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How Long Is a Greek Orthodox Funeral?

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    When we lose someone close to us, it is always a challenging time. It may be difficult to understand what is expected of us during this time and how long a funeral service in the Greek Orthodox tradition may last.

    From the very beginning to the very end, this article will walk you through everything that you can possibly anticipate happening.

    Funeral services are conducted somewhat differently in accordance with each religious tradition.

    The process of laying a person to rest in the Greek Orthodox Church is governed by a specific canon of rituals, customs, and ethical standards.

    Let Peter Tziotzis Orthodox Funerals help you select the type of funeral service that best fits your needs.

    The speed with which funerals and burials are planned, typically within twenty-four to forty-eight hours, reflects the Greek Orthodox religion's acceptance of death.

    If you are not a member of the Greek Orthodox faith, it is possible that you will be unprepared for the solemn ceremonies that are going to take place.

    Beliefs Regarding Death

    Many adherents of the Greek Orthodox Christian faith believe that when a person dies, the soul is severed from the body.

    They believe that when Christ returns to this world a second time, the final judgement will be given to each soul, which will result in the soul spending eternity in either Heaven or Hell, depending on which place it was assigned during the judgement.

    FAQs About Funerals

    In short, no. Under current law, funeral wishes in a will are not legally binding. The executors appointed in a will have ownership of the body and are technically considered the decision-makers with regards to funeral arrangements.

    The following will clauses can be added to your own collection as further options where a client expresses a desire to be cremated at death. I hereby direct that my body be cremated and that my ashes be disposed of in such manner as my executor or executors shall, in their discretion, deem appropriate.

    “Good and contented souls” are instructed “to depart to the mercy of God.” They leave the body, “flowing as easily as a drop from a waterskin”; are wrapped by angels in a perfumed shroud, and are taken to the “seventh heaven,” where the record is kept.

    Can a creditor go after joint tenancy assets? Joint tenancy (with rights of survivorship) is extremely common between spouses and in nearly all cases creditors very little to no rights against property held in joint tenancy between the deceased person and the joint tenant.

    Quite often the peripheral bones of the hands and feet will not be burned to such a high intensity as those at the centre of the body, where most fat is located.

    Greek Funeral Etiquette

    The funeral service in Greek Orthodox tradition is regarded as a solemn rite and can take anywhere from half an hour to an hour to complete.

    Everyone who attends the funeral is expected to dress appropriately, which typically consists of sombre, dark clothing for women and dark jackets and ties for men.

    The viewing of the body during a Greek Orthodox funeral is completely discretionary and up to the guests in attendance. However, an open casket is typically used for the service if the condition of the deceased's body permits it.

    Guests at a funeral service will frequently greet the families of the deceased and offer their condolences by saying something along the lines of "may their memory be eternal," "may you have an abundant life," or "may memory eternal."

    Funeral Service

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    The Trisagion, which takes place the evening before the Funeral Service, is a brief service that lasts no longer than ten minutes at most. The Trisagion is typically held at seven or 7:30 in the evening.

    During this Service, as well as the Funeral Service that will be held the following day, we pray that the Lord will grant forgiveness of sins and rest to the soul of the deceased "in the bosom of Abraham" (Luke 16:22-23), together with Christ and the saints, in a place where "there is no pain, no sorrow, and no suffering" (Revelation 21:4).

    The Orthodox Funeral Service is held at the Church (usually 10 or 11 am) and usually is about an hour long. Peter Tziotzis Orthodox Funerals will always find creative ways to pull costs in line with your budget.

    The Funeral Service is primarily comprised of the singing of verses from Psalm 119, a series of hymns on the meaning of life and death composed by St. John of Damascus (676-749AD), Scripture readings from St. Paul's First Letter to the Thessalonians 4:13-18 and the Gospel of John 5:24-30, and a brief homily/eulogy delivered by the Priest. The Funeral Service is also known as a Funeral Mass.

    It is important to keep in mind that according to the custom of Orthodox Christians, the homily or eulogy may only be given by the Priest during the services in the church.

    In the event that friends and family members wish to speak with one another and recall memories, they are welcome to do so at the Makaria.

    A dramatic conversation takes place during the Scripture readings, prayers, and hymns that make up the Funeral Service between God, the person who has passed away, and everyone else who is present.

    The Service recognises the harrowing truths of human existence and the fragility of life, but it also serves to remind those in attendance of the boundless compassion and love that God possesses. However, it also speaks of the power of the Risen Christ, the Kingdom of God, the Resurrection of the dead, and immortality. It asks us to "ponder how brief our life is," but it also speaks of these things.

    Following the conclusion of the Service, everyone in attendance is beckoned forwards to pay their last respects to the person who has passed away by kissing an icon depicting the Resurrection.

    After the members of the congregation and the family have given their loved one what is referred to as "the final kiss" during the Funeral Service, the Priest will anoint the body of the deceased with oil and earth while reciting several verses from the Holy Scriptures. This will take place in the shape of a cross.

    During the time when oil is being applied, the Priest will say: "Psalm 51:7 says, "Wash me with hyssop, and I shall be pure; cleanse me, and I shall be whiter than snow." After that, he says, "The world is the Lord's, and the fullness thereof."

    Psalm 24:1 says that God owns the earth and everyone who lives on it, and Ecclesiastes 3:19 says, "You are dust, and to dust you shall return." " (Genesis 3:19).

    The Trisagion Service for the Departed

    how long is a greek orthodox funeral (2)

    The "Trisagion Service" is a brief service for a deceased person that is chanted and performed by the Priest. The following is a list of common times when the Service is provided:

    • In the immediate aftermath of the passing of a person, either at home or in a hospital.
    • The evening before the Funeral Service, at the funeral home or the Church, whichever is more convenient for the family.
    • At the cemetery, immediately following the Funeral Service.

    (After the Trisagion, right before the coffin is lowered into the grave, the Priest pours oil crosswise on the departed while saying, "Sprinkle me with hyssop, and I shall be pure; cleanse me, and I shall be whiter than snow. " He then throws sand into the grave while proclaiming, "The earth is the Lord's and all that fills it, the world and all who dwell in it." You are dust, and to dust, you shall return." Peter Tziotzis Orthodox Funerals will always find creative ways to pull costs in line with your budget.

    • After three days had passed. (This day typically falls the night before a funeral service or on the day of a funeral, in which case the Service has already been carried out)
    • At the end of the ninth day, at the graveyard.
    • A Memorial Service (Mnimosino) is held in the Church during the Divine Liturgy on the fortieth day, or more commonly, on the Sunday before the fortieth day. During this service, the Trisagion is also chanted.

    On the fortieth day after the funeral, the family and the Priest travel to the cemetery to carry out the Trisagion.

    In a similar fashion, a Memorial Service is held in the Church on the third, sixth, ninth, and twelve months, as well as annually, and a Trisagion is performed at the cemetery.

    In addition, the Church remembers those who have passed away on every Saturday of the year, particularly on "Saturdays of the Souls," although this practise applies to all Saturdays.

    Both the Saturday before the feast of Pentecost and the Saturday before meat fare Sunday, which occurs a week before the beginning of Lent, are considered to be Saturdays of the souls.

    (Saturdays of the Souls are celebrated on the Saturday before Cheesefare Sunday and the Saturday of the first week of Lent in Greece and Australia, respectively.)

    A Mnimosino is held at the Church on the Saturdays of the Souls for the benefit of all those who have passed away.

    "Kollyva," which is boiled wheat mixed with sugar, sultanas, and other ingredients, is something the family brings to the church for the Memorial Service (Mnimosino).

    When attending a Trisagion, the family is welcome—and encouraged—to bring Kollyva to share with the congregation after the Service has concluded.

    (The practise of throwing the plate of kollyva into the grave and breaking it is not a Christian practise or a custom of the Church; as a result, it is discouraged because it is not a Christian practise or a custom of the Church.)

    Memorials are encouraged to be held on the third day after a person has passed away, as recommended by the Apostolic Constitutions. This is to symbolise Christ's death and resurrection on the third day.

    The ninth day, "as a reminder of the living and the dead," and "on the fortieth day," according to a practise that dates back thousands of years.

    (In this manner, the people of Israel expressed their grief over the loss of the great Moses.) St. Symeon of Thessaloniki gives the following interpretations of these significant days: "The Holy Trinity is the focus of the three-day Memorial that we keep because it is from the Holy Trinity that we derive both our existence and our life.

    The Memorials that span nine days serve to bring to mind the nine orders of holy Angels, one of which our cherished one has been numbered.

    The ascension of our Savior is being commemorated on the fortieth day of the Memorial. The holy trinity is represented by the three-month, six-month, and nine-month periods ".

    The "Kolyva" (which literally translates to "boiled wheat") also has its own symbolic meaning within the Church. The belief that life can be preserved forever is symbolised by the boiled wheat kernels.

    In the same way that a new life can emerge from a dormant kernel of wheat, the Church has faith that those who have passed away will one day be resurrected to a new life with God. When a loved one dies, the last thing you want to worry about is funeral arrangements. Peter Tziotzis Orthodox Funerals offers a diverse religious and traditional funeral services that will accommodate your needs and reflect the life of your loved one.

    Sugar and sultanas are used to coat the wheat as a representation of the joy that comes with living forever in heaven.

    The Trisagion Service Is as Follows:

    This is followed by the well-known prayer known as the Trisagion, which reads, "Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, have mercy on us."

    In point of fact, the reason why the Service is called Trisagion is because it starts with these three steps.

    After that comes a prayer addressed to the Holy Trinity, followed by the Lord's Prayer. After that comes a quartet of hymns:

    • "Give rest, O Saviour, to the soul of your servant, with the spirits of the righteous made perfect,"...
    • "In Your Eternal Peace, O Lord, where all of Your Saints are Resting, also Rest...."
    • "You are our God, who descended into Hades and put an end to the suffering of all those who were imprisoned...."
    • "O Virgin, you are the only one who is perfect in every way... pray that the soul of your servant may be saved. I am at your disposal."

    A series of petitions and a prayer offered by the Priest are the next steps in the process of offering penance for the sins of the deceased.

    After that comes the concluding blessing, in which we ask God to grant the departed "rest in the bosom of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob."

    The concluding exclamation, which reads, "May your memory be eternal, our brother, (or sister), worthy of being deemed happy and ever to be remembered."

    Burial

    how long is a greek orthodox funeral

    Following the funeral, those who attended the service gather at the cemetery to pay their respects.

    An abbreviated ceremony called a Trisagion, which consists of the hymns that were sung during the closing of the funeral, comes before the burial.

    After the hymns have been sung, the Priest will offer any final blessings over the casket. Mourners are welcome to stay through the process of lowering the casket.

    They frequently place flowers and soil in the grave as an act of respect. A grave should be oriented towards the east, according to the Greek Orthodox faith.

    Cremation is not permitted in this location. Following the burial, the mourners will get together for a meal known as the Makaria, during which fish will be served.

    Fish has long been regarded as a significant symbol in Christian tradition, and during times of bereavement, it can even be eaten as a main course.

    The Makaria is an appropriate time for family members and friends to talk about memories of the deceased. It is inappropriate to bring desserts or flowers to the Makaria. This includes both fresh and dried flowers.

    Mourning Period

    After the funeral and burial, guests are welcome to pay their condolences to the family. In the company of friends and loved ones, some light refreshments are shared. The most common drinks and snacks served are brandy, coffee, wine, and cookies known as paximathia.

    On the third day after the person's passing, members of the family and the priest pay a visit to the grave. After a person's death, Greek Orthodox Christians believe that the soul continues to exist for another three days.

    A plate of boiled wheat, known as koliva, is blessed by the Priest next to the grave, and then the koliva is dispersed into the wind.

    Following this, the plate is broken ceremonially on top of the tombstone, which is meant to represent the liberation of the soul from the body.

    After this, there will be a period of official mourning lasting for forty days. When paying a visit to the family during this time, you should refrain from bringing any flowers or sweets with you.

    The passage of time from Christ's resurrection to his ascension serves as the basis for the mourning period of forty days.

    Mourners traditionally withdraw from social life for a period of forty days, avoiding activities such as parties and other celebrations in particular. There is nothing unusual about extending the period of mourning all the way up to six years. Widows and widowers who are in mourning may decide to wear black clothing for the rest of their lives.

    Memorial Service

    After nine days have passed, there will be a brief memorial service.

    Another memorial service is held at the cemetery on the final Sunday of the period of mourning, which is 40 days long. This service commemorates the soul's ascent into Heaven.

    Following the conclusion of the Service, friends and family get together for a meal of coffee, brandy, and cakes, as well as koliva, which is a drink made from parsley, nuts, pomegranate seeds, and sugar.

    Each component of the dish known as koliva is meant to represent something different. Memorial services are repeated every three and seven years after the initial service.

    In the Greek Orthodox Church, giving to charity in memory of a deceased person is a time-honored tradition. People frequently make financial contributions to the Church in memory of departed loved ones, as well as contributions to various ministries and parish projects.

    Greek Orthodox Church's Views on Grief, Mourning Periods and Remembering the Dead

    It is customary for members of the immediate family to take the week following the funeral off from work, during which time they open their homes to friends and neighbours for brief visits.

    During a vigil, candles and incense are lit to represent the presence of the people's departed loved ones, and the attendees meditate and pray during this time.

    Services in memory of a deceased person are traditionally held one week after the funeral. This Service is almost exactly the same as the funeral service, with the exception of the presence of the casket.

    This Service also contains the funeral readings and psalms that were read at the funeral, as well as the Trisagion. After the passing of a loved one, there are often multiple memorial services held.

    These memorial services are held exactly one week, forty days, and one year after the person's passing, respectively. In honour of the deceased individual, some families and church communities hold memorial services on an annual basis.

    The expression of gratitude is the first event that takes place in remembrance of this occasion. Those in attendance express their gratitude to God for bestowing the gift of eternal life on the departed.

    By participating in this Service, they are demonstrating that they have faith in the continuation of life after death.

    It is important to observe the 40-day memorial mark because it represents the time when Jesus rose from the dead. In most cases, families will get together at a church, a gravesite, or the residence of a family member. This is a time for the community to come together and work through its grief before moving on.

    Despite the fact that their religion holds the belief that there is life after death, they acknowledge the reality of grief and the necessity of working through it.

    Even though the grief does not go away after the 40th day, it does bring some sense of peace because it preserves the memories and the stories of the deceased.

    The 40-day Memorial serves as an active grieving process for those who are participating. The community comforts one another by telling stories, lamenting, and praising one another aloud. Here at Peter Tziotzis Orthodox Funerals, we provide Orthodox funeral services.

    This is a novel approach to commemorating life while also addressing loss head-on rather than ignoring it altogether. They make room for suffering, which ultimately leads to healing for themselves and others.

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