Each person is allotted only a limited period of his earthly sojourn. The Holy Church constantly calls her children to be aware of this and during the life to purify the soul. Prayer and repentance that will prepare her for the inevitable. But then came the moment when the soul parted from the mortal body, and to help her we have remaining on this side of life and death. To do this, and there are memorial prayers for the departed.
The days of remembrance established after the death
The Orthodox Church teaches that the memorial prayer is especially necessary for the deceased in the third, ninth and fortieth day after the departure to another world. According to tradition, the day of death is the first. Why does the Holy Church has established it is these days for special remembrance? To understand this, we have to turn to Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition.
Prayer for the dead on the third day
In this case, the number three is associated with a three-day stay in the tomb of the son of God. According to Sacred Tradition, two day soul holds close to her abandoned body, or is accompanied by an angel to the places that she had valued living. It is a kind of farewell to all that remains forever in this world. The next day, the Creator calls upon it to ascend to Heaven to worship Him ― the Lord of the living and the dead. There is no doubt that the funeral prayer is essential to the one who stands before the Face of God.
The commemoration of the ninth day
The ninth day, according to Church tradition, marks the nine ranks of angels ― Ministers of God and prayer books in front of Him for us sinners. It is considered that from the third to the ninth day the soul is in Paradise, contemplating the situation of the eternal bliss that awaits the righteous. At the end of this period, it is once again filled with fear and trembling, bows before the Throne of God. And again the only thing that could bring her relief, is our prayer for the dead.
Prayer for the fortieth day
The number forty mentioned everywhere in the Bible. That's forty days of fasting, after which the prophet Moses was granted to hear the words of God at Sinai. This and the forty years wandering of the Jews through the desert, and for forty days, after which occurred the ascension of the risen Jesus. This list is far from complete.
Memorial prayer on the fortieth day is necessary for the reason that after his secondary standing at the Throne of the Almighty, the soul falls into hell, where angels give her the deepest suffering, which sinners undergo. When expire for forty days, the soul returns to the Lord, where the Supreme judge indicates a place prepared for her in her earthly Affairs. There the soul will have to wait for the end of the world and the promised resurrection. Be it Paradise or hell-hole ― depends on the Will of God, and our prayer for the dead can help the poor soul.
The birth of the soul to a new reality
In addition to the above days, it is customary to remember the dead and the anniversary of their death. This is understandable, since a year represents the great liturgical cycle, after which again all not passing the holidays. That is why these days the souls of the departed badly needed our prayers.
Memorial Orthodox prayers should always be combined with a heartfelt remembrance of a loved one, gone from us into the world of memories and leave a trace in our heart. You must understand that was his birth for a new life. The soul is in reality, which is for her new, stay at first frightens her. Here and need our prayerful help and support. But effective it can be only under condition of its sincerity and warmth.
The days of prayers for all those who have passed away
The Orthodox Church has also established special days on which we do prayers for all who have left this world. These include: meat-fare Saturday ― the last Saturday before sugavanam meat on lent, Trinity Sunday before the feast of Pentecost, day of rejoicing, coming on the Tuesday after St. Thomas the week, and Saturday the second, third and fourth weeks of Lent.
These days of prayer ascend from century all departed Orthodox Christians, vouchsafed Christian death, regardless of the circumstances under which she came. Prayer on the memorial day ascend in the temple of God, and a home with relatives. The funeral service performed in the universal remembrance of the days, is called Universal, because addressed to all souls, departed to another world.
The Holy Church calls us to remember the dead. There is no need to wait for special days listed above. Remembrance can be made for each Liturgy. To do this, you must only submit to the Agency a note with the names of those who should remember. It is important to note that this note indicates only the names of baptized Orthodox Christians. The Church does not preclude the remembrance not of the baptized people and the Gentiles, but this should be done at home.