If you desire to have a Memorial Service for a departed loved one, you should notify the church office well ahead of time. As a general rule, Memorial Services are offered for those departed Orthodox Christians whose funerals took place in the Orthodox Church. Memorial services are not allowed for individuals who have been cremated or, of course, for non-Orthodox Christians, regardless if they have been married to an Orthodox Christian and had their marriage blessed in the Orthodox Church, or were paid stewards of the parish.
Memorial Services are typically offered on the fortieth day after death or on the yearly memorial following death. It is recommended that they be held on Sunday, within the context of the Divine Liturgy, or may also be held as “private” services, on Saturdays, either in church or at the grave. It is not mandatory that Memorial Services be held on the exact anniversary of death; they should be held though as close to the anniversary as possible, preferably before the date or even after.
When preparing for a Memorial Service, you should bring:
- Boiled wheat (kolyva)
- Rosphoro and wine
- List of names to be commemorated.
Memorial services are NOT held on:
- All holy days of the Lord, such as Christmas, Epiphany, Easter, Presentation of Christ, Transfiguration, etc.
- All holy days of the Theotokos, such as the Nativity of the Theotokos, the Entrance into the Temple, the Annunciation, and the Dormition
- From the Saturday of Lazarus up to and including the Sunday of St. Thomas
- Sunday of Pentecost