November 16, 2011

Saint George Karslidis on the Forty Liturgies for the Departed

By Monk Moses the Athonite

1. When he would Liturgize he would become another man. Those attending church would hear various sounds from the Holy Altar from his heavenly visitors. They would kneel and chant "Lord have mercy".

2. One day the Saint said to his chanter: "I had so many saints today that I didn't have enough room to fit them. We put Saint Panteleimon in one corner, because there was no room."

3. At one time demons bothered the Saint and would not allow him to do the proskomede. After the Liturgy he said: "I began these Forty Liturgies with stress. The demons would yell out the names so that I would not be able to commemorate them, and thus not allow them to be forgiven."

4. After a period of Forty Liturgies he was asked:

"Elder, were you tired to finish them?"

"No my child. It was a pleasure for me, as if I did one Vespers, because they were very good people. Your father had a rich table like Abraham."

Then the man thought: "We were so poor, to the point we were hungry, so where did our father find such a rich table?"

"Don't see things like that," the Saint corrected. "Maybe he did not have to give, but his soul wanted to give much, and God accounted it to him as if he did give it. Your mother is a servant of your father, because she was very tiresome and would sadden him, always complaining to him. But your father always wore a smile with much goodness. Among your relatives you had a blind girl, whom you forgot to write. She was pure and very good."

"But how did you know this?" asked the man in wonder.

"When I commemorate, she also comes to the kollyva, but she comes as a guest, and does not unite with the others. Now everyone went to their place and opened the road for you."

Source: Athonite Flowers (vol. 14). Translated by John Sanidopoulos.