What Rituals Go On During Orthodox Funeral Rites?
The Orthodox Church, or the Greek Orthodox Church or Eastern Orthodox Church, is the world’s second-largest Christian church. This Orthodoxy is practiced widely across the globe, especially in Eastern Europe, Greece, and Russia. Many in Australia follow this religion, as well. We at Paul Lahoods Funerals provide services to clients from various faiths and conduct elegant Orthodox funerals.
Orthodox Funeral Traditions
Certain traditions are followed during these funerals, and here we take a look at what they are:
- Wakes are practised rituals and occur before the funeral.
- These typically start with the First Panikhida; it’s a prayer service that a priest prepares.
- After this, family and friends read from other Panikhidas or the Book of Psalms.
- Modern wakes only last one day, but some that prefer a more traditional process may conduct it for up to three days.
About The Orthodox Funeral Service
There are specific rites followed during the funerals, such as:
- When the casket is moved from the wake for the funeral service to the church, a priest holding a censer leads mourners’ procession, while reciting the special Trisagion Hymn.
- If there is no procession, the hymn will be sung at the wake.
- The funeral takes typically only about 60 minutes. A bishop or priest leads the proceedings.
- A deacon, sub-deacon, as well as an altar server, might be present during this ceremony.
- In certain Orthodox funerals, the decedent might have a band across the forehead- it symbolizes that they now completed the standard course of life.
- A Jesus Christ icon or a cross or even the icon of patron saint might be placed in their hands.
- Mourners get lit candles when they enter the church. They are required to keep the candle in their hands for the duration of the service.
- The priest/bishop conducting the funeral service leads the mourners through readings, prayer, readings, and other rites. Sometimes, they may also lead the mourners through the Holy Communion.
Cremation is not permitted in Orthodox funeral. The church may refuse a religious funeral to the family of the deceased person who has been cremated. But embalming is permitted in preparation for burial. These are just some of the traditions followed. Some families are very particular about custom and want to follow all the traditions and rituals to the tee.
This is where the expertise and experience of a well-established funeral home like ours come in. We are a well-respected establishment in this industry. As mentioned, we cater to people of various faiths. If you need to organise an Orthodox funeral, we are here to help.
Our funeral director in Sydney will discuss your requirements and help plan and organize everything in line with your needs. We make sure that you get tailored solutions while creating a personalized service for your loved one. We provide 24/7 Funeral Services in Sydney. For more information, call Paul Lahood Funerals at 02 9564 0223. Feel free to send us your queries via this Contact Us form.