Why the All Souls’ Days are established
The two All Souls’ Days have been established by our Church in honor of all those people, who have departed and did not receive the prescribed memorial services.
When are the All Souls’ Days
The first All Souls’ Day of the year is 57 days before Holy Easter, while the second All Souls’ Day is 48 days after Holy Easter. Since Holy Easter is a moveable feast, the All Souls’ Days are also moveable.
- For the year 2024, the first All Souls’ Day of the year is on March 9th and the second All Souls’ Day is on June 22nd.
- For the year 2025, the first All Souls’ Day is on February 22nd and the second All Souls’ Day is on June 7th.
- For the year 2026, the first All Souls’ Day is on February 14th and the second All Souls’ Day is on May 30th.
- For the year 2027, the first All Souls’ Day is on March 6th and the second All Souls’ Day is on June 19th.
What do kolyva symbolize
During the All Souls’ Days, as well as during memorial services, the faithful use to offer kolyva (or koliva) to the Church for the souls of their departed loved ones. Koliva symbolize the mutual resurrection of humans, and the wheat, the primary ingredient, represents the human body.
Orthodox Prayer for the deceased
O God of spirits and of all flesh, Who hast trampled down death and overthrown the Devil, and given life to Thy world, do Thou, the same Lord, give rest to the souls of Thy departed servants in a place of brightness, a place of refreshment, a place of repose, where all sickness, sighing, and sorrow have fled away. Pardon every transgression which they have committed, whether by word or deed or thought. For Thou art a good God and lovest mankind; because there is no man who lives yet does not sin, for Thou only art without sin, Thy righteousness is to all eternity, and Thy word is truth.
For Thou are the Resurrection, the Life, and the Repose of Thy servants who have fallen asleep, O Christ our God, and unto Thee we ascribe glory, together with Thy Father, who is from everlasting, and Thine all-holy, good, and life-creating Spirit, now and ever unto ages of ages. Amen.
Prayer for the dearly missed
Remember, O Lord our God, Thy servant, our brother/sister, (name), who has reposed in the Faith and hope of life eternal, and in that Thou art good and the Lover of mankind, Who remittest sins and blottest out iniquities, do Thou loose, remit and pardon all his/her sins, voluntary and involuntary.
Deliver him/her from eternal torment and the fire of Gehenna, and grant unto him/her the communion and delight of Thine eternal good things prepared for them that love Thee.
For though he/she hath sinned, yet hath he/she not forsaken Thee, and he/she undoubtedly believed in the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit; and even until his/her last breath did he/she confess Thee in Orthodox fashion: God glorified in Trinity, Unity in Trinity and Trinity in Unity.
Wherefore, be Thou merciful unto him/her and reckon his/her faith in Thee, rather than his/her deeds, and in that Thou art compassionate, grant him/her rest with Thy saints; for there is no man that liveth and doth not sin.
But Thou alone art wholly without sin, and Thy truth is forever; and Thou alone art the God of mercies, and compassion, and love for mankind, and unto Thee do we ascribe glory, to the Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.