At the St. John the Evangelist Church in Toronto, a Memorial Service will be held on Saturday February 10th (10am – 12pm) and Saturday March 24th, 10am – 12pm, after The Divine Liturgy.
The Romanian Orthodox Church decided to have a Memorial for all our deceased loved ones. Since we don’t know where the deceased are, we pray for those in Heaven and those in Hell.
Why do we need to remember the dead?
The Church call those who are deceased “asleep”, the term we use when we refer to the state where one can still get up again. It doesn’t refer to someone who is lost forever but to someone who lived in one life but moves on to their eternal life. Christ decided that the word “asleep” would mean resurrection. When Jesus reached the house of Iair, whose daughter was only 12 and just died, said: “Do not cry; she isn’t dead, but asleep” (Luke: 8,52).
According to The Scripture, after death we go to The Judgment which determines either eternal happiness or eternal suffering, depending on your deeds on earth. These decisions are not permanent but only last until The Universal Judgement where the final judgement takes place. We, Orthodox Christians, pray for the deceased because we believe that through our prayers, the souls of our loved ones will reach The Universal Judgement in a better state than when it first departed from its body.