From the Parish Priest – Fr. Romey Rosco
It is important for us from time to time to ask questions about our faith, customs and practices.¬† One of these us the closing short prayer concluding the funeral service, parastas and panahida: “Ve»ônica pomenire” or “Eternal be his (or her) memory.”¬† Knowing the real meaning of this prayer can help us better understand our beliefs about death and eternal life.
Most people probably think that when we sing this prayer we are just referring to memory in this finite existence.¬† But in fact, anything eternal could not be carried out in this limited world — Our prayer would be pointless.
What we are asking is that our loved ones be remembered in eternity, that God will be merciful to them and keep them in His Own memory, as their souls lay in rest until the Day of Resurrection.¬† For it is believed that those who did not repent of their sins “already have their reward” (in other words, punishment), as Christ said of unrepentant Pharisees, and will not be lovingly remembered by God. We pray that our loved ones are not among unrepentant sinners.
As Orthodox Christians, we must accept that Christ our Lord will be a righteous Judge on the Day of Resurrection, even as we pray for His love and mercy.¬† So, we put ourselves (and our loved ones) in His hands…. and we pray for Eternal Memory.
From The Weekly Bulletin, Vol. XLII No. 24, 14 June 2015
Sts. Peter & Paul Romanian Orthodox Church, Dearborn Heights MI