Orthodox Christian: why do you pray for the departed?

First of all, I’m sorry if this has ever been discussed before, but i have some questions.

I have been attending Eastern Orthodox church for a while (jurisdiction: ROCOR).

I have understood that Orthodox church doesn’t believe in purgatory, in Catholicism I understood that we pray for the deads with a hope that God will accept them from purgatory to heaven. I asked a member of the Orthodox church about this, she said,“so that God will have mercy” i thought that if purgatory didn’t exist, the souls are either in heaven, or in hell. We never know where they are, in purgatory, or heaven, or hell. If the souls are in heaven, what’s the point of praying for them? And hell is the final place, right? Souls in hell can receive our prayers? If the souls aren,t in hell or heaven, where are they?

Second, i saw an event of honoring a Cross (kissing the Cross and then eat the consecrated bread), what is it called? And where in the Bible is it written that we’d do that? Or does the Orthodox church have more books in the Bible?

I’m just curious, can someone please enlighten me? I have interest in Orthodoxy. I wanted to ask the priest, but he always seems to be busy that whenever I called him, he always seemed in a rush because he wanted to end the conversation after a few minutes. And after the liturgy is finished, he’s in a room and i did not dare to come in.

What day did you see it? Normally after every liturgy, we can go up to venerate the cross and take blessed bread called “antidoron,” which literally means “instead of the gifts” (that is, communion). Traditionally Christians who couldn’t receive communion received the antidoron instead, which is bread that is blessed and cut from the same loaf as the bread used for communion, but then set aside before the consecration during the liturgy.

This is not in the Bible, but Orthodoxy (along with Catholicism) believes that there is much in Christianity that isn’t written down in the Bible. Scripture is the biggest and most important part of the Church’s tradition, but it isn’t the entirety of it.

As for purgatory, what Orthodox reject is the Catholic concept of indulgences and purgatorial/purifying fire after death. We do recognize that prayers for the dead are helpful, but don’t go much beyond that officially. More info: orthodoxwiki.org/Purgatory

Hi :slight_smile:

I saw Antidoron (thank you for telling me the name) on sunday before the Divine Liturgy. I agree that there’s much that isn’t written down in the Bible, i just thought that Antidoron is written.

Thank you for orthodox wiki’s url.

When i went to the Church for the first time i was so confused about what was happening and realized that i’m very “latinized” or “westernized” :blush: but i love both Catholic and Orthodox Churches and I’m willing to learn more :slight_smile:

Thank you and God bless! :slight_smile:

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