Forty Liturgies

A writer was vising Christ’s Holy Tomb in Jerusalem, and there he met a monk from Mt. Athos. This monk related this about his parents to the writer:
“My father was poor but very pious. When there was to be a liturgy, he would get to church earlier than the priest and waited for him at the door. While my mother wasn’t an unbeliever, she almost never went to church. She preferred to stay home on Sundays and cook for the family and clean house, instead of going to church.
When my parents fell asleep, I saw both of them in a dream. My father was in a beautiful garden enjoying the blessings of paradise, while my mother, in pain, was telling me, “My son, give me something to eat! I’m hungry!” The next day, when I woke up, I thought, that since my mother is dead, what kind of food does she desire? Of course it’s spiritual food.
Without hesitation, I went to St. Savvas Monastery and gave them whatever is necessary to perform fourty liturgies for my mother, so that God might lift her up so that she’ll be with my father, and that they might be happy together in paradise.
Before the forty liturgies were over, I had a dream and my father said to me in an unhappy tone: “Why did you not give me a portion of this food?”
“I assure you that I ‘froze’ out of fear. I did not know what to answer,” said the monk. “The next day I added my father’s name to the forty liturgies. When the forty liturgies were over, I had them do forty more liturgies for both of my parents. Again I saw both of them in a dream and they were both happy and enjoying their rest, no longer complaining to me. From that time, many years passed, more than twenty, and I’m always doing Memorial Services for them and forty liturgies once a year, so that they might rest in the Lord.”


5 thoughts on “Forty Liturgies

  1. Many times I was asked, why we should pray for those who have reposed. Once they sleep, there is no more an opportunity for repentance or for good works. This story is a beautiful illustration, but could you help me out with biblical evidence?

  2. Hi Again Mike, thanks for writing.

    For sure I’m not a bible scholar, nor am I a theologian!

    In this blog, I place passages from books that I like…for my kids, someday…

    I have a very good friend who writes a blog in Greek. He’s a former evangelical and he writes apologetics for the Orthodox Church.

    The problem is that I don’t know how to search his blog, because it’s in Greek. There are many references in the Old Testament about “praying and fasting for our dead”. I don’t remember where, I’ll ask him by email, but it’s hard to do, because my (written) Greek isn’t that great.

    However, I was able to find this on his blog pretty quickly:

    2 Timothy 1:18

    King James Version (KJV)

    18The Lord grant unto him that he may find mercy of the Lord in that day: and in how many things he ministered unto me at Ephesus, thou knowest very well.

    In his post, he says that it is certain that Onesiphorus is dead. I’ll search for more and reply to you.

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