My beloved friends in Christ God,
On Saturday, June 15th (The Fourth Saturday of Souls) following the Divine Liturgy a memorial service will be conducted for our brothers and sisters who have departed.
Through the Apostolic Constitution (Book VII, ch. 42), the Church of Christ has received the tradition to make commemoration for the departed on the third, ninth, and fortieth days after the repose. Since many throughout the ages, because of an untimely death in a faraway place, or other adverse circumstances, have died without being deemed worthy of the appointed memorial services, the Holy Fathers of the Church, being so moved in their love for man, have decreed that a common memorial be made this day for all pious Orthodox Christians who have reposed from all ages past, so that those who did not have particular memorial services may be included in this common one for all. Also, the Church of Christ teaches us that alms (charity) should be given to the poor by the departed one's relatives as a memorial for him.
Our Holy Church offers us another opportunity to remember and honor our dead relatives and friends, our beloved persons who passed away, and all her members by whom we are in communion through God's love and the grace from the Mysteries (Sacraments), beyond this sense of time. To say it in other words, by this care we confirm the unity of the Triumphant (Heavenly) and Militant (Earthly) Church, at our common path to the Kingdom of God, as well as the solidarity of the Body of Christ beyond places, and even biological aspects of human existence.
It is certainly true that in the life of the Church we can honor our deceased brothers, sisters and fathers through many opportunities. From the daily prayer, our specific sequence (thrice, Holy (Trisagion) memorial services, etc.) and also every Saturday is a day dedicated to their memory.
On Eve of the Great Feast of the manifestation of the Church in the world, i.e., Pentecost, we do not forget our dead brothers and sisters and so we declare its Universality of the One and Indivisible the Ecclesiastical Body. In the Divine Liturgy and Eucharistic Communion, the prayers of the living unite in Christ with those who have fallen asleep and give the opportunity to the Merciful Heavenly Father to offer forgiveness, as is taught in our Holy Tradition.
Praying for our brothers and sisters who are no longer living with us, we express our love for them so we can lessen our grief and to come into communion with them sustained in the Eternal Memory and love of God.
It is true that I have kept the names of your loved ones from Great Lent and will use them on this coming Saturday but this does not mean that all of you should stay home and ignore your duty and obligation to be at the Divine Liturgy and to join your prayers with mine for those who need our prayers and eternal rest.
When it comes to Our Holy Orthodox Christian Tradition nothing is optional. Everyone should always think, feel and act as an Orthodox Christian and practice their Christian faith.
Those of you who have not submitted the names of loved ones bring them before the Divine Liturgy this Saturday. Those that can make Kolyva make them and bring them for the memorial service.
DIVINE SERVICES ON SATURDAY, JUNE 15TH (SATURDAY OF SOULS):
Orthros (Matins)……………………………..9:00 a.m.
Divine Liturgy...………………………………10:00 a.m.
In Christ's Service,