Memory Eternal

Last updated
Grave of Sergei Witte, an Orthodox Christian, in Lazarevskoe Cemetery, Alexander Nevsky Lavra. Witte Grave.JPG
Grave of Sergei Witte, an Orthodox Christian, in Lazarevskoe Cemetery, Alexander Nevsky Lavra.

Memory Eternal [lower-alpha 1] is an exclamation, an encomium like the polychronion, used at the end of an Eastern Orthodox funeral or memorial service. The same exclamation is used by those Eastern Catholic Churches which follow the Byzantine Rite. It is the liturgical counterpart to the Western Rite prayer "Eternal Rest". The "eternal memory" mentioned in the prayer refers to remembrance by God, rather than by the living, and is another way of praying that the soul has entered heaven and enjoys eternal life.

Encomium is a Latin word deriving from the Classical Greek enkomion (ἐγκώμιον) meaning "the praise of a person or thing." Another Latin equivalent is laudatio - a speech in praise of someone or something. Encomium also refers to several distinct aspects of rhetoric:

The Polychronion is a solemn encomium chanted in the liturgy of the Eastern Orthodox Church and those Eastern Catholic Churches which follow the Byzantine Rite.

Christian burial Funeral in Christian traditions

A Christian burial is the burial of a deceased person with specifically Christian ecclesiastical rites; typically, in consecrated ground. Until recent times Christians generally objected to cremation because it interfered with the concept of the resurrection of the body, and practiced inhumation almost exclusively. Today this opposition has all but vanished among Protestants. Catholics are now able to be cremated also, and this is rapidly becoming more common, but the Eastern Orthodox Churches still mostly forbid it.

Contents

This chant is parallel to "Many years" which is chanted for living members of the Church (and occasionally for national or local authorities, even though they may not be Orthodox). "Memory eternal" is not chanted for those who have been officially glorified (canonized) as saints. As part of the glorification process for new saints, on the eve of the day before their glorification, "Memory eternal" will be chanted for them at the end of a solemn service known as the "Last Requiem". The chanting of "Memory eternal" is introduced by a deacon, as follows:

Glorification may have several meanings in Christianity. From the Catholic canonization to the similar sainthood of the Eastern Orthodox Church to salvation in Christianity in Protestant beliefs, the glorification of the human condition can be a long and arduous process.

Requiem mass celebrated for the repose of the soul or souls of one or more deceased persons.

A Requiem or Requiem Mass, also known as Mass for the dead or Mass of the dead, is a Mass in the Catholic Church offered for the repose of the soul or souls of one or more deceased persons, using a particular form of the Roman Missal. It is usually, but not necessarily, celebrated in the context of a funeral.

Deacon ministry in the Christian Church

A deacon is a member of the diaconate, an office in Christian churches that is generally associated with service of some kind, but which varies among theological and denominational traditions. Some Christian churches, such as the Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Anglican church, view the diaconate as part of the clerical state; in others, the deacon remains a layperson.

Deacon: In a blessed falling asleep, grant, O Lord, eternal rest unto Thy departed servant (Name) and make his/her memory to be eternal!
Choir: Memory eternal! Memory eternal! Memory eternal!

It concludes with the line "with the saints, grant her/him rest o Christ, memory eternal!" [1]

Other occasions

"Memory Eternal" is chanted at the end of services on Saturdays of the Dead, though not for an individual, but for all of the faithful departed.

"Memory Eternal" is intoned by the deacon and then chanted by all in response three times during the liturgy on the Sunday of Orthodoxy to commemorate church hierarchs, Orthodox monarchs, Orthodox patriarchs and clergy, and all deceased Orthodox Christians [2]

Liturgy is the customary public worship performed by a religious group. As a religious phenomenon, liturgy represents a communal response to and participation in the sacred through activity reflecting praise, thanksgiving, supplication or repentance. It forms a basis for establishing a relationship with a divine agency, as well as with other participants in the liturgy.

In the Russian Orthodox Church, "Memory Eternal" is chanted on the Sunday of Orthodoxy for all of the departed rulers of Russia.

Russian Orthodox Church autocephalous Orthodox Christian church, headquartered in Moscow, Russia

The Russian Orthodox Church, alternatively legally known as the Moscow Patriarchate, is one of the autocephalous Eastern Orthodox Christian churches. The Primate of the ROC is the Patriarch of Moscow and all Rus'. The ROC, as well as the primate thereof, officially ranks fifth in the Orthodox order of precedence, immediately below the four ancient patriarchates of the Greek Orthodox Church, those of Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem. Since 15 October 2018, the ROC is not in communion with the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, having unilaterally severed ties in reaction to the establishment of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, which was finalised by the Ecumenical Patriarchate on 5 January 2019.

Notes

  1. Greek: Αἰωνία ἡ μνήμη, Aiōnia ē Mnēmē; Arabic: ذِكرُهُ مؤَبَّداً, "Thikruhu muabbadan"; Georgian :საუკუნო ხსენება, "Sauk'uno Khseneba"; Church Slavonic: Вѣчьнаꙗ памѧть, Věčĭnaja pamętĭ, Ukrainian: Вічная Пам'ять (vichnaya pamyat'), Russian: Вечная Память (vechnaya pamyat'), Belarusian: Вечная Памяць (viečnaja pamiać), Bulgarian: Вечна памет (vechna pamet), Romanian: Veșnica pomenire

Related Research Articles

Great Lent observance in Eastern Christianity

Great Lent, or the Great Fast, is the most important fasting season in the church year in the Eastern Orthodox Church, Byzantine Rite Lutheran Churches and the Eastern Catholic Churches, which prepares Christians for the greatest feast of the church year, Pascha (Easter).

Vespers sunset evening prayer service in the Orthodox, Roman Catholic and Eastern Catholic, Anglican, and Lutheran liturgies of the canonical hours

Vespers is a sunset evening prayer service in the Orthodox, Roman Catholic and Eastern Catholic, Anglican, and Lutheran liturgies of the canonical hours. The word comes from the Greek ἑσπέρα ("hespera") and the Latin vesper, meaning "evening". It is also referred to in the Anglican tradition as evening prayer or evensong. The term is also used in some Protestant denominations to describe evening services.

Divine Liturgy

Divine Liturgy or Holy Liturgy is the Eucharistic service of the Byzantine Rite, developed from the Antiochene Rite of Christian liturgy which is that of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. As such, it is used in the Eastern Orthodox, the Greek Catholic Churches, and the Ukrainian Lutheran Church. Although the same term is sometimes applied in English to the Eucharistic service of Armenian Christians, both of the Armenian Apostolic Church and of the Armenian Catholic Church, they use in their own language a term meaning "holy offering" or "holy sacrifice". Other churches also treat "Divine Liturgy" simply as one of many names that can be used, but it is not their normal term.

Canonical hours Christian concept of periods of prayer throughout the day

In the practice of Christianity, canonical hours mark the divisions of the day in terms of periods of fixed prayer at regular intervals. A book of hours normally contains a version of, or selection from, such prayers.

Byzantine Rite Whole of the worship life of the Eastern Catholic Churches

The Byzantine Rite, also known as the Greek Rite or Constantinopolitan Rite, is the liturgical rite used by the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Greek/Byzantine Catholic churches, and in a modified form, Byzantine Rite Lutheranism. Its development began during the fourth century in Constantinople and it is now the second most-used ecclesiastical rite in Christendom after the Roman Rite.

The word "Alleluia" or "Hallelujah", which literally means "Praise the Lord" From the 14th century.

Liturgy of Saint James

The Liturgy of Saint James or Jacobite Liturgy is the oldest complete form of the Eastern varieties of the Christian liturgy still in use among certain Christian Churches.

Entrance (liturgical) procession in Eastern Orthodox and Byzantine Catholic churches during which the clergy enter into the sanctuary through the Holy Doors

In Eastern Orthodox and Byzantine Catholic churches, an entrance is a procession during which the clergy enter into the sanctuary through the Holy Doors. The origin of these entrances goes back to the early church, when the liturgical books and sacred vessels were kept in special storage rooms for safe keeping and the procession was necessary to bring these objects into the church when needed. Over the centuries, these processions have grown more elaborate, and nowadays are accompanied by incense, candles and liturgical fans. In the liturgical theology of the Orthodox Church, the angels are believed to enter with the clergy into the sanctuary, as evidenced by the prayers which accompany the various entrances.

Pamyat may refer to:

The Secret is a prayer said in a low voice by the priest or bishop during religious services.

Euchologion Liturgical works of Eastern Christian Churches

The Euchologion is one of the chief liturgical books of the Eastern Orthodox and Byzantine Catholic churches, containing the portions of the services which are said by the bishop, priest, or deacon. There are several different volumes of the book in use.

Feast of Orthodoxy

The Feast of Orthodoxy is celebrated on the first Sunday of Great Lent in the liturgical calendar of the Eastern Orthodox Church and of the Byzantine Rite Eastern Catholic Churches. The Feast is kept in memory of the final defeat of iconoclasm and the restoration of the icons to the churches.

Memorial service in the Eastern Orthodox Church

A memorial service is a liturgical solemn service for the repose of the departed in the Eastern Orthodox Church and those Eastern Catholic Churches, which follow the Byzantine Rite.

Typikon

Typikon is a liturgical book which contains instructions about the order of the Byzantine Rite office and variable hymns of the Divine Liturgy.

Eastern Orthodox worship

Eastern Orthodox worship in this article is distinguished from Eastern Orthodox prayer in that 'worship' refers to the activity of the Christian Church as a body offering up prayers to God while 'prayer' refers to the individual devotional traditions of the Orthodox.

Western Rite Orthodoxy, Western Orthodoxy, or Orthodox Western Rite are terms used to describe congregations that are within Churches of Orthodox tradition but which use liturgies of Western or Latin origin rather than adopting Eastern liturgies such as the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom. While there are some ancient examples of Western Rite communities in areas predominantly using the Byzantine Rite before the Great Schism was fully consolidated, the history of the movement is often considered to begin in the nineteenth century with the life and work of Julian Joseph Overbeck.

Lity in the Eastern Orthodox Church

The Lity or Litiyá is a festive religious procession, followed by intercessions, which augments great vespers in the Eastern Orthodox and Byzantine Catholic churches on important feast days. Following a lity is another liturgical action, an artoklasia, and either of these terms may be used to describe both liturgical actions collectively.

Liturgical book Christian prayer book

A liturgical book, or service book, is a book published by the authority of a church body that contains the text and directions for the liturgy of its official religious services.

References

  1. "Memorial Service - Liturgical Texts of the Orthodox Church - Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America". www.goarch.org. Retrieved 2019-06-08.
  2. "Service of the Triumph of Orthodoxy". monachos.net. Retrieved 6 March 2015.