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INTRODUCTION

This provisional translation of the Burial Service for Lay People is based on the text of the Large Euchologion, which is to all intents and purposes identical to that in the Slavonic Trebnik. The service is seldom performed in full, and the modern Greek books give it in the abbreviated form as it is commonly performed in Greek parishes. In current Greek use the service starts with the usual blessing by the Priest and Psalm 90 is omitted. I have included in square brackets the usual selection of verses from Psalm 118 used in Greek churches. The Canon, which is the one for Saturday Matins in Tone 6 in the Paraklitiki, is usually omitted, though the Russian use is normally to sing just the Irmi, which are therefore included within brackets, with the refrains. These Irmi are not sung in Athonite use, except where they are used as Katavasias. The refrains given here are those used on the Holy Mountain. In Russian use the refrain for the first two Troparia is, Give rest to the soul of your servant fallen asleep. The translation of the Canon attempts, I hope without too much infidelity to the original, to preserve Saint Theophanes acrostic.

I have not included any of the prayers of absolution which are sometimes used at the very end of the service in church. They are not found in the Large Euchologion, though they do occur in the modern Greek books to be said by a Bishop, if one is present. The Trebnik gives a much less elaborate absolution, to be given by a Bishop, or in his absence by the Priest.

It will seldom be necessary to sing all the Prosomia provided for the moment of the final farewell. The model melody to which they are written is that of the Aposticha of Vespers of Good Friday, which are sung at the moment when the Epitaphios is brought out into the centre of the Church. This is almost certainly intentional.

The current Greek books begin the rite in the church with the usual blessing by the Priest, since nowadays the funeral may take place some time, even days, after the body has been placed in the church. The provision for the small litany between Psalm 118 and the Evlogitaria is quite anomalous, since it should follow the latter, and I have therefore omitted it. The modern Greek books also invert the rites at the graveside and provide a verse from Psalm 50, You will sprinkle me with hyssop, as the oil from the lamp is poured into the grave. This is not found in either the Large Euchologion or the Trebnik. Customs at the graveside vary a good deal and so do the texts of the service books. These local customs are not detailed here.

This translation also provides all the texts necessary for a full Memorial Service, or Pannychida, except that the Russian books have a full Litany of Peace after Psalm 90 and the Canon is that in Tone 8.


THE FUNERAL SERVICE

IN THE HOUSE

When an Orthodox Christian dies the relatives at once send for the Priest. When he comes to the house where the body is lying he puts on his Epitrachelion and puts incense in the censer, then he gives the usual blessing and those present begin the Trisagion etc.

Holy God, Holy Strong, Holy Immortal, have mercy on us (three times).

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

All-holy Trinity, have mercy on us. Lord, cleanse us from our sins. Master, pardon our iniquities. Holy One, visit and heal our infirmities for your names sake. Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.

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

Our Father, in heaven, may your name be hallowed, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors, and do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.

Priest: For yours is the Kingdom, the power and the glory, of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, now and for ever, and to the ages of ages.

Reader: Amen.

Then the following troparia are sung in the 4th Tone:

With the spirits of the righteous made perfect in death give rest, O Saviour, to the soul of your servant; keeping it for the life of blessedness with you, O Lover of mankind.

In your repose where all your saints find rest, give rest, O Lord, to the soul[s] of your servant[s], for you alone are immortal.

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

You are our God who descended into Hell and did away with the pains of those who had been bound; give rest, O Saviour, also to the soul of your servant.

Both now and for ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen. Theotokion.

O only pure and spotless Virgin, who bore God without seed, intercede for the salvation of the soul of your servant.

Deacon: Have mercy on us, O God, according to your great mercy, we pray you, hear and have mercy.

Reader: Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.

Deacon: Again we pray for the repose of the soul of the servant of God, N., who has fallen asleep, and that he/she may be pardoned every offence, both voluntary and involuntary.

Deacon: That the Lord our God may establish his/her soul where the righteous rest.

Reader: Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.

Deacon: The mercies of God, the kingdom of heaven and the forgiveness of his/her sins, let us ask of Christ, our immortal King and God.

Reader: Grant this, O Lord.

Deacon: Let us pray to the Lord.

Reader: Lord, have mercy.

Priest:

O God of spirits and all flesh, who trampled down death and crushed the devil, giving life to your world; do you, Lord, give rest to the soul of your servant N., who has fallen asleep, in a place of light, a place of green pasture, a place of refreshment, whence pain, grief and sighing have fled away. Pardon, O God, as you are good and love mankind, every sin committed by him/her in word or deed or thought, because there is none who will live and not sin, for you alone are without sin; your righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and your word is truth.

For you are the resurrection, the life and the repose of your servant N., who has fallen asleep, Christ our God, and to you we give glory, together with your Father who is without beginning, and your all-holy, good and life-giving Spirit, now and for ever, and to the ages of ages.

Reader: Amen.

Priest: Glory to you, Christ God, our hope, glory to you.

Reader: Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, both now and ever and to the ages of ages. Amen. Lord, have mercy (three times). Holy father, give the blessing.

The Priest gives the Dismissal as follows:

May he who has authority over the living and the dead, as immortal King, and who rose from the dead, Christ, our true God, through the intercessions of his most pure and blameless Mother, of the holy, glorious and all-praised Apostles, of our venerable and God-bearing fathers, of the holy and glorious forefathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, of the holy and righteous Lazarus, for four days dead, the friend of Christ, and of all the Saints, establish in the tents of the righteous the soul of his servant who has gone from us, give him/her rest in the bosom of Abraham, and number him/her with the righteous; and have mercy on us and save us, for he is good and loves mankind.

Eternal your memory, our brother/sister, worthy of blessedness and ever-remembered.

Eternal Memory (x3)

If everything is ready for the Departure, the Priest again gives the blessing and we begin to sing the Trisagion with fear and great compunction. And having taken up the body we leave for the Church, the Priests going ahead with lights and the Deacon with the censer.

IN THE CHURCH

When they reach the Church the body is placed in the Narthex, and they begin Psalm 90.

Psalm 90
One who dwells in the help of the Most High will live under the protection of the of the God of heaven; will say to the Lord: You are my protector and my refuge, my God, and I shall hope in him. For he will deliver you from the hunters snare, and from the word which troubles. He will overshadow you with his wings, and under his feathers you will have hope; his truth will encircle you with a shield. You will not be afraid of terror by night, of the arrow that flies by day; of the thing that prowls in the darkness, of mishap or of the noonday devil. A thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right, but it will not come near you. But with your eyes you will observe, and see the reward of sinners. For you, Lord, are my hope: you have made the Most High your refuge. Evils will not approach you, nor a scourge draw near your dwelling, because he has given orders to his Angels about you, to guard you in all your ways. They will bear you on their hands, lest you dash your foot against a stone. You will walk on asp and basilisk, and trample down lion and dragon. Because he/she hoped in me, I shall deliver him/her; I shall shelter him/her, because he/she knew my name. He/she will cry to me, and I shall hear him/her, I am with him/her in trouble; I shall rescue him/her and glorify him/her. I shall fill him/her with length of days, and show him/her my salvation.

And after this in a louder voice:

Blessed are you, O Lord; teach me your statutes. Blameless in the way. Alleluia.

And we sing the 1st Section of Psalm 118 in Tone 6, saying at the end of each verse, Alleluia.

[Singers: Blessed are the blameless in the way, who walk in the law of the Lord. Alleluia.
My soul has longed to desire your judgements at all times. Alleluia.
My soul slumbered from weariness; strengthen my by your words. Alleluia.
Incline my heart to your testimonies, and not to covetousness. Alleluia.
Dejection took hold of me because of sinners who abandon your law. Alleluia.
I am a companion of all who fear you, and who keep your commandments. Alleluia.

Glory. Alleluia.
Both now. Alleluia.]

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

Reader: Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.

Deacon: Again we pray for the repose of the soul of the servant of God, N., who has fallen asleep, and that he/she may be pardoned every offence, both voluntary and involuntary.

Deacon: That the Lord our God may establish his/her soul where the righteous rest.

Reader: Lord, have mercy.

Deacon: The mercies of God, the kingdom of heaven and the forgiveness of his/her sins, let us ask of Christ, our immortal King and God.

Reader: Grant this, O Lord.

Deacon: Let us pray to the Lord.

Reader: Lord, have mercy.

Priest:

O God of spirits and all flesh, who trampled down death and crushed the devil, giving life to your world; do you, Lord, give rest to the soul of your servant N., who has fallen asleep, in a place of light, a place of green pasture, a place of refreshment, whence pain, grief and sighing have fled away. Pardon, O God, as you are good and love mankind, every sin committed by him/her in word or deed or thought, because there is none who will live and not sin, for you alone are without sin; your righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and your word is truth.

For you are the resurrection, the life and the repose of your servant N., who has fallen asleep, Christ our God, and to you we give glory, together with your Father who is without beginning, and your all-holy, good and life-giving Spirit, now and for ever, and to the ages of ages.

Reader: Amen.

And after this we begin the 2nd Section of Psalm 118 in Tone 5, saying after each verse, Have mercy on your servant.

[Your hands made me and fashioned me; make me understand, and I shall learn your commandments. Have mercy on your servant.
For I have become like a wineskin in the frost; I have not forgotten your statutes. Have mercy on your servant.
I am yours; save me, for I have sought your statutes. Have mercy on your servant.
I did not turn aside from your judgements, for you gave me your law. Have mercy on your servant.
I inclined my heart to do your statutes for ever, because of the recompense. Have mercy on your servant.
It is time for the Lord to act; they have cast your law to the winds. Have mercy on your servant.

Glory. Have mercy on your servant.
Both now. Have mercy on your servant.]

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

Reader: Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.

Deacon: Again we pray for the repose of the soul of the servant of God, N., who has fallen asleep, and that he/she may be pardoned every offence, both voluntary and involuntary.

Deacon: That the Lord our God may establish his/her soul where the righteous rest.

Reader: Lord, have mercy.

Deacon: The mercies of God, the kingdom of heaven and the forgiveness of his/her sins, let us ask of Christ, our immortal King and God.

Reader: Grant this, O Lord.

Deacon: Let us pray to the Lord.

Reader: Lord, have mercy.

Priest:

O God of spirits and all flesh, who trampled down death and crushed the devil, giving life to your world; do you, Lord, give rest to the soul of your servant N., who has fallen asleep, in a place of light, a place of green pasture, a place of refreshment, whence pain, grief and sighing have fled away. Pardon, O God, as you are good and love mankind, every sin committed by him/her in word or deed or thought, because there is none who will live and not sin, for you alone are without sin; your righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and your word is truth.

For you are the resurrection, the life and the repose of your servant N., who has fallen asleep, Christ our God, and to you we give glory, together with your Father who is without beginning, and your all-holy, good and life-giving Spirit, now and for ever, and to the ages of ages.

Reader: Amen.

And so we begin he 3rd Section of Psalm 118 in Tone 3, saying after each verse, Alleluia.

[Look upon me and have mercy on me, in accordance with the judgement of those who love your name. Alleluia.
I am young and despised; I have not forgotten your statutes. Alleluia.
Hear my voice, O Lord, in accordance with your mercy; in accordance with your judgement give me life. Alleluia.
Rulers have persecuted me for no reason; and my heart has been in awe of your words. Alleluia.
My soul will live and praise you; and your judgements will help me. Alleluia.
I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek out your servant, because I have not forgotten your commandments.]

After it at once the Evlogitaria for the dead in Tone 5.

Blessed are you, O Lord, teach me your statutes.

The choir of Saints has found the source of life and the door of Paradise; may I too find the way through repentance; I am the lost sheep, call me back, O Saviour, and save me.

Blessed are you, O Lord, teach me your statutes.

You Holy Martyrs, who proclaimed the Lamb of God, and like lambs were slain, and have been taken over to the unending life which knows no ageing, plead with him to grant us abolition of our debts.

Blessed are you, O Lord, teach me your statutes.

All you who trod in life the hard and narrow way; all you who took the Cross as a yoke, and followed me in faith, come, enjoy that heavenly rewards and crowns which I have prepared for you.

Blessed are you, O Lord, teach me your statutes.

I am an image of your ineffable glory, though I bear the marks of offences; take pity on your creature, Master, and with compassion cleanse me; and give me the longed-for fatherland, making me once again a citizen of Paradise.

Blessed are you, O Lord, teach me your statutes.

Of old you formed me from nothing and honoured me with your divine image, but because I transgressed your commandment, you returned me to the earth from which I was taken; bring me back to your likeness, my ancient beauty.

Blessed are you, O Lord, teach me your statutes.

Give rest, O God, to your servant[s], and settle them [him/her] in Paradise, where the choirs of the Saints and all the Just shine out like beacons; give rest to your servant[s] who has/have fallen asleep, overlooking all their [his/her]offences.

Glory. Triadikon.

Let us devoutly hymn the threefold light of the one Godhead as we cry: Holy are you, the Father without beginning, the Son likewise without beginning and the divine Spirit; enlighten us who worship you in faith, and snatch us from the everlasting fire.

Both now. Theotokion.

Hail, honoured one, who bore God in the flesh for the salvation of all; through you the human race has found salvation; through you may we find Paradise, O pure and blessed Mother of God.

Alleluia. Alleluia. Alleluia. Glory to you, O God (Three times).

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

Reader: Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.

Deacon: Again we pray for the repose of the soul of the servant of God, N., who has fallen asleep, and that he/she may be pardoned every offence, both voluntary and involuntary.

Deacon: That the Lord our God may establish his/her soul where the righteous rest.

Reader: Lord, have mercy.

Deacon: The mercies of God, the kingdom of heaven and the forgiveness of his/her sins, let us ask of Christ, our immortal King and God.

Reader: Grant this, O Lord.

Deacon: Let us pray to the Lord.

Reader: Lord, have mercy.

Priest:

O God of spirits and all flesh, who trampled down death and crushed the devil, giving life to your world; do you, Lord, give rest to the soul of your servant N., who has fallen asleep, in a place of light, a place of green pasture, a place of refreshment, whence pain, grief and sighing have fled away. Pardon, O God, as you are good and love mankind, every sin committed by him/her in word or deed or thought, because there is none who will live and not sin, for you alone are without sin; your righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and your word is truth.

For you are the resurrection, the life and the repose of your servant N., who has fallen asleep, Christ our God, and to you we give glory, together with your Father who is without beginning, and your all-holy, good and life-giving Spirit, now and for ever, and to the ages of ages.

Reader: Amen.

After the ekphonesis the following Kathismata in Tone 5.

Give rest, O our Saviour, with the just to your servant; and make him/her dwell in your courts, as it is written; overlooking, as you are good, their offences, willing and unwilling, and all of them committed through ignorance or through knowledge, O lover of mankind.

Glory.

And all of them committed through ignorance or through knowledge, O lover of mankind.

Both now.

Christ our God, who dawned on the world from a Virgin, making us, through her, children of light: have mercy on us.

And after it we immediately sing the following Canon for the Dead, whose acrostic is:
I address my sixth song to the departed.
A composition by Theophanes.
Ode 1. Tone 6. As Israel marched on foot.

[As Israel marched on foot in the deep as on dry land and watched Pharao the pursuer drowning, they cried out: To God let us sing a song of victory.]

At the prayers of your Martyrs, Lord, give rest to the soul of your servant.

In heavenly bridal chambers the noble Martyrs implore you, O Christ: Grant to your faithful servant[s] who has/have passed over from earth the enjoyment of eternal good things.

His/her soul will dwell among good things.

After setting all things in order you fashioned me, a living creature compounded mid-way between lowliness and greatness; therefore give rest, O Saviour, to the soul of your servant.

Glory.

Deputing me at the beginning as citizen and husbandman of Paradise, when I transgressed you commandment you banished me; therefore give rest, O Saviour, to the soul of your servant.

Both now. Theotokion.

Dresses himself in flesh from your immaculate womb, O Pure One, through which he has abolished deaths might, the One who of old fashioned Eve our foremother from a rib.

All the Odes are sung in the same way.

Ode 3. None is holy as you.

[None is holy as you, O Lord my God, who have exalted the horn of your faithful people, O Good one, and established me on the rock of confession of you.]

Right skilfully, Giver of life, your Martyrs struggled and, adorned by you with the crown of victory, adjudge eternal redemption to the faithful one who has passed over.

Earlier, by many signs and wonders, you taught me, who had gone astray; at the last in your compassion for me you emptied yourself, and having sought me, found me and saved me.

Settle in joy in eternal dwellings, loving Lord, the one who has crossed over the unstable corruption of passing things to you, having justified him/her by faith and grace.

Theotokion.

Surely none is undefiled as you, O All-pure Mother of God; for you alone from all eternity, conceived in your womb the true God who abolished the power of death.

At once the Irmos.

None is holy as you, O Lord my God, who have exalted the horn of your faithful people, O Good one, and established me on the rock of confession of you.

And the Priest commemorates. After the ekphonesis the Kathismata. Tone 6.

Truly all things are vanity, life is but a shadow and a dream, and vainly do humans trouble themselves, as the Scripture says: when we have gained the world, then we shall dwell in the grave, where kings and beggars are the same; therefore, O Christ God, give rest to those who have passed over, as you love mankind.

Glory. Both now. Theotokion.

All-holy Mother of God, do not forsake during my present life, do not entrust to human protection; but help me yourself and have mercy on me.

Ode 4. Christ is my power.

[Christ is my power, my God and Lord, the holy Church cries out from a pure mind in song befitting God, as it keeps festival in the Lord.]

Manifesting the proof of your great wisdom and of your lavish goodness over gifts, O Master, you have numbered the choirs of Martyrs with the Angels.

You grant that he/she who has passed over may obtain your ineffable glory, O Christ, where those who rejoice have their dwelling, and where there is a sound of pure gladness.

Seize for yourself one who sing the praise your divine might, whom you have taken from earth, making him/her a child of light and purging away sins gloom, O All-merciful.

Theotokion.

Immaculate vessel, all-spotless Temple, all-holy Ark, virginal Place of sanctification, beauty of Jacob; it is you the Master has chosen.

Ode 5. With your divine radiance, O Good One.

[With your divine radiance, O Good One, illumine, I beg, the souls of those who rise to you at dawn with love to know you, Word of God, to be truly God, calling them back from the gloom of offences.]

EXalted is God, to whom the Martyrs were offered as a sacred holocaust and as firstfruits of nature, and they ever award us salvation.

To your faithful servant, who has fallen asleep before us, O Lord, grant a dwelling in heaven and a share of your gifts, giving him/her redemption of offences.

Hold worthy of your Kingdom him/her who has died, O Merciful and alone immortal, alone by nature the Giver of life, the truly unfathomable sea of goodness.

Theotokion.

Strength and song and salvation for the lost he has become, the One born from you, Sovereign Lady of the world, delivering from the gates of Hell those who faithfully call you blessed.

Ode 6. Watching lifes sea.

[Watching lifes sea rising with a tempest of temptations, fleeing to your calm haven, I cry out to you: Bring my life up from corruption, O Most merciful.]

O Good One, nailed to the Cross you gathered to yourself the Martyrs who imitate your passion; and so we beg you, give rest now to him/her who has passed over to you.

Now be well pleased, O Redeemer, when you come terribly on the clouds in your ineffable glory to judge the whole world, for your faithful servant whom you have taken from the earth to meet you with shining radiance.

Guiding out by your divine manhood those who were bound, you are the source of life, O Master; establish in the delight of Paradise your servant who has departed to you in faith.

Theotokion.

To earth we were returned, having transgressed Gods divine command; but through you, O Virgin, we have been raised from earth to heaven, having shaken off the corruption of death.

The Irmos.

Watching lifes sea rising with a tempest of temptations, fleeing to your calm haven, I cry out to you: Bring my life up from corruption, O Most merciful.

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

Reader: Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.

Deacon: Again we pray for the repose of the soul of the servant of God, N., who has fallen asleep, and that he/she may be pardoned every offence, both voluntary and involuntary.

Deacon: That the Lord our God may establish his/her soul where the righteous rest.

Reader: Lord, have mercy.

Deacon: The mercies of God, the kingdom of heaven and the forgiveness of his/her sins, let us ask of Christ, our immortal King and God.

Reader: Grant this, O Lord.

Deacon: Let us pray to the Lord.

Reader: Lord, have mercy.

Priest:

O God of spirits and all flesh, who trampled down death and crushed the devil, giving life to your world; do you, Lord, give rest to the soul of your servant N., who has fallen asleep, in a place of light, a place of green pasture, a place of refreshment, whence pain, grief and sighing have fled away. Pardon, O God, as you are good and love mankind, every sin committed by him/her in word or deed or thought, because there is none who will live and not sin, for you alone are without sin; your righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and your word is truth.

For you are the resurrection, the life and the repose of your servant N., who has fallen asleep, Christ our God, and to you we give glory, together with your Father who is without beginning, and your all-holy, good and life-giving Spirit, now and for ever, and to the ages of ages.

Reader: Amen.

And after the Ekphonesis, Kontakion. Tone 8.

With the Saints give rest, O Christ, to the soul of your servant, where there is no toil, nor grief, nor sighing, but everlasting life.

The Ikos.

You alone are immortal, who made and fashioned mankind; we mortals then were formed from earth and to that same earth we shall go, as You who formed me commanded saying: You are earth, and you will go back to earth; to which all we mortals will go making our funeral lament a song: Alleluia.

Ode 7. An Angel made the furnace.

[An Angel made the furnace moist with dew for the godly Youths, while Gods command consuming the Chaldeans persuaded the tyrant to cry out: Blessed are you, God of our Fathers.]

Of the first transgression redeemed by your blood, the Martyrs, sprinkled with their own blood, are plainly an image of your slaughter. Blessed are you, the God of our fathers.

The arrogant death you slew, O Word, source of life; now therefore receive the one who has fallen asleep in faith, who sing your praise, O Christ, and say: Blessed are you, the God of our fathers.

Having endowed me with life by your divine breath, O Master most divine, grant your Kingdom to him/her who has passed over, that he/she may sing to you, O Saviour: Blessed are you, the God of our fathers.

Theotokion.

Even nobler than every creature you became, All-blameless, by conceiving God, who smashed the gates of death and shattered their bars; and so, O All-pure, we the faithful sing your praise as Mother of God.

Ode 8. From the flame you made a source of dew.

[From flame you made a source of dew for the Saints and with water you consumed the sacrifice of a righteous man with flame. For you do all things, O Christ, simply by willing them. We highly exalt you to all the ages.]

Displaying your struggles unshakeably, victorious Martyrs of Christ, you have been adorned with the crown of victory as you cry: We highly exalt you, O Christ, to the ages.

Ever gently receive the faithful who have left this life in holiness and have departed to you their Master, giving them rest as you are compassionate as they highly exalt you, O Christ, to the ages.

Place now in the land of the meek, O Saviour in your good pleasure, all those who have fallen asleep before us, having justified them by faith and by grace as they highly exalt you to all the ages.

Theotokion.

All of us call you blessed, All-blessed one, who gave birth to the Word who is truly blessed, and who became flesh for our sakes. We highly exalt him to all the ages.

Ode 9. It is impossible for humans to see God.

[It is impossible for humans to see God, on whom the ranks of Angels dare not gaze. But through you, All-pure one, the incarnate Word has been seen by mortals. As we magnify him, with the heavenly armies we call you blessed.]

Robust strength hope gave the choirs of Martyrs and winged them ardently towards your love, foreshadowing for them the truly unshakeable rest that is to come; which rest grant, O Good one, that he/she who has passed over may attain.

That he/she who has passed over in faith may attain your bright and divine radiance, be pleased, O Christ, granting him/her, as you alone are merciful, rest in Abrahams bosom, and vouchsafing him/her eternal happiness.

Establish where your light shines forth, O Saviour, who are by nature good and compassionate, who desire mercy and are the abyss of compassion, the one whom you have taken over from this place of sorrow and of the shadow of death.

Theotokion.

Duly we know you, O Pure one, as the holy Tabernacle, Ark and Table of the Law of grace; for through you forgiveness has been given to those who have been justified through the blood of him who took his body from your womb, All-spotless one.

The Irmos.

It is impossible for humans to see God, on whom the ranks of Angels dare not gaze. But through you, All-pure one, the incarnate Word has been seen by mortals. As we magnify him, with the heavenly armies we call you blessed.

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

Reader: Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.

Deacon: Again we pray for the repose of the soul of the servant of God, N., who has fallen asleep, and that he/she may be pardoned every offence, both voluntary and involuntary.

Deacon: That the Lord our God may establish his/her soul where the righteous rest.

Reader: Lord, have mercy.

Deacon: The mercies of God, the kingdom of heaven and the forgiveness of his/her sins, let us ask of Christ, our immortal King and God.

Reader: Grant this, O Lord.

Deacon: Let us pray to the Lord.

Reader: Lord, have mercy.

Priest:

O God of spirits and all flesh, who trampled down death and crushed the devil, giving life to your world; do you, Lord, give rest to the soul of your servant N., who has fallen asleep, in a place of light, a place of green pasture, a place of refreshment, whence pain, grief and sighing have fled away. Pardon, O God, as you are good and love mankind, every sin committed by him/her in word or deed or thought, because there is none who will live and not sin, for you alone are without sin; your righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and your word is truth.

For you are the resurrection, the life and the repose of your servant N., who has fallen asleep, Christ our God, and to you we give glory, together with your Father who is without beginning, and your all-holy, good and life-giving Spirit, now and for ever, and to the ages of ages.

Reader: Amen.

And after the Ekphonesis, we begin the Idiomels.
By Monk John, the Damascene. Tone 1.

What pleasure in life remains without its share of sorrow? What glory stands on earth unchanged? All things are feebler than a shadow, all things are more deceptive than dreams; one instant, and death supplants them all. But, O Christ, give rest to him You have chosen in the light of your countenance and the sweetness of your beauty, as You love mankind.

Tone 2.

As a flower withers and as a dream passes, so every human being is dissolved. But once again, at the sound of the trumpet, all the dead will arise as by an earthquake to go to meet you, Christ God. Then, Christ our Master, establish in the tents of your Saints the spirit of your servant whom you have taken over from us.

Another, outside the Typikon. Tone 2.

Alas, what an ordeal the soul endures once separated from the body! Alas, what tears then, and there is none to pity her! She turns towards the Angels, her entreaty is without effect; she stretches out her hands to men, she has none to help. Therefore my dear brethren, thinking on the shortness of our life, let us ask of Christ rest for him who has passed over, and for ourselves his great mercy.

Tone 3.

Everything human which does not survive death is vanity; wealth does not last, glory does not travel with us; for at deaths approach all of them disappear; and so let cry out to Christ the Immortal one: Give rest to him who has passed from us, in the dwelling of all those who rejoice.

Tone 4.

Truly most fearful is the mystery of death, how the soul is forcibly parted from the body, from its frame, and how that most natural bond of union is cut off by the will of God. Therefore we entreat you: Give rest in the tents of your just ones, him/her who has passed over, O Giver of life, Lover of mankind.

Another, outside the Typikon. Tone 4.

Where is the attraction of the world? Where the delusion of the temporary? Where is gold, where silver? Where the throng and hubbub of servants? All dust, all ashes, all shadow. But come, let us cry out to the immortal King: O Lord, grant your eternal good things to him who has passed from us, giving him rest in the happiness which does not age.

Tone 5.

I remembered how the Prophet cried out: I am earth and ashes; and I looked again into the tombs and saw the naked bones, and I said: Who then is a king or a soldier, a rich man or a beggar, a just man or a sinner? But give rest, O Lord, with the just to your servant.

Tone 6.

Your command which fashioned me was my beginning and my substance; for wishing to compose me as a living creature from visible and invisible nature, you moulded my body from the earth, but gave me a soul by your divine and life-giving breath. Therefore, O Christ, give rest to your servant in the land of the living, in the tents of the just.

Tone 7.

Give rest, our Saviour, to our brother/sister, whom you have taken over from transient things, as he/she cries, Glory to you!

Another, outside the Typikon. Tone 7.

Having fashioned man in the beginning in your image and likeness, you placed him in Paradise to govern your creatures; but led astray by the envy of the devil he tasted the food and became a transgressor of your commandments; and so you condemned him, O Lord, to return again to the earth from which he had been taken, and to beg for rest.

Tone 8.

I grieve and lament when I contemplate death, and see the beauty fashioned for us in Gods image lying in the graves, without form, without glory, without shape. O the wonder! What is this mystery which has happened to us? How have we been handed over to corruption, and yoked with death? Truly it is at Gods command, as it is written, God who grants rest to him who has passed over.

Then the Beatitudes, Tone 6, as follows.

In your Kingdom remember us O Lord, when you come in your Kingdom.
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for justice, for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful, for they will obtain mercy.

The Thief, O Christ, who cried out to you on the cross: Remember me, you proclaimed in advance to be a citizen of Paradise; make me also, the unworthy, worthy of his repentance.

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

Lord of life and death, give rest in the courts of the Saints to him/her whom you have taken from this temporary life as he/she cries out: Remember me, when you come in your kingdom.

Blessed are the peace-makers, for they shall be called the children of God.

Master of souls and bodies, in whose hand is our breath, the consolation of the afflicted, give rest in the land of the just your servant whom you have taken over.

Blessed are those who are persecuted for the sake of justice, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.

May Christ give you rest in the land of the living, open to you the gates of Paradise, make you a citizen of the Kingdom, and grant you forgiveness of the sins you committed in life, O Lover of Christ.

Blessed are you when men revile and persecute you, and say all manner of evil against you for my names sake.

Let us go out and see in the graves that man is bare bones, food for worms and stench, and realise what wealth is, what beauty, what strength, what loveliness.

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

Let us listen to what the Almighty cries: Woe to those who seek to behold the dread day of the Lord; for it is darkness; for it will test all things by fire.

Glory.

I worship the Father, without beginning through birth or cause; I glorify the Son who was begotten; I praise the Holy Spirit who shines forth with the Father and the Son.

Both now. Theotokion.

How does milk gush from your breasts, O Virgin? How do you nourish him who nourishes creation? He knows, who made water spring from a rock, veins of water for the thirsty people, as it is written.

Prokeimenon, Tone 3.

Blessed is the way on which you journey today, for a place of rest has been prepared for you (x3)

Verse: To you I shall cry, O Lord my God, do not be silent towards me; never be silent towards me or I shall become like those who go down to the pit.

Deacon: Wisdom!

Reader: The Reading is from the First Epistle of Paul to the Thessalonians.

[4, 13-18]

Deacon: Let us attend.

Reader:
Brethren, I do not wish you to be ignorant about those who have fallen asleep, so that you may not grieve like the rest who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, so too God will bring with him those who sleep through Jesus. We tell you this by the Lords word, that we who are left alive at the Lords coming will by no means precede those sleep. Because the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a shout, at the voice of an Archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are left alive will be snatched up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and so we shall all be with the Lord.

Priest: Peace to you.

Reader: And to your Spirit. Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia. Tone 6.
Verse: Blessed is the one whom you have chosen and taken, O Lord.

Deacon: Wisdom, stand upright! Let us listen to the Holy Gospel.

Priest: Peace to all.

People: And to your spirit.

Priest: The Reading is from the Holy Gospel according to John.

[5, 24-30]

People: Glory to you, O Lord, glory to you!

Priest: Let us attend.
The Lord said to the Jews who had come to him, Amen, Amen I say to you, that one who hears my word and believes in him who sent me has eternal life; and is not coming to judgement, but has passed over from death to life. Amen, Amen I say to you that the hour is coming and is now, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who have heard will live. For just as the Father has life in himself, so he has given to Son to have life in himself. And he has given him authority to deliver judgement also, because he is son of man. Do not marvel at this; because the hour is coming in which all who are in the tombs will hear his voice; and they will come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, but those who have done ill to the resurrection of judgement. I can do nothing of myself; as I hear, I judge, and my judgement is just; because I do not seek my will, but the will of the Father who sent me.

People: Glory to you, O Lord, glory to you!

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

Reader: Lord, have mercy.

Deacon: Again we pray for the repose of the soul of the servant of God, N., who has fallen asleep, and that he/she may be pardoned every offence, both voluntary and involuntary.

Deacon: That the Lord our God may establish his/her soul where the righteous rest.

Reader: Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.

Deacon: The mercies of God, the kingdom of heaven and the forgiveness of his/her sins, let us ask of Christ, our immortal King and God.

Reader: Grant this, O Lord.

Deacon: Let us pray to the Lord.

Reader: Lord, have mercy.

And after this is finished the senior Priest, or the Bishop, if one is present, says the following prayer out loud, going and standing near the body; while the other Priests do the same. Note that every time the Deacon says the Litany each of the Priests in order says this prayer quietly during the Litany as he stands by the body and then the conclusion out loud.

Priest:
O God of spirits and all flesh, who trampled down death and crushed the devil, giving life to your world; do you, Lord, give rest to the soul of your servant N., who has fallen asleep, in a place of light, a place of green pasture, a place of refreshment, whence pain, grief and sighing have fled away. Pardon, O God, as you are good and love of mankind, every sin committed by him/her in word or deed or thought, because there is no one who will live and not sin, for you alone are without sin; your righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and your word is truth.

For you are the resurrection, the life and the repose of your servant N., who has fallen asleep, Christ our God, and to you we give glory, together with your Father who is without beginning and your all-holy, good and life-giving Spirit, now and for ever, and to the ages of ages.

People: Amen.

And after this, the Final Greeting takes place, and we sing the following Verses, prosomia.
Tone 2. When from the tree.

Come, let us give the final kiss, brethren, to the dead, as we give thanks to God; because he/she has left his/her family and is hastening to the grave, he/she has no further care for things of no moment, affairs of the much-wearied flesh. Where now are his/her relatives and friends? Now as we are parted let us pray that the Lord will give him/her rest.

What is this parting, O brethren? What the grieving, what the lamentation in this present instant? Come then, kiss him/her who a moment ago was with us; he/she is being entrusted to a grave, covered by a stone, left to dwell in darkness, buried with the dead; all we his/her relatives and friends as we are now being parted, let us pray that the Lord will give him/her rest.

Now the whole wretched festival of lifes vanity is being dissolved; for the spirit has left its dwelling, the clay has turned black, the vessel has been broken, without voice, without sensation, without movement; as we escort him/her to the grave. Let us pray that the Lord will give him/her rest for ever.

What is our life? Merely a flower, a vapour and morning dew. Come then, let us look closely at the graves; where is the bodys beauty? Where its youth? Where are the eyes and the form of the flesh? All have withered like grass, all have vanished; come, let us fall down before Christ with tears.

Great the weeping and lamentation, great the sighing and constraint at the parting of the soul; Hell and destruction, the life of transitory things, the insubstantial shadow, the sleep of error, the untimely fancied toil of earthly life. Let us fly far from every worldly sin that we may inherit the things of heaven.

As we look on one who lies dead let us accept this expression of the final moment; for he/she passes like smoke from the earth, he/she blossomed like a flower, was cut down like grass, is wrapped in a winding sheet, hidden in earth. When we have left him/her out of sight, let us pray to Christ to give him/her rest for ever.

Come, offspring of Adam, let us look at one in our image who has been laid in earth, who has discarded all his/her beauty, been dissolved in a grave by the rottenness of worms, wasted by darkness, hidden in earth. When we have left him/her out of sight, let us pray to Christ to give him/her rest for ever.

When the soul is about to be snatched by force from the body by fearsome Angels, it forgets relatives and friends and its concern is for its stand at the coming trial of vanity and much wearied flesh. Come, let us all beseech the Judge and pray that the Lord pardon all that he/she has done.

Come, brethren, let us look in the tomb at the ashes and dust, from which we were fashioned. Where are we now going? What have we become? What is a poor person, what a rich? What a master, what a free? Are they not all ashes? The beauty of the face has rotted and death has withered all the flower of youth.

Truly all the pleasant and glorious things of life are vanity and corruption! For we all depart, we shall all die, monarchs and rulers, judges and potentates, rich and poor and every mortal being. For now those that were once in life have been cast into tombs. May the Lord give them rest we pray.

Now all the bodys organs are idle, that a little while ago were active; all useless, dead, insensible; for eyes are dimmed, feet bound, hands lie still and hearing with them, tongue is locked in silence, is entrusted to a grave; truly everything human is vanity.

Theotokion.

Save those who hope in you, All-pure Mother of the unsetting Sun, who bore God; with your prayers, we beg you, ask him who is supremely good to give rest where the souls of the righteous are at rest to him/her who has passed over; make him/her heir to good things in the courts of the just to eternal memory.

Glory. Tone 6.

As you see me lying without voice and without breath, all weep for me, brothers and friends, relatives and acquaintances; for only yesterday I was talking with you, and suddenly the dread hour of death came upon me. But come, all who loved me, and kiss me for the last time; for I shall not walk with you again, nor speak with you any more; because I am on my way to the Judge, with whom there is no respect of persons; for slave and master stand alike before him, king and soldier, rich and poor, with the same rank; for each will be glorified or shamed in accordance with their own deeds. But I ask and implore you all, pray for me without ceasing to Christ God, that I may not be condemned because of my sins to the place of torment, but that he will establish me in the place of the light of life.

Both now. Theotokion, the same Tone.

At the prayers of her who gave you, birth, O Christ, and of your Forerunner, of the Apostles, Prophets, Hierarchs, Ascetics, of the Just and of all the Saints, give rest to your servant who has fallen asleep.

Holy God, Holy Strong, Holy Immortal, have mercy on us (three times).

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

All-holy Trinity, have mercy on us. Lord, cleanse us from our sins. Master, pardon our iniquities. Holy One, visit and heal our infirmities for your names sake. Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.

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

Our Father, in heaven, may your name be hallowed, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors, and do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.

Priest: For yours is the Kingdom, the power and the glory, of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, now and for ever, and to the ages of ages.

Reader: Amen.

Then the following troparia are sung in the 4th Tone:

With the spirits of the righteous made perfect in death give rest, O Saviour, to the soul of your servant; keeping it for the life of blessedness with you, O Lover of mankind.

In your repose where all your saints find rest, give rest, O Lord, 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 our God who descended into Hell and did away with the pains of those who had been bound; give rest, O Saviour, also to the soul of your servant.

Both now and for ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen. Theotokion.

O only pure and spotless Virgin, who bore God without seed, intercede for the salvation of the soul of your servant.

Reader: Amen.

Priest: Glory to you, Christ God, our hope, glory to you.

Reader: Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, both now and ever and to the ages of ages. Amen. Lord have mercy (x3). Holy father, bless.

The Priest gives the Dismissal as follows:

May he who has authority over the living and the dead, as immortal King, and who rose from the dead, Christ, our true God, through the intercessions of his most pure and holy Mother, of the holy, glorious and all-praised Apostles, of our venerable and God-bearing fathers, of the holy and glorious forefathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, of the holy and righteous Lazarus, dead for four days, the friend of Christ, and of all the Saints, establish in the tents of the righteous the soul of his servant who has gone from us, give him/her rest in the bosom of Abraham, and number them him/her with the righteous; and have mercy on us and save us, for he is a good God and loves mankind.

Eternal your memory, our brother/sister, worthy of blessedness and ever-remembered.

Eternal Memory (x3).

And so taking up the remains, we leave for the grave, singing the Holy God etc.

AT THE GRAVESIDE

And the remains are laid in the tomb. The Priest takes some dust with the shovel and scatters it crosswise over the remains, saying:

The earth is the Lords, and its fullness; the world and all who dwell on it.

And after this he pours the oil of the lamp, or the ash from the censer over the remains. And so they fill the grave, as usual, while saying the following Troparia.

With the spirits of the righteous made perfect in death give rest, O Saviour, to the soul of your servant; keeping it for the life of blessedness with you, O Lover of mankind.

In your repose where all your saints find rest, give rest, O Lord, 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 our God who descended into Hell and did away with the pains of those who had been bound; give rest, O Saviour, also to the soul of your servant.

Both now and for ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen. Theotokion.

O only pure and spotless Virgin, who bore God without seed, intercede for the salvation of the soul of your servant.

Reader: Amen.

Priest: Glory to you, Christ God, our hope, glory to you.

Reader: Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, both now and ever and to the ages of ages. Amen. Lord have mercy (x3). Holy father, bless.

The Priest gives the Dismissal as follows:

May he who has authority over the living and the dead, as immortal King, and who rose from the dead, Christ, our true God, through the intercessions of his most pure and holy Mother, of the holy, glorious and all-praised Apostles, of our venerable and God-bearing fathers, of the holy and glorious forefathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, of the holy and righteous Lazarus, dead for four days, the friend of Christ, and of all the Saints, establish in the tents of the righteous the soul of his servant who has gone from us, give him/her rest in the bosom of Abraham, and number them him/her with the righteous; and have mercy on us and save us, for he is a good God and loves mankind.

Eternal your memory, our brother/sister, worthy of blessedness and ever-remembered.

Eternal Memory (x3).

 


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Archimandrite Ephrem �

This page was last updated on 03 November 2008