I would put this in the context of similar statements regarding our
communion of the Body and Blood of Christ as being potentially for our
condemnation. The Eucharist is iteself not condemnatory, but our communion
of it, our faith, our sin. In this case, are we praying in an inappropriate
way for someone that has died outside of the Church? Are we praying in a
judgemental, angry way toward God Who will not simply assure us of their
salvation? Are we judging the Church which teaches that there is a
difference between being inside and outside of the Church? Are we
second-guessing God's demarcation of in and outside of the Church, being in
or outside of good standing with the Church, angry that a funeral will not
be held for a suicide or one who has been Orthodox 'in name only'? Are we
questionin whether God knows best and has done right in whatever His
judgement might be?
Fr. John isn't saying that our prayer is a sin, but the prayer is warning us
of the subtle sins that can creep into our seemingly, outwardly 'virtuous'
actions, e.g., prayer.
It is my understanding that prayers for non-Orthodox cannot be offered in
Church, but they are allowed and encouraged privately - fasting, almsgiving,
etc. also being allowed in memory of them. Some Orthodox havve begun
commemorating non-Orthodox in the litanies, at the Great Entrance and in the
Proskemedia, but this seems to be a modern, Western innovation and not
common (or allowed) in traditional Orthodox countries or in monasteries.
On 1/27/08, Travis (Constantine) Stolz <travis.stolz@...> wrote:
> Good evening, everyone.
> I recently asked this question of some friends and thought I would also
> query the list. Perhaps you have heard of the recent avalanche in the San
> Gabriel Mountains here in SoCal. My supervisor's brother was one of the
> victims. He was not Orthodox and I am unsure what prayers I ought to offer.
> Are you familiar with Fr. John Whiteford's article, "How to Set Up a
> Personal Commemoration Book"? http://www.orthodox info.com/praxis/commemora
> Fr. John offers this prayer for the non-Orthodox reposed: "Have mercy, O
> Lord, if it be possible on the souls of Thy departed servants (names), who
> have departed into eternal life in separation from Thy Holy Orthodox Church:
> unsearchable are Thy decrees. Do not account this, my prayer as a sin, but
> may Thy holy will be done."
> I don't quite know what to make of asking God not to account "my prayer as
> a sin." Is it sinful to pray for the non-Orthodox reposed? What exactly does
> this mean? How ought one to pray for the non-Orthodox reposed?
> Travis (Constantine)
> Travis (Constantine) Stolz
> travis.stolz@... <travis.stolz%40yahoo.com>
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