On the third Sunday of every month, St. Barnabas performs an annual Memorial Service for those that departed in that month. There are three aspects to this ministry: Memorial Services, koliva preparation and almsgiving.
Memorials are special prayer services offered for the benefit of the departed. Early Christians expressed their concern for the repose of the souls of their beloved by works of charity and love and by personal and communal prayers.recommended alms giving in memory of the dead. In the Orthodox Church the various prayers for the departed have as their purpose to pray for the repose of the departed, to comfort the living, and to remind those who remain behind of their own mortality, and the brevity of this earthly life.
As Orthodox Christians, we believe that intercessions on behalf of the dead are possible through the fervent prayers of those remaining on earth (see Matthew 25). We are a church made up of both the living and the dead. A Biblical basis for praying for the dead may be found in the Epistle of St. James, 5:16, by which the “prayer of a righteous man has great power in its effects.”
Sign-up sheets for names of the reposed containing all the months of the year can be found in the Common Room. Please include names of those closest to you. Include your family name so as to try to avoid duplicity of names. You will only need to do this once since the names will be added to a calendar and prayed for in the subsequent years. Please add new names as needed.
Memorials will continue to be served for those who have reposed less than 40 days on the Sunday immediately after and on the 40th day after repose. Please contact Fr. Wayne directly for these memorials.
Koliva is an offering of boiled wheat that is blessed liturgically in connection with the Memorial Services in Church for the departed, thereby offering unto God, as it were, a sacrifice of propitiation (atonement) for the reposed, and in honor of the Sovereign Lord over life and death. Koliva are symbolic of the resurrection of the dead on the day of the Second Coming of the Lord. St. Paul said, “what you sow does not come to life unless it dies” (I Corinthians 15:36), and St. John, “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). Thus, as the wheat is buried in the soil and disintegrates without really dying but is later regenerated into a new plant that bears much more fruit than itself, so the Christian’s body will be raised again from the very corruptible matter from which it is now made; however, it will be raised not in its previous fleshy substance but in an incorruptible essence which “will clad the mortal body with an immortal garment”, in the words of St. Paul (I Corinthians 15:53). “Wheat for everlasting life, raisins for sweetness, pomegranate seeds for plenty, powdered sugar for the sweetness of heaven, and parsley for the green of the earth.”
A sign-up sheet for koliva preparation can be found in the Common Room. There is no need for any prior experience. Instructions will be given either in a class or one-on-one. All supplies will be provided.
Alms giving was recommended by St. John Chrysostom, Jerome, Tertullian, and others in memory of the departed although they believe that this and other good works for the repose of the soul of the dead also benefit the doers. And how do they obtain that mercy, “through Church prayers, supplications, liturgies, as well as memorial services and alms giving. Therefore prayers in the home and Church for the dead are beneficial, as are good deeds done in their memory, such as alms or contributions to the church and especially beneficial for them is commemoration at the Divine Liturgy.
If you wish to donate your time or resources in honor of the departed, and need help finding a ministry, please refer to the ministries found on the St. Barnabas website. If you wish to make a donation to St. Barnabas please drop a check in the Offering box in the Nave with “Memorial” written in the memo.
For more information or with any questions please contact Stella Georgoulis at firstname.lastname@example.org.