Orthodox Christian funeral - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 3 Old 12-29-2009, 03:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Since folks here ask about Orthodox Christianity from time to time, I thought I would share photos I took (as well as a link to the audio) from an Orthodox funeral. But it just wasn't *any* funeral - it was that of our much beloved Archbishop Job of the Orthodox Church in America's Diocese of Chicago and the Midwest. I was part of the choir and, as a result, had a most excellent place to take pictures from. The archbishop was gentle, prayerful, had a wonderful sense of humor, and willing to talk to anyone. He was not standoffish at all. Most will remember him for his standing up over the past few years when some not-so-nice stuff was going on in our national church. Largely due to his rock-like sensibility - we have a new metropolitan (head bishop), old one retired, and things cleaned up and much, much better.

The usual Orthodox funeral takes a bit more than an hour (the Divine Liturgy, or Eucharist is usually not part of it), but since this was for a bishop (and the same service would be done for a priest), it was nearly three hours. All standing (except those of us in choir who could find a spot sat for the homily). All music is acapella. Music is overwhelmingly in the Russian/Slavic tradition. The bells you hear some are attached to the censer (we like our incense!). Psalm 119 (the longest Psalm) forms the core of the beginning of the service.



Best to download to your computer so you can skip around as you wish. There are many parts where all the clergy sing, alternating with the choir. When those of us in the choir first heard the clergy (11-12 bishops and something like 50 priest) sing, "Give rest, O Lord, to the soul of Thy departed servant," we just felt chills - it was so heartfelt and powerful.

Memory eternal, Vladyka!

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#2 of 3 Old 12-29-2009, 09:38 PM
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Thank you for posting the photos. I think the Orthodox funeral is one of the church's most moving and inspiring services, and also one of the most instructive. The funeral of a monastic or bishop is particularly special. Condolences to you and your community, and memory eternal to Vladyka Job.
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#3 of 3 Old 12-31-2009, 01:24 AM
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Thank you for sharing those.

The truest answer to violence is love. The truest answer to death is life. The only prevention for violence is for the heart to have no violence within it.  We cannot prevent evil through any system devised by mankind. But we can grapple with evil and defeat it, but only with love—real love.

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