Q for Greek Orthodox about τα μνημόσυνα

I am Catholic; my Greek Orthodox husband recently passed away. He had a Greek Orthodox funeral service and was buried in the Greek Orthodox cemetery as he wished.

But now I’m not sure what to do and so my question is about the mnimosinons. Are they the same as having a Catholic Mass said for him? Is it simply a memorial service for the benefit of those left behind or is there theology behind it that makes it important?

I am NOT interested in debating theology. I am asking for information. Also, please only answer if you know about GREEK Orthodoxy. Thank you in advance.

I think you’ll get a better answers on Orthodox forum

Go to the priest and ask a priest to mention your husband when he serves Divine Liturgy.


The “Trisagion Service” is a brief service that is chanted and performed by the priest for a person who has died. The service is often performed at the following times:

• Just after the person has died, in the home or hospital.

• On the evening before the Funeral service, either in the funeral home or in the Church.

• After the Funeral service, at the cemetery. (After the Trisagion, just before the coffin is lowered into the grave, the priest pours oil crosswise on the departed, saying, “Sprinkle me with hyssop, and I shall be pure; cleanse me, and I shall be whiter than snow.” He then casts sand in the grave saying, “The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness of it, the world and all that dwell in it. You are dust and to dust you shall return.”

• On the third day. (This day usually falls on the night before a funeral service or on the funeral day, in which case, the service is already performed).

• On the ninth day, at the cemetery.

• On the fortieth day, or more often on the Sunday before the fortieth day, a Memorial Service (Mnimosino) is held in the Church during the Divine Liturgy and in which the Trisagion is also chanted. On the fortieth day, the family together with the priest go to the cemetery to perform the Trisagion.

• Similarly, at the third, sixth, ninth and twelve months and then annually, a Memorial Service is performed in the Church and a Trisagion at the cemetery.

• Also, all Saturdays of the year are devoted by the Church to the memory of those who have passed away and particularly the “Saturdays of the souls”. Saturdays of the souls are the Saturday before meatfare Sunday (a week before Lent starts) and the Saturday before the feast of Pentecost. (In Greece and in Australia, Saturdays of the souls are also usually on the Saturday before Cheesefare Sunday, and the Saturday of the first week of Lent.) On Saturdays of the Souls, a Mnimosino occurs at the Church for all who have passed away.

At the Memorial Service (Mnimosino), the family bring to the Church “Kollyva”- ie boiled wheat mixed with sweets such as sugar, sultanas etc. At a Trisagion the family may if they wish bring Kollyva to distribute to the people after the service. (The practice of throwing the plate of Kollyva into the grave and breaking it, is not a Christian practice or custom of the church and therefore it is discouraged).

The Apostolic Constitutions recommend Memorials on the third day after a person has passed away, representing Christ’s death and Ressurection on the third day. The ninth day “as a reminder of the living and the dead”, and “on the fortieth day according to ancient practice.” (The people of Israel mourned for the great Moses in this way.) St Symeon of Thessaloniki interprets these important days as: “The three day Memorial we do for the Holy Trinity, because from the Holy Trinity we have our existence and our life. The nine day Memorials remind us of the nine orders of holy Angels, among which our beloved one has been numbered. The fortieth day Memorial is for the Ascension of our Saviour. The three-month, six-month and nine-month symbolize the Holy Trinity”.

The “Kolyva” (boiled wheat) also have their symbolism in the church. The boiled wheat kernels express belief in everlasting life. Jesus said, “Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone, but if it dies, it bears much fruit” (John 12:24). Just as new life rises from the buried kernel of wheat, so the Church believes that the one buried will rise one day to a new life in God. The wheat is covered in sugar and sultanas to symbolise the bliss of eternal life in Heaven.

This is why i love CAF. I learn a lot! I’m new to Orthodoxy and I thank you Proton! I hope you don’t mind if i copy the explanation to my (offline) personal notepad?

God bless you all!

He has copied it from here, so there should be no problem, but I would make a note as to who originally wrote it. greekorthodox.org.au/general/livinganorthodoxlife/deathmourningandeternallife/trisagion

And, further down on that page may be the answer to the questions in my OP.

Why then do we pray for the dead? It is because praying for the dead is an expression of love. We ask God to remember the departed because we love them. Love survives death and transcends it. . . .
Exactly to what extent our prayers for our departed loved ones bring any benefit to them we do not know, we leave this to the mercy of God. But one thing we are certain: such prayers do benefit those who pray for the departed.

But I already belong to this forum, :smiley: and we have Orthodox members.

Sorry for your loss dear poster ~

Αἰωνία ἡ μνήμη

I couldn’t explain it in my broken English, so i copied it from English speaking Orthodox site. :smiley:

Ow! Thanks for the link!

And yes i like this forum very much and i’m only member of this forum too

I’m so sorry for your loss, dear friend.

Ow ic. I’m from western europe, english is not my main language too :smiley:

I’m sorry for the loss.

No problem. It’s customary to give the link when you do that. :slight_smile:
Thank you to those who gave condolences.

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