Saturday, June 2, 2012

The Saturday of Souls Before Pentecost

By Sergei V. Bulgakov

On the Saturday before Pentecost we commemorate all departed pious Christians, with the idea that the occasion of the coming of the Holy Spirit not only consists of the economy of the salvation of man, but that the departed also participate in this salvation. Therefore, the Holy Church, sending up prayers on Pentecost for the enlivening of all the living through the Holy Spirit, petitions for the grace of the Holy Spirit also for the departed, which they were granted while they were still living, and was the source of eternal blessedness, because "all souls are enlivened through the Holy Spirit".

The Holy Church appeals to us, "Let all of us pray to Christ, today as we remember the dead of all ages": "Your servants who rest in Your courtyard, and in the bosom of Abraham, from Adam even until today who have chastely served You, fathers and our brothers, friends, together with relatives", "forefathers, grandfathers and great-grandfathers, from the first and even up to the last", "every age, the old, and young babies, and children", and "the new born babies", "every rank and generation", "kings, priests, bishops, monks and novices", "husbands together with wives", "those departed at sea, or on land, or in the rivers, wells, or lakes, or in the trenches", "in the mountains, on travel", "in the deserts, or in the cities", and "any place", "in vain pursuits, cut in half by lightning, both from deathly abomination, and any wound", "dying from Divine foreboding, all mortal thunder sent down from Heaven, the cracking of the earth, the rising storms of the sea", "to be carried away by hailstones, snow and increased clouds, or killed by a brick, or covered over with earth", "unexpected death of the pious, and from every stream of fallen trees, iron, or rocks", "was food for an animal, either birds, or reptiles", "who died from poisonous bites by the enwrapping of snakes, from being trampled by horses, from strangling and hanging by the simple-hearted", "who was killed by drinking drugs, poisons, choked on bones", "those whom You have allowed, O Lord, to die from a sudden unexpected fall", "all who repose, O Lord, piously repose", "Our Savior, deliver all the faithful departed from the ever burning fire and the never ending darkness, the gnashing of teeth, and the unending torment of worms, and every torture", "Arise on the last day with glory", "grant me Your heavenly kingdom".
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