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1143Why we pray for the departed?

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  • Mathew B
    Sep 11, 2002
      Dear Members,

      Lets continue to uphold our church in our prayers
      during these trials and tribulations.

      Let us continue to use this forum to learn more about
      our Church, its rich traditions, and its TRUE faith. I
      learned a lot about the role of St. Mary, from the
      recent discussions during the lent period. I've
      compiled a few points from various resources as to why
      'WE PRAY FOR THE FAITHFUL DEPARTED.' Please do write
      back with more points/inputs regarding the topic.

      1. Its base can be traced to the faith of the
      Israelites. The fact that the Israelites used to pray
      for and offer sacrifices for their dead is mentioned
      in the second book of Maccabees. "....and they turned
      to supplication, praying that the sin that had been
      committed might be wholly blotted out" (2 Mac.12:
      39-45). This is a clear pointer to the faith of the
      Jews, to the fact that the sins of the dead can be
      blotted out through prayers and supplications. In the
      0ld Testament period, prayers for the departed were a
      common practice (Dt. 34: 8).

      2. Ruth 2:20 "..Blesses is the Lord, because he has
      not caused his kindness to cease from the living nor
      from the DEAD." - God is merciful towards the dead

      3. In Matthew's Gospel we read, "Anyone who speaks a
      word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him;
      but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will
      not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age
      to come." (Matthew 12:32) This means that sins can be
      forgiven in the age to come - after death.

      4. 1 Cor. 15:29 - The living received baptism for the

      5. 2 Cor. 5:9 "This is why we are confident, and
      anxious to be absent from the body, and to be present
      with our Lord. Wherefore we endeavor, that whether
      present or absent, we may be pleasing to him." One can
      be acceptable to God even after death.

      6. 1 Peter 4:6 "For, for this cause the Gospel was
      preached also to those who are DEAD, that they might
      be judged according to men in the flesh, and live
      according to God in spirit."

      7. It is most appropriate to pray for God's mercy for
      our beloved, as indeed St. Paul did in the case of his
      friend Onesiphorus, who had apparently died while
      serving Paul in Rome: "may the Lord grant him to find
      mercy from the Lord ON THAT DAY" (2 Timothy 1:16-18).
      "That day" is a reference to the day when Onesiphorus
      stands before Christ to give account for his service
      to God and mankind. So we can always pray for the
      departed and ask our Lord to grant them mercy on the
      day of judgment.
      **(Compiled from various sources)**

      Mathew Aramath
      Member of St. Ignatious Malankara Syrian Orthodox
      Church - Dallas, Texas
      Currently a Student at UT Southwestern Medical Center,
      Home town: puthencruz, Kerala
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