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Prayers for the dead.

Discussion in 'St. Justin Martyr's Corner: Debate an Orthodox Chr' started by Mountainmike, Feb 23, 2021.

  1. Mountainmike

    Mountainmike Well-Known Member Supporter

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    This isnt so much of a debate, as my attempt to understand orthodox thinking.
    Prayers for the dead, what happens to souls before heaven? resurrection?

    Starting point I assume uncontested?

    -Sheol was how the OT refers to a place where the dead await resurrection.

    -Jews in some sense pray for the dead.

    -Maccabees speaks of prayers for the dead so that sins are forgiven.

    -Some quotes of Jesus showed he quoted the septuagint specifically and historically it can be shown Maccabees was in the septuagint. Indeed the feast of dedication referring to hanukkah is in both OT. So maccabees may be apocrypha but it is mainstream.

    -Jesus after death, in some sense preaches to dead or spirits in prison 1 peter 3:19



    My question then, is what do orthodox make of all this? I know they reject purgatory, but I understand purgation is accepted.

    My understanding is whilst orthodox dont accept purgatory , what happens is left as a mystery, so undefined? Is that true?

    Do orthodox pray for the dead? And in what sense do they consider such prayer is useful or has efficacy?

    I once heard kallistos ware talking about ways the schism coudl be repaired , speaking of purgatory, saying if it was regarded as a state rather than place, a hospital rather than prison, catholic and orthodox are not so far apart.

    I am not after contesting orthodox belief just understanding it!
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2021
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  2. Lukaris

    Lukaris Orthodox Christian Supporter

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    On a personal level I think of the accounts of the resurrection & the Lords commandments from Matthew 22:23-40. The Lord affirms the resurrection, says God is of the living ( Matthew 22:32), & then that we are to love God & neighbor. I just think within this area, the Lord affirms life in its totality & the totality of the commandments. We actually pray for all the living which include the earthly departed who await resurrection.

    Interestingly in Ruth 2:20, Naomi says those who remember kindness to the living & dead are blessed. Plus in John 5:22-30 ( etc.) all await the final judgment, so, I would think, we should pray for all & just trust in God to know what is best.

    Lastly, I eventually recall a person here in TAW ( cannot recall, wish I could) who profoundly recalled the Lord praying for Lazarus in John 11 ( John 11:38-44).
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2021
  3. ArmyMatt

    ArmyMatt Regular Member Supporter

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    we do pray for the dead. St Paul also does it.

    we pray for the dead out of love for them, and since God is outside of time, it's never too late to make such a prayer.
     
  4. HTacianas

    HTacianas Well-Known Member

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    The Orthodox Church does not reject purgatory, except by name. The idea exists within Orthodoxy but it's more of a "if it is, it is" type thing. But there is an "intermediate state" of the dead prior to the general resurrection. Those righteous saints who die pass into the presence of God, but others may or may not. In any event, prayers for the dead are just as appropriate as prayers for a sick person. We pray that God might heal them. The final disposition of souls is entirely up to God.
     
  5. Mountainmike

    Mountainmike Well-Known Member Supporter

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    thanks all:

    “God outside of time, so never too late”

    An interesting way to consider it- not heard that expressed before.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2021
  6. prodromos

    prodromos Senior Veteran Supporter

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    On what do you base this claim? The Catholic doctrine regarding purgatory is that only the saved go through it, and those that do will endure suffering. We have no such belief in the Orthodox Church. Those who are destined to paradise experience a foretaste of that destiny. They do not suffer. The doctrine of purgatory is also tightly bound to the Catholic concept of the "Treasury of Merits" which is also alien to the Orthodox Church.
     
  7. HTacianas

    HTacianas Well-Known Member

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    See the Confession of Dositheus here:

    The Confession of Dositheus (Eastern Orthodox)
     
  8. Mountainmike

    Mountainmike Well-Known Member Supporter

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    As I said, I thought Orthodox regarded it as a hospital for healing, rather than a prison.
    Do you have biblical support for the idea there is no suffering?
    Just trying to understand the view not contest it. One answer I received years ago from an orthodox lined up with the phrase 'if it is, it is', that is : it is left as a mystery.
     
  9. Mountainmike

    Mountainmike Well-Known Member Supporter

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  10. prodromos

    prodromos Senior Veteran Supporter

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  11. ArmyMatt

    ArmyMatt Regular Member Supporter

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  12. Mountainmike

    Mountainmike Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Do you consider decree 18 fair comment of your understanding?

    When I have asked this question before the answers were varied.

    I was asking the orthodox view, rather than critique of the catholic view.
    The difference is in reality nuanced and somewhat lost in the fact that for all it is a mystery.
     
  13. Psalm 27

    Psalm 27 Active Member

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    Hello again!
    Is purgatory mentioned in the Bible?
    Where did the word purgatory originate? :)
     
  14. ArmyMatt

    ArmyMatt Regular Member Supporter

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    in part, yes it is the view, but a lot of Fathers have written a lot about the departed and why we pray for them.
     
  15. ArmyMatt

    ArmyMatt Regular Member Supporter

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    no. it came about in the West. we Orthodox reject purgatory.
     
  16. buzuxi02

    buzuxi02 Veteran

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    We remember our loved ones who have departed by praying for them. Doesn't matter if they were saints or sinners we still pray for them, purgation is irrelevant. In fact praying for them presupposes they are in a place of light as it's confirmation of the communion of the saints both of the church militant and of the church triumphant.
     
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