• Welcome to Christian Forums
  1. Welcome to Christian Forums, a forum to discuss Christianity in a friendly surrounding.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to be able to join in fellowship with Christians all over the world.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon and God Bless!

  2. The forums in the Christian Congregations category are now open only to Christian members. Please review our current Faith Groups list for information on which faith groups are considered to be Christian faiths. Christian members please remember to read the Statement of Purpose threads for each forum within Christian Congregations before posting in the forum.

Third Kneeling Prayer at Pentecost for those in Hell

Discussion in 'The Ancient Way - Eastern Orthodox' started by Tube Socks Dude, Sep 1, 2005.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Tube Socks Dude

    Tube Socks Dude Senior Member

    +130
    Christian
    Married
    I would like to know if any of you are familiar with the third kneeling prayer at Pentecost Vespers where supplication is made for those in hell, and would like your opinion at the end of this post.

    Basil the Great, in the prayers read at Pentecost, writes the following: “Who also, on this all-perfect and saving feast, are graciously pleased to accept propitiatory prayers for those who are imprisoned in hell, granting us a great hope of improvement for those who are imprisoned from the defilements which have imprisoned them, and that Thou wilt send down Thy consolation.”

    Another version reads thus: “On this perfect and salutary Feast, make us worthy to utter supplications in favor of those imprisoned in Hades, O Lord, for You promised to grant relief to the dead from the afflictions besetting them, and to send down consolation and repose upon them.”


    In contrast to this, the Coptic Orthodox Church has apparently decided that such prayers are no longer to be contained in their service books. Below is a clip from a lecture delivered by Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev at the KievTheologicalAcademy on September 20, 2002, which addresses this issue and forms the basis of my question.


    http://orthodoxeurope.org/print/12/1.aspx




    This suggests to me that in the minds of the Coptic Orthodox Synod, the force of hell must somehow extend its power into eternity and/or that the term hell no longer merely refers to hades but is now synonymous with the lake of fire. Do any of you think this attitude of hopelessness, abandonment, and suffering of people in hell is spreading from the Oriental Orthodox to the Eastern Orthodox? Is there saving power in such prayers, or do you agree with the Copts that they contradict Orthodox teaching?



    Maverick :cool:

     
    We teamed up with Faith Counseling. Can they help you today?
  2. xristos.anesti

    xristos.anesti Veteran

    +209
    Atheist
    Single
    The Third Prayer
    Again and again on bent knees let us pray to the Lord.

    Lord, have mercy.

    O CHRIST OUR GOD, ever-flowing Fountain, Giver of Life, Light of us all, mighty Creator coeternal with the Father : You fulfilled the plan of our redemption in the most magnificent fashion; You broke the indestructible chains of death and trampled the evil spirits; You offered Yourself as a blameless sacrifice for our sins and procured eternal life for us; You went down into Hades to raise the souls that had been wrapped in its darkness. O Wisdom of the Father, powerful Helper of the Distressed, Light of those who dwell in darkness and in the shadow of death: You are the Lord of everlasting glory, the beloved Son of the Most High, Eternal Light of Eternal Light. Hear our supplications and grant repose to the souls of your servants, our fathers and brothers, our relations by blood, and all those who professed the Faith whose commemoration we celebrate today.

    O Master Almighty, God of our Fathers, Lord of all mercy and Creator of all things living and non-living and of all the nations of the world: You have power over all, You are the Lord of life and death, You have counted the years of life and appointed the hour of death. You order the things of life according to their needs and fittingly dispose what is to come; You raise the dead, returning them to life : You are indeed the Master of all men, our God and Savior, the hope of the world, the safety of those at sea. On this last day of the feast of Pentecost, You have revealed to us the mystery of the Holy Trinity, one in essence, coeternal, undivided and yet distinct. Through the descent of your Holy and Life-Giving Spirit in the form of tongues of fire, You poured out faith upon your apostles and made them witnesses and teachers of the Word of God. On this perfect and salutary Feast, make us worthy to utter supplications in favor of those imprisoned in Hades, O Lord, for You promised to grant relief to the dead from the afflictions besetting them, and to send down consolation and repose upon them. Accept then our prayers, give rest to the souls of your departed servants, in a place of delight and refreshment, where there is no pain, sorrow or sighing; establish them in peace and joy in the mansions of the just. O Lord, the dead send up no praise to You, nor do those who dwell in Hades dare to offer glory to You: but we the living will bless You, and send up our supplications and sacrifices for their souls and our own : for You are the Peace of our souls and bodies, and we send up glory to You, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, now and always and for ever and ever.

    Amin.



    Let us not for a moment imagine that we have the answers,
    lets us not judge the dead by saying that what they have lived is all that matters, and that they can not be prayed for on the other side of life.

    For, so it can happen, that you - O' man who judges, will be the one that will end up in evil and need the prayers of the Church to enter into the mercy. (+Vasilije, bishop of Tuzla and Zvornik)


    I can not comment the oppinion of the Copts nor or anyone else for that matter. I belive that person needs to pray and be prayed for from the time before time to the time after time.

    For God is merciful, and blessed are those who have someone to pray for them. That is why we should pray for all, all the time... even, for the evil one, for there should be certainly a great happines in heaven if the angel of fall would come home.

    I, for one, hold that it is proper and right to give thanks to God, who is the God of living - for in Him - all are alive. Also to pray for all, for in praying for others we are asking for ourselves.


     
  3. Tube Socks Dude

    Tube Socks Dude Senior Member

    +130
    Christian
    Married
    Perhaps I should ask my question this way: When current Eastern Orthodox theolgians speak of hell, do they teach that the term means hades or the lake of fire?

    Thanks,

    Maverick
     
  4. xristos.anesti

    xristos.anesti Veteran

    +209
    Atheist
    Single
  5. Vasya Davidovich

    Vasya Davidovich Veteran

    +101
    Eastern Orthodox
    Married
    Hmm.... Very interesting article, XA. Profound too, and an attractive model for understanding the afterlife. However, I have two serious concerns with it.

    1.
    This bothers me. It seems to tell me that theosis is impossible after my death. That I cannot get any holier than I am at the moment of my demise, but that I am "caught" in a changeless eternity.

    In fact, it more than bothers me. It frightens me.

    2.
    Nowhere in the article does the author describe the afterlife as having a physical reality. He speaks of metaphysical and spiritual experiences of God in the afterlife, but at no time does he address the resurrection in a meaningful way.

    If I am to be resurrected with my body at the eschaton, I need a place to put it. My body cannot exist in a metaphysical, spiritual "condition" (as he puts it). It needs a place, somewhere with three dimensions.

    My impression, due to the words of Christ and the revelation of St. John, was that the afterlife was not just a spiritual reality, but also a place. Christ spoke of "many mansions" and St. John revealed that there descended a new heaven and a new earth, complete with a new Jerusalem. Have I been deceived?

    Is my bodily resurrection to no purpose?

    ... I would greatly appreciate some responses to these themes.
    -Vasya.
     
  6. Vasya Davidovich

    Vasya Davidovich Veteran

    +101
    Eastern Orthodox
    Married

    No, I am not familiar with it. It doesn't surprise me, though.
    Attitudes of hopelessness, abandonment, and suffering in hell have long been a feature of Occidental juridical notions of hell... which notions conflate Sheol/Hades and eternal suffering.

    That the OO have embraced this to the extent that they have removed something from tradition is a tragedy, for it puts yet another obstacle between the OO and the EO.

    Is there saving power? One would hope so, no? One would like to feel that one's prayers are having some effect.

    I am not certain what I believe, except that it must be what the Church has always taught.

    The Church teaches me to pray - well and good. I just don't know what else I am being taught. The hell you mention... is that Sheol/Hades, or is it an eternal experience of God's love as fire? Am I being taught to pray for the dead, or for the "damned"?

    Could you clarify?
     
  7. xristos.anesti

    xristos.anesti Veteran

    +209
    Atheist
    Single
    Vasya, great observation.

    As far as I can understand, the observation highlighted is concerned with Latin dogmatisation of purgatory and implementation of scholastic models onto Theology as well as life.

    This is a complex matter that I really do not understand as it, simply, has not been revealed. So, all we have is leanings from the fathers, images and types.

    The point is, does the afterlife (at present) have space or time or both. Assuming that afterlife (current) is a spiritual place, is it a place at all?


    Coming onto the second part of what you have asked: that is a real question.

    Are Saints and Theotokos in the same space (for she is in-body, they in spirit)? Will there be a change between now-space of afterlife and space-to-come?

    The problem is realising the physical laws onto the theoria at the very moment. I do not have problems seeing solution after Second Coming, for it will all new become - the nature will be changed, thus the laws will be changed. But at the moment, what is and how it is, I just do not know.

    The real problem is separation of physical laws (time-space) at the moment with in-body Theotokos being in the same time-space as spiritual Saints (for their bodies are still burried).

    So, there are just some porblems in trying to tackle this subject.

    Adding to that the very essence of the problem, that we are not supposed to know (for, if we were we would) and you get a even bigger problem.

    Confused? I am.
     
  8. Marjorie

    Marjorie Senior Veteran

    +173
    Catholic
    Single
    I think there is an excellent point made in this thread. We often talk about the Orthodox way of understanding the afterlife, and we also often talk about the Resurrection, but we tend to separate these thoughts when obviously they are THE SAME THING. Some Orthodox theologian needs to write an article that discusses the Orthodox afterlife (i.e. presence of God as heaven and hell) in terms of the BODILY RESURRECTION, which is our only hope and the source of our faith.

    Anyway, to the OP-- hades does not mean "the lake of fire"-- that word is gehenna. Remember that most Orthodox texts were written in Greek. The word hades just refers to death itself.

    in IC XC,
    Marjorie
     
  9. Tube Socks Dude

    Tube Socks Dude Senior Member

    +130
    Christian
    Married
    Is is truly heretical for an Orthodox Christian to believe that theosis is possible after death?

    Maverick
     
  10. Tube Socks Dude

    Tube Socks Dude Senior Member

    +130
    Christian
    Married
    If I understand him correctly, I like what Gregory of Nyssa has to says about this issue of time-space. His word for time extension (lacking in the divinity) is diastema, which is a term he employs for the spacial-temporal dimension. It is that field which allows an unlimited amount of events to unfold. Our experience of its structure is primarily horizontal, not vertical, for it moves from the past to the future as common experience relates. Gregory associates the most basic taxis of our experience, time or chronos, with three constant characteristics or akolouthia: beginning (arkhe), middle (mesoteta) and end (telos). Since the limited nature of space and time falls under the domain of chronos, the place where taxis and akolouthia are found, I believe Gregory says that theosis is a process or (epektasis), which only takes place during the created ages, not beyond. This cosmos had a beginning (arkhe)and will have an end (telos). Yet to the cosmos, as being of creation, there corresponds a proper time, aion or "age" (e.g. I Cor 2:6). This is a period of time proper to the cosmos, and hence internally limited and qualified as the time during which creation is extended. This character of cosmic time permits us to speak of the beginning of time, as well as the consumation of time. Therefore, Gregory seems to teach that theosis occurs between the arkhe and telos of time, rather than in the unchanging eternal state. I hope I understand what he has written correctly. Someone let me know if I am wrong.

    Maverick :cool:
     
  11. Marjorie

    Marjorie Senior Veteran

    +173
    Catholic
    Single
    I think you misread him... he said what bothered him was the idea that theosis was IMpossible after death.

    We believe that we will move from glory to glory infinitely after death... risen life in Christ, which goes on forever, is theosis. You know the writings of St. Gregory of Nyssa though, so you know about his very dynamic writings on the life to come. His writings on that topic are very Orthodox.

    In IC XC,
    Marjorie
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
Loading...