Purgatory In The East

Here @Governator, this may be helpful:

“Life after Death” by Saint John Maximovitch

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The forty-day memorial mentioned by St John sounds similar to the thirty-day Gregorian Masses in Western Catholicism, where Mass is offered for the same deceased soul every day for 30 consecutive days.

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Yes, just please don’t tell mourners at my funeral that when I died I went straight to Heaven, because I don’t think I’ll advance so far as that in the time I have left. I want people praying for me!

(Honestly, they only have to think about it for about 2 seconds to realize that an eternity with me in my present spiritual state could not be described as eternal bliss!)

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I’ve heard homilies that felt like they went on for a full week, but 30 days . . . wow!

:crazy_face::thinking::stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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I think these days most of the Gregorian Mass requests get sent to priests in poverty stricken mission areas who need the 30 days worth of stipends to eat.

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Purgatory is the Latin underlying theologia prima held by everyone: that the souls of the departed require purification before entering the presence of God, and that prayer for the dead is efficacious to that end. The medieval Western Church chose to elaborate that fundamental dogma into the doctrine of purgatory. The East chose not to speak definitively of the state of the reposed, but allowed individual speculation as long as it was consistent with the theologia prima.

Purgatory is simply the doctrinal expression of the Western Church, nothing more (or less); we in the East should respect the right of the Latin Church to theologize in its own Tradition, just as the Latin Church should respect our right to theologize in accordance with our Tradition.

ZP

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I agree but as I was saying if one were to write a book about praying for the deceased for the entire Church how would they explain the Eastern theology hence the thread.

I think all that would need to be said is that we Easterners, Catholic and Orthodox, believe that the souls of the departed require purification before entering the presence of God, and that prayer for the dead is efficacious to that end. I’m sure some of the Eastern fathers have more to say about this.

ZP

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Thanks for the link.

Christ Our Pascha, section 250, p. 89:

If a person has fallen asleep in God, having repented of all sins, but has not yet achieved spiritual maturity—the fullness of life in Christ—then that person enters the kingdom of God “as through fire” (1 Cor 3:15). After death, such a person is in need of spiritual healing and cleansing of all stain, in order to dwell “in a place of light …where there is no pain, sorrow or mourning.” 204 In the Church, this healing condition of the dead is referred to as “purgatory”. 205

Footnotes:

204 Trebnyk, Rite of Burial for a Layperson, Prayer of the ekteny for the deceased.

205 Council of Florence, Bull Laetentur caeli [Let the Heavens Rejoice] (July 6, 1439); See also Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1030.

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My sentiments exactly! :clap::clap::clap:

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Moreover, this CCC says that the Church “gives the name Purgatory to this final purification”.
The idea of Purgatory as a place and whter of not that place was different than “hell” was debated at the Council of Florence. It was agreed that the idea of a “place” was not to held as dogma.

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Pur… is cognate with Fire and Pur ity / Pur ification / Pur gatory.

Just as Gold is Pur-ified via Fire … Souls are Purified via Jesus’ Blood/Gospel

Once our spirits and will are aligned with the Gospel / God.

  • only then can we enter God’s Kingdom where only PURE is…
    _
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Eastern Christians have been in schism since 1054 unofficially. Let us pray for reunification!

The Orthodox have less formal teaching. Many things we believe, they do also just without the dogmatic ideology.

Don’t forget about the Eastern Catholic Churches! We’re Eastern Christians AND in full communion with the Holy See!

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St. John also was asked about the demons that are the demonic principalities through which we must pass in our ascent after death from earth to heaven, and will do so according to our repentance from their/our sins while alive on earth…

Of these demons Saint John replied with a shudder: “Have you ever SEEN one?”

geo

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I’m Byzantine Cathlolic, and we are not in schism. What makes you think we are?

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I have not understood it as a need for purification - That stops at death… The Orthodox salute to the dead is “Memory Eternal!” When a person dies, they enter into their judgement according to the life they have lived, and for most of us unrepentant sinners, that means we are stopped fairly early in our ascent to Christ… Yet the prayers we pray for the dead are the “coinage” needed to raise them from where they are in that ascent… And more prayers do more, etc… So that it is our love and remembrance for them that are helpful… The demons holding them are awful to be held in, but this does not purify them for release… It is our Love that does so through our prayers and the prayers of the Church… The idea that sins are purged by suffering is not all that Orthodox… God purges our sins through our suffering on earth - That is clear - And voluntary and welcomed involuntary suffering can be very useful for us to overcome some sinful impulse that will not depart - Still well within our understanding… But “having to ‘suffer enough’ to make amends for a sin…” just sounds wonky to my old Orthodox ears…

And yes, there is the Dread and Last Judgement…

Yet the Saints are already passed through…

Yet the bottom line, is that the Church should be one in Her Dogmas… And the Rites should not determine dogma… Which quickly devolves into wedge issues…

The idea of a “Purgatory Society” sounds strange enough to me at least to possibly bring Jay Leno back out of retirement! :). I thought at first we were being trolled… Then saw that the OP was sincere, and that his efforts were motivated by a desire for reconciliation of the theologies of the two Rites in the West, which has implications for the EOC…

May the topic be blessed!

geo

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Yes! That’s what Abbot Nikon said also: “[At death] you will be surrounded either by angels of light, or by dark, menacing demons. One look at those demons is enough to drive anyone out of his mind.”

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I don’t think the East denies an existence of some sort of stage of waiting. I think it comes down to trying to explicitly defining what it is. They do not see a need to define it. Things are regarded as a mystery and does not necessarily mean defining the finer points. Will having Purgatory defined change how one livers there life? The concept of Purgatory is still basically an assurance that at some point those who are there will eventually be in heaven. What the state of purgatory actually is, we simply don’t know. Some say a state of suffering, others it is a separation from God that is not a permanent nature that may not be suffering other than the knowledge that you are not with God at this time. The comfort is that at some point, you will be.

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