Saturday, February 26, 2011

Saturday of Souls

Saturday of Souls
Reading from the Synaxarion
Through the Apostolic Constitutions (Book VIII, ch. 42), the Church of Christ has received the custom to make commemorations for the departed on the third, ninth, and fortieth days after their repose. Since many throughout the ages, because of an untimely death in a faraway place, or other adverse circumstances, have died without being deemed worthy of the appointed memorial services, the divine Fathers, being so moved in their love for man, have decreed that a common memorial be made this day for all pious Orthodox Christians who have reposed from all ages past, so that those who did not have particular memorial services may be included in this common one for all. Also, the Church of Christ teaches us that alms should be given to the poor by the departed one's kinsmen as a memorial for him.
Besides this, since we make commemoration tomorrow of the Second Coming of Christ, and since the reposed have neither been judged, nor have received their complete recompense (Acts 17:31; II Peter 2:9; Heb. 11:39-40), the Church rightly commemorates the souls today, and trusting in the boundless mercy of God, she prays Him to have mercy on sinners. Furthermore, since the commemoration is for all the reposed together, it reminds each of us of his own death, and arouses us to repentance.


  1. Greetings Fr. Deacon Charles,

    I am a little confused by this post as it appears slightly different than the Catholicism I am used to. Can you briefly explain the Orthodox understanding of what happens to the soul upon death? Perhaps it is a lengthy answer, in which case, could you point me towards a reference? Thanks you so much.

    Peace be with you,

  2. Primarily it is considered to be a mystery. It is taught that we will face judgment at this time, we call this the particular judgment. The soul then goes to a place which is not known anticipating the glory of heaven or the torment of Hades awaiting the second coming of Christ for the Final Judgment. There is no such teaching as Purgatory.


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