Memorials at St. Nicholas
Why we remember our departed loved ones:
Orthodox Christians have a deep faith in the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. His resurrection destroyed the power that death once held. Through our baptism, Orthodox Christians participate in His death and resurrection: “all those who have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ” (Galatians 3:27). Because He is risen, we also confess our eventual resurrection from the dead at His second coming.
We remember our loved ones because the Lord's Body cannot be broken or divided: those who have passed on are not dead - they are alive in Christ. “‘I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God
of Jacob.’ He is not God of the dead, but of the living...for all live to Him” (Matthew 22:32; Luke 20:38). At the end of the memorial service, we sing “May their memory be eternal!” Here, we are praying not only that people will remember our loved ones, but that they will forever be remembered by and remain in the loving embrace of our God.
How we remember the departed:
- Memorials (with koliva)
- 40 days after the passing (or the closest Sunday)
- 6 month anniversary
- One year, two year, and three year anniversary
After the 3 year memorial:
Saturday of Souls: These are the 4 days during the year when we remember all of the departed - the two Saturdays preceding Great Lent; the first Saturday of Great Lent; and the Saturday before Pentecost.
Proskomide: Every Sunday, you can offer your loved one's names for Fr. John to commemorate during the Divine Liturgy. As he prepares the offering bread and wine for Eucharist, he prays for both the departed
and the living. The commemoration sheet - to write the names of your loved ones - is found in the narthex.
Scheduling a memorial:
Memorial services are offered for departed Orthodox Christians whose funerals took place in the Orthodox Church. To arrange a memorial for a loved one at St. Nicholas, please contact the church office at least
two weeks in advance. Family members offer a dish of boiled wheat (koliva) in remembrance of their loved one and in hope of the resurrection. As the Lord said: "truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit" (John 12:24). The family must arrange in
advance for the koliva by either preparing it at home or by contacting the church office to order it.
On the day of the memorial service, family members should arrive at 10:00am for the beginning of the Divine Liturgy, and can sit together in the front pews that are reserved. The koliva will then be offered
and distributed to the faithful at the conclusion of the memorial service in the church hall.
Please note that memorial services are not permitted on the following days:
- Holy Week through Bright Week (Saturday of Lazarus through the Sunday of Thomas)
- Feast days of our Lord
- Feast days of the Theotokos