, the one whom we cover with a stone, the one who takes up (his, her) abode in the gloom, the one who takes (his, her) place with the dead, the one who is taken from (his, her) friends, the one divided from (his, her) family, let us pray the Lord to grant (him, her) rest!

Now is life's artful triumph of vanities destroyed for from its tabernacle the spirit has flown! The vessel lies shattered, the clay grows black, voiceless, feelingless, motionless and dead, the one whom we go now to inter. Let us pray the Lord to grant (him, her) rest!

With what may we compare this life a flower, a vapor, an early morning mist. Come O people, let us look at the grave! Where is the beauty of youth? Where are the eyes that we knew? Where are the hands that we clasped? So soon we perish like the grass of the field—let us therefore bathe the feet of Christ with our tears!

Such weeping, wailing, sighing surrounds the soul's departure, such agony and hell and destruction, though life is but a shadow an illusion, a dream that we cling to… one must leave the earth to rise to heavenly things.

So come then, brethren, let us go, let us bear (him, her) upon our shoulders and feel the heaviness of all things earthly, the weight (his, her) soul no longer could bear. Let us carry (his, her) body to the grave and carry (his, her) living memory in our hearts! Grant rest to your servant, O Lord! Grant rest to your servant, O Lord! Grant rest to your servant, O Lord, and in your mercy, soothe our sorrows!

Reader: As we look upon our dead (brother, sister, ) before us, let us receive an example of our last moment. For (he, she,) is left from the earth like smoke. (He, She,) has been cut down like grass. (He, She,) has been clothed in rags, and will be covered with earth. Leaving (him, her) hidden from sight, let us pray to Christ to give (him, her) rest forever.

Come, O descendants of Adam, let us behold (him, her,) who is placed into the earth. (He, She,) who is in our image is being cast away. (He, She,) shall be consumed by worms in darkness. Having left (him, her,) hidden from sight, let us pray to Christ to give (him, her, )rest forever.

When the soul is about to be carried off by force by the fearsome angels, it forgets all of its family and those it knows, and is mindful of standing before the coming judgment of its folly and fleshly toil. Come, let us all implore the Judge, and pray that the Lord will pardon the sins (he, she,) has committed.

Come, O brethren, let us see the dust and ashes in the grave from which we were formed. Where now are we going? And what shall we become? What has become of the poor man and the rich man? What has become of the master or the freeman? Are they all not ashes? The beauty of the face has turned to dust and death has withered up the flower of youth.

The illusions and the things of glory of this life are truly folly and corruption. For all of them will end and we all shall die: kings and princes, judges and rulers, the rich and the poor, and every kind of mortal man. Now for those who in life were committed to the grave, let us pray that the Lord will grant them rest.

Now all the organs of the body are seen to be idle, that a short while ago were active. All are still, dead, without feeling. For the eyes are closed, the feet are bound. The hands are still, and the ears hear not. The tongue is enclosed in silence. (He, She,) is committed to the grave. Truly, all human accomplishments are vanity.

Save those who hope in you, O Theotokos, O mother of the never-setting Sun. Ask Him Who is exceedingly good in your prayers we implore you, that He will grant repose where the souls of the righteous rest to (him, her,) who has departed. Present (him, her,) an heir of divine blessings, O most pure One, in the courts of the righteous in eternal remembrance.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,

As you see me set before you mute and without breath, weep for me, my brethren, family, and all who know me, for I spoke with you only yesterday, and suddenly the fearful hour of death came upon me. Come, all those who love me and give me the last kiss, for never again shall I journey or talk with you ‘til the end of time. For I go to a Judge Who is impartial, where servant and master stand side by side. King and soldier, rich and poor, are held in equal esteem. For each will be glorified by his own deeds, or will be put to shame. But I ask and implore you all to pray without ceasing for me to Christ our God, that I may not be put into the place of torment because of my sins, but that He may appoint me to a place where there is the light of life. now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.

Through the prayers of her who bore You, O Christ, and of Your forerunner, and apostle, Your prophets, hierarchs, the pious, and the righteous, and of all Your saints, give rest to Your servant who has fallen asleep.

Then, taking up the remains, we depart to the grave, being led by the Priest as before. We sing during the procession:

Holy God! Holy Mighty! Holy Immortal! Have mercy on us.

THE BURIAL

As the remains are set into the grave:

The Trisagion Prayers

Choir:: Holy God! Holy Mighty! Holy Immortal! Have mercy on us. (3x)

Reader: Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.

O most-holy Trinity, have mercy on us!
O Lord, cleanse us from our sins!
O Master, pardon our transgressions!
O Holy One, visit and heal our infirmities, for Your name's sake!

Lord, have mercy. (3x)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.

Priest: For Thine is the Kingdom, and the power, and the glory, of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages.

Reader: Amen.

Troparia in Tone 4

Choir: Give rest to the soul of Your servant , O Savior, with the spirits of the righteous made perfect. Guard (him, her) for the blessed life with You, O Lover of mankind.

In Your rest where all Your saints repose, O Lord, give rest also to the soul of Your servant, for You alone are immortal.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,

You are the God Who descended into the realm of death, and destroyed the suffering of those imprisoned there. Give rest also to the soul of Your servant.

now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.

O only pure and undefiled Virgin who conceived God without seed, pray that the soul of your servant may be saved.

The Litany for the Departed

Deacon: Have mercy on us, O God, according to Your great goodness, we implore you, hear us and have mercy.

People: Lord, have mercy. (3x)

Deacon: Again we pray for the repose of the soul of the servant of God ______, who has fallen asleep, and that (he, she,) may be pardoned all (his, her,) sins, both voluntary and involuntary.

People: Lord, have mercy. (3x)

Deacon: Again we pray that the Lord God will establish (his, her,) soul where the Just repose.

People: Lord, have mercy. (3x)

Deacon: For the mercies of God, the Kingdom of Heaven, and the remission of (his, her, ) sins, let us ask of Christ, our immortal King and God.

People: Grant it, O Lord.

Deacon: Let us pray to the Lord.

People: Lord, have mercy.

Priest: O God of spirits, and of all flesh, You have trampled death and made the devil powerless, and has given life to Your world. May You, Yourself, Lord, give rest to the soul of Your servant ______ who has fallen asleep, in a place of brightness, a place of refreshment, a place of repose; where all suffering, sorrow, and sighing have fled away.

Since You are a good and loving God, pardon every transgression which (he, she,) has committed, whether by word, or deed, or thought; for there is no one who lives yet does not sin, for only You are without sin. Your righteousness is an eternal righteousness, and Your word is truth.

For You are the resurrection, the life, and the repose of your servant______ who has fallen asleep, O Christ our God, and to You we ascribe glory, together with Your Father, Who is without beginning, and Your most holy, good, and life-creating Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages

People: Amen.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.

Lord, have mercy. (3x)

Father, bless.

Priest: May He Who rose from the dead, Christ our true God, through the prayers of His most pure mother, of the holy, glorious, and all-laudable apostles, of our pious and God-bearing fathers, and of all the saints, place the soul of His departed servant in the mansions of the righteous. May He grant (him, her,) repose in the bosom of Abraham and number (him, her,) with the righteous; and may He have mercy on us, for He is good and loves mankind.

People: Amen.

Then the Priest takes a shovel or a handful of earth and pours it on the casket in the sign of the cross as he says:

Priest: The earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof, the universe and all that dwells therein.

The Priest sprinkles the grave with holy water and the Deacon gives the intonation for memory eternal.

Deacon: Give rest eternal, in blessed falling asleep, O Lord, to the soul) of Your servant) ______ who has departed this life, and make (his, her,) memory to be eternal.

People: Memory eternal! (3x)

Then the contents of the censer are then cast into the grave as well. In some traditions the casket is opened and the Priest pours oil and earth over the departed and the casket is again closed

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