Mnimosina (Memorial Services)
The Mnimosino (calling to memory) is a prayer service conducted, often at the end of the Divine Liturgy, for our departed loved ones. The service is composed of psalms, litanies, hymns and prayers. These services can also be conducted at a grave site or at other times in church. He In the Mnimosino we ask God to show mercy and forgive the sins of the departed, whether committed in word, deed or thought, whether done in knowledge or in ignorance. To grant rest to their souls and life everlasting, as only He who overcame death can a plate of koliva (boiled wheat) is prepared and distributed to the faithful at the end of the service.
Mnimosina are mostly held on the 3rd, 9th, 40th day, then the 3rd, 6th and 9th month, as well as on the first anniversary and every year following the day of death. Also on the numerous “Soul Saturdays” held throughout the year. After the service, family and friends gather to share a common meal together. The days that they cannot be held are from the Saturday of Lazarus until the Sunday of St Thomas, and major feast days such as Circumcision of Our Lord (Jan 1st), Epiphany (Jan 6th), The Presentation (Feb 2nd), The Annunciation (Mar 25th), The Ascension (40 days after Easter) Pentecost (50 days after Easter), Transfiguration (Aug 6th), Dormition of the Virgin (Aug 15th), Christmas and on the feast of the Parish Church.
Orthodox Christians believe in the power of intercessory prayer. We are the “Church Militant”, struggling on earth and fighting for our faith. Those who have died and have fought well are the “Church Triumphant”. Together we are all members of Christ’s Church.
Source: Lychnos June 2018 / July 2018