"Elizaveta Iurievna Kuzmina-Karavaeva Skobtsova, later known as Mother Maria, was a Russian Orthodox religious thinker, poet and artist. Her multi-faceted legacy includes articles, poems, art, and drama. In the 1910s she was part of the literary milieu of St. Petersburg and was a member of the Socialist Revolutionary Party. She fled Russia soon after the Bolsheviks' takeover and lived in Paris, where she became a nun. In 1935, she participated in organizing the so-called Orthodox Action, which was designed to help Russian immigrants in France. She and her fellow-workers from Orthodox Action opened a house for homeless and sick immigrants in Paris. During the Nazi occupation of the city, the house was transformed into a refuge for Jews and displaced persons. Mother Maria and her son were arrested by the Gestapo in 1943 and died in the Ravensbruck camp in Germany. Mother Maria's selfless devotion to people and her death as a martyr will never be forgotten. In 2004, the Holy Synod confirmed the glorification of Mother Maria." - from Columbia University Libraries Special Collection link

Straight Talk About Death

What we need are more books about death that are conversational.  This one is just that.  You will not find any jargon or catch phrases or medical-gobbledygook here.  This is straight forward conversations about what goes on in and around the dying.  J.I. Willett has given us plain talk about death.

The book begins and ends with a poem - which as a poet, I love.  But the meat of the book concerns our options for who we are, and become while we are going through the dying process.  What kind of character do we want to become?  Will we focus on the present?  Will we be patient with the process?  Will we act the martyr?  All of this is a part of the dialogue our author brings to us - as if sitting across a table in a Parisian cafe and just chatting about our art.

It is something we should read if we have been given a terminal diagnosis - or someone we love has.  But, it is also a good book for helping us to integrate the idea that we will someday die into our current life.

Don't wait.  Read this today.

GIVE to EOTC and help Individuals/Families GROW

EOTC has my vote this holiday season for PLANNED GIVING.  As a recently appointed board member for EOTC I would like to raise some funds for our program.  The supports offered to individuals/families and their growth is broad.  (CLICK on the DONATE Button to the right of this post).

Won't you join me?  A brief description of services is below.  A more thorough look at the details of service is below that.
  • Workforce Development
  • Parent-Child Services
  • Court-Related Programs
  • Reentry Initiatives
  • Community Collaboration
The services provided through the dedicate teams at EOTC reach deep into the need of the community for stability, independence, and growth. Helping individuals and families land on their feet and stay there are in the backdrop of all our serving.
You can reach out and donate to our work by CLICKING HERE and you can add EOTC to your Amazon Smile by CLICKING HERE

ABOUT EOTC From the Executive Director

EOTC is a welcoming place, a gathering place, a safe place … A center for Advancing Families.
EOTC offers strengths-based support, respect, acceptance, perseverance,excellence, inter-dependence … With a focus on Advancing Families. 
EOTC is looking toward the future of our community … And, Advancing Families. Our life experiences shape who we are and what we become. Where do individuals and families go to learn and experience life differently when they did not have the best of circumstances or support?
EOTC’s mission is driven toward enhancing the lives of those in our community through evidenced-based programs and services that encourage family stability and economic self-sufficiency. We believe that there is value and potential in every person. We believe in building trusting relationships in any stage of our lives that carry us through the journey that lies ahead. We believe through Advancing Families, our community can enjoy a better, brighter tomorrow!

EOTC welcomes YOU to join us in our mission in promoting family stability and economic self-sufficiency! (from www.eotc.org)

- Linda A. Ciampi, M.C.Ed. / Executive Director

A DETAIL of the programs made available through EOTC:

1. Workforce Development

EOTC introduced the community’s first employment program for single parent/displaced homemakers and the region’s first open-entry career center for dislocated workers. Recognized as a top performer by Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry, EOTC was also selected by the National League of Cities to pilot a Transitional Jobs model. Today, EOTC assists unemployed and under-employed individuals of all backgrounds,particularly those with multiple barriers to employment.

Job Search Support
EOTC offers life skills and personal development for individuals seeking to obtain or upgrade employment. Job Search Group meets Tuesdays at 10:00 a.m. and serves as a weekly, open-entry access point to assist any job seeker. Examples of services: Customized resumes and interview preparation Career advising and coaching for job success Computer lab to support job readiness and job search

Fatherhood Initiative
EOTC‘s Responsible Fatherhood programming includes group and individual services to promote job readiness, responsible parenting, and healthy child/family relationships.

2. Parent-Child Services

EOTC promotes child development and strengthens families through early child screenings, pre-kindergarten activities, parenting classes and intervention for families with critical needs. For information, contact the EOTC Scranton Area Family Center at 348-6484.

Parents as Teachers/Early Head Start
Parents as Teachers is the flagship curriculum for Pennsylvania Family Centers. Certified specialists work with parents during the early critical years of their children’s lives, from conception to kindergarten. Parents as Teachers home visits emphasize positive parenting, school readiness, and overall family well-being. Activities include guided parent-child interaction, healthy development screenings, and information/referral. Through a grant from Pennsylvania Children’s Trust Fund, EOTC offers intensive case management services to assist Parents as Teachers participants exhibiting critical needs. Click to learn more about Home Visitation.

Play & Learn Group
This weekly early learning program for young children and their parents encourages socialization and experiential learning through play. Group sessions focus on early literacy and child development, and address relevant parenting topics. The program is funded entirely by local donors.

Incredible Years®
One of the biggest challenges facing parents is to help their children handle strong emotions, particularly negative ones like frustration and anger. The research-based Incredible Years® curriculum helps parents foster their child’s confidence, problem solving abilities and learning skills. Three distinct programs are available to address typical child behavior concerns as well as specialized needs such as autism and hyperactivity. Parents/caretakers of children ages 3-12 are invited to register by calling 348-6484. EOTC offers meals, transportation and childcare to participants.

Pennsylvania Family Support Alliance
EOTC/Scranton Area Family Center is affiliated with Pennsylvania Family Support Alliance, the state’s leading provider of training on how to recognize and report child abuse and neglect.

EOTC works with other state, national and local organizations to promote the safety and well-being of children through research-based prevention and education models. Cost-benefit analyses by the Penn State Prevention Research Center and other researchers reflect that, for every $1.00 spent on high-quality programs, taxpayers receive savings related to child health, education, substance abuse and crime. Penn State researchers found an estimated average return of up to $12 million per community for a single program funded by Pennsylvania taxpayers – from $54 to nearly $80,000 per youth over time.

3. Court-Related Programs

Examples of EOTC programs that help individuals or families affected by court-ordered directives:

Access and Visitation
For parents with child custody issues, EOTC offers supervised visitation for non-custodial parents at the Scranton Area Family Center. Parents and children can meet regularly in a safe, welcoming environment. Adults improve parenting skills and receive help with child support questions.Parent-child bonds are maintained and strengthened.Currently, over 30 families participate in EOTC’s supervised visitation services — benefitting about 90 children. Because of the program, more than 90% of participants reach co-parenting agreements, and child support payments are maintained or increased. Based on EOTC outcomes compared to national supervised visitation expectations, the taxpayer benefit is $3.00 of increased child support for every $1.00 spent for the program.

Time Limited Family Reunification
The Family Reunification program is offered in partnership with Lackawanna County Children and Youth Services, with the goal of finding stable, permanent placement for certain children in the foster care system.  EOTC provides intensive case management to assist 34 families each year, benefitting approximately 65 children. EOTC reunification specialists work with the children and their foster families in order to reduce the number of placement moves during foster care. During this period, our specialists also work with parents to help stabilize the family situation, with the hope of reuniting children with their families within 15 months or less.  EOTC helps families to address parenting and substance abuse issues, medical and mental health needs, housing and employment, and other concerns that detract from a safe, stable home environment.

Specialized Case Management – Support for Women and Veterans
Each year, EOTC provides life skills and employment services for more than 70 men and women involved in Lackawanna County diversion programs. Working in collaboration with County Treatment Court, the Probation/Parole system and other partners, EOTC provides family-focused assessments, individual case management, job coaching and a safety net of resources. Last year, over half of these former offenders made strides through sobriety and other positive life changes. Over 75 children benefited from their parents’ involvement in these EOTC services.

4. Reentry Initiatives

Life Skills and Job Readiness Training at Lackawanna County Prison
For over 15 years, EOTC has helped prepare former offenders for successful return to the community. The family members of prisoners are encouraged to participate in EOTC’scommunity-based programs. EOTC provides a variety of services inside Lackawanna County Prison including:

Criminogenic Risk Assessments
EOTC provides assessments and recommendations for approximately 1,900 County prisoners annually. Based on assessment, each individual is provided with information on resources for productive return to the community.

Life Skills/Reintegration Classes
Each year more than 600 incarcerated men and women participate in EOTC‘s pre-release program. Classes are voluntary. Programming includes education in drug/alcohol recovery, anger management, employment readiness, healthy relationships and other life-work skills.

Reentry Improvement Initiative is an intensive 45 day pre-release program serving more than 120 men annually. Drawing from evidence-based strategies, the cognitive behavioral course addresses addictions recovery, personal responsibility, parenting, workplace literacy, budgeting and other practical skills for positive transition.

Women-in-Transition Mentoring
EOTC facilitates pre- and post-release programming for more than 150 women annually. In addition to classes in life and work skills, the program includes innovative strategies such as artistic expressions and mentoring.  Volunteer community mentors provide supportive relationships to help participants set positive goals and acclimate to the local community.

Post-Release Reintegration
Returning citizens are encouraged to follow-up with program instructors upon release and to participate in services offered at the EOTC Seventh Avenue Center.
Women’s Support Groups meet twice weekly to provide an integrated support system of caring relationships and transitional services that guide and support women returning to the community.

Job Search Support Group meets weekly on Tuesdays from 10:00 a.m.– noon. Our specialists can provide resume assistance, job leads, and other resources to address the complicated issues that arise for men and women during community reentry.

GED Preparation/Educational Tutoring is offered to returning citizens. Individual instruction and practice tests are provided in preparation for the GED exam.

5. Community Collaboration

In its mission to provide vital services to the community, EOTC actively collaborates with other agencies and partners. These cooperative efforts assess community needs, seek consumer input, identify appropriate models, and steer programs and fund development efforts. In addition to serving as managing partner for the collaborative Scranton Area Family Center, EOTC is active on several community boards such as the Lackawanna County Criminal Justice Advisory Board and the Center for Family Engagement (child welfare planning).

Communities That Care
For more than a decade, EOTC has promoted the nationally recognized Communities That Care model for positive youth development. Examples of our work include: facilitation of the PA Youth Survey to help identify community needs; involvement in the County’s anti-truancy initiative; leadership of an interagency consortium to increase the availability of mentoring for at-risk youth; and the replication of research-based violence prevention programs, such as the Incredible Years model.

Child Welfare and Education Initiatives
EOTC is a member of Lackawanna County’s Success by Six coalition, the Drug and Alcohol Commission’s service improvement team, the Interagency Council and similar strategic efforts. The agency spearheads efforts to proliferate effective programs. For example, EOTC facilitated training for area case workers to learn Family-Group 
Decision Making, a strategy that helps families overcome challenging issues such as reunification after a child’s foster care placement.

Special Court Case Management Teams
EOTC works collaboratively with cross-agency teams supporting Lackawanna County Court initiatives, including Treatment Court, Mental Health Court and Intensive Reunification Court (dependency cases).  In addition to providing case management services for individuals and families referred by the Court, EOTC responds with innovative group programs such as a new Women’s Transition program offered in collaboration with the County Treatment Court.

New Book on Saint Tikhon of Moscow

As a student of history and an author, I know the deep value of having access to primary sources in order to piece together timelines, articles, essays, content, and chapters for biographies, articles, treatises, and other secondary sources.  This current volume begins there and is a sensational repository of vital primary source material of the life of Saint Tikhon of Moscow, but also of the early days of Orthodoxy in America. Both history and spirit.  To have it set free from its original tongue into English has long been awaited, but is now complete and in an exemplary fashion.  One to be expected from the fine array of scholars put to the task and labors of such a project.  Thank you all.

But, even more finely arrayed all along the reading of this genuine tapestry of patristic love and devotion are vignette after vignette of paternal tenderness and counsel.  The use of scripture in these Arch Pastoral homilies and renderings for the flock is so rich and full of Old and New Testament and Apostolic urgings for the people of God, that it should put to rest all Protestant complaints that Orthodoxy is weak in its application of scripture.  Reading these words one gets the genuine sense that Saint Tikhon of Moscow is not only familiar with the scriptures, but that the shepherd like tenderness that he uses to keep the flock moving ahead and safe is genuinely a part of his depths and not just tacked on in the sermons.  His use of the Canon only amplifies his love for his flock - a genuine proof to his sanctity.  That we are able to read it, contemplate it, meditate on it and do so in the very sacred precincts and on the holy soil upon which he stood here in America is only cream on the surface - on the surface of such wonder.

Of sweet joy to all who have stood on the ground of the monastery and church will be the address to those gathered at the Consecration of Saint Tikhon's Monastery and Church on 17/30 May 1906.  Pure honey.

For all students of history, all theologians of the American Orthodox scene, and all people with a genuine heart for the gentle firmness of a pastoral saint - this book is a must.

Order at Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/St-Tikhon-Moscow-Instructions-Teachings-ebook/dp/B01IQFTO0W

Dreaming Pop-pop - A storybook helping children through GRIEF

Johnson-Medland & Sons Booksellers releases "DREAMING POP-POP", today. Our first book published by Johnson-Medland & Sons Booksellers.

The book was written through the process of healing with our boys after the loss of my dad 14 years ago. The storybook leads kids through their dreams and feelings of loss; helping them to use journaling and transference objects to make sense of the feelings of being lost in our loss.

From the Site:

Losing loved ones is a difficult part of being human.  We spend our days lauding the many acts of love that enable us to grow closer to each other - we value community and growing in intimacy.

When we lose someone we love we feel the subtle tearing away of the countless bonds between our hearts.  It is not easy to interpret what is going on - even as adults.  Helping children to know what is going on amid grief can feel that much harder.

This simple book talks about a child's dreams, drawings, pictures, memory box and a process of healing that is aided by his parents, a Social Worker, and his school Guidance Counselor.  It reveals a concrete way of looking at the feelings that emerge amid grief and loss by implementing the tools of journaling, gathering of transference objects, and talking things through with those around us.

This book challenges us to remember those we love and integrate our losses with our memories, our feelings, our hopes and our dreams.  Join this child as he implements some rudimentary methods for processing grief.

A Kenyan Orphanage Could Use Your Help

Dear Friends,
There is an Orthodox Church in Kenya led by Father Mark Mwangi Kibui and his wife Presvytera Alice Mwangi that are housing orphans on site and they are looking for some church sponsors here in the US and abroad to help them with these children. If your church, your organization, or you yourself are looking for a sister organization to partner with to relieve suffering, I would reach out to this couple.
I know in this day and age the internet scams coming out of Africa are many, so I have reached out to the Patriarchate of Alexandria (under the Greek Orthodox Church) and have established a process where the funds can be sent to the Greek Orthodox Church via Athens and then dispersed to the orphanage in Kenya from there.
This level of legitimacy should help you feel secure in your donations. I have the accounts of the Patriarchate of Alexandria on file and would be glad to furnish them to you or your organization to help Father Mark and Presvytera Alice.
Ideally they would like to have people sponsor the orphans schooling at the local private school. This can be arranged directly by contacting them on facebook and then getting an email to them for private conversations.
These folks are genuinely compassionate and loving people and the children are in great need. Information on them can also be found at this website. It gives a little fuller view of these servants of God.

Contribute here https://fundrazr.com/campaigns/7122l0?utm_campaign=story-update&utm_medium=email&utm_source=09-2015 at this reputable Organization or at the Alexandrian Patriarchate below.

Patriarchate of Alexandria's Accounts for donations:

Saint Mary of Egypt

St. Mary, who is known as Mary of Egypt, lived in the middle of the fifth century and at the beginning of the sixth century. Her youth did not presage anything good. Mary was twelve years old when she left her home for the city of Alexandria. Being free of parental oversight, young and inexperienced, Mary was allured by a life of depravity. There was no one to stop her on the way to perdition, and there were not a few temptations. Thus, for seventeen years Mary lived in sin, until the merciful Lord turned her to repentance.

It happened thus. By coincidence, Mary joined a group of pilgrims bound for the Holy Land. While sailing with the pilgrims on the ship, Mary did not cease from seducing men and sinning. On getting to Jerusalem, she joined the pilgrims who were heading for the Church of Christ's Resurrection.

People were entering the church in an large throng, but Mary was stopped at the entrance by an invisible hand and could not by any efforts enter it. Here she understood that the Lord was not permitting her to enter into the holy place because of her impurity.

Seized by horror and a feeling of profound repentance, she began to entreat God to forgive her sins, promising to radically correct her life. Seeing an icon of the Mother of God at the entrance of the church, Mary began to beg the Divine Mother to plead for her before God. After this, she immediately felt a clearing up in her soul and entered the church unhindered. Having poured out abundant tears at the Lord's Tomb, she went out of the church a completely different person.

Mary fulfilled her promise to change her life. From Jerusalem, she withdrew into the harsh and barren Jordanian Desert, and there spent almost half a century in complete solitude, in fasting and prayer. Thus, by severe ascetic feats, Mary of Egypt completely eradicated in herself all sinful desires and made her heart a pure temple of the Holy Spirit.

The Elder Zosima, who lived in the Jordanian Monastery of the Prophet John the Forerunner, was deemed worthy, by God's providence, to meet Venerable Mary in the desert, when she was already an extremely old woman. He was struck by her holiness and gift of clairvoyance. He saw her once during prayer as if raised up above the earth, and another time ­ walking over the river Jordan, as if on dry land.

In parting with Zosima, Venerable Mary asked him to come again to the desert in a year to give her Communion. The Elder returned at the appointed time and gave Venerable Mary Communion of the Holy Mysteries. Then, when he went into the desert after another year in the hope of seeing the Saint, he did not find her among the living.

The Elder buried the remains of Venerable Mary there in the desert. In this a lion helped him, who dug a hole with his claws for burying the body of the righteous one. She died in the year 521.

Thus, from a great sinner, Venerable Mary became, with God's help, a very great saint and left such a striking example of repentance. Her memory is marked on the 1st of April (according to the Church calendar) and on the Fifth Sunday of Great Lent.

Akathist for the Departed

Akathist for the Repose of Those Who have Fallen Asleep

Kontakion 1

O Thou Who by Thine inscrutable providence didst prepare the world for eternal blessedness and Who appointest times and seasons and the manner of our end: Forgive, O Lord, those who have died in past ages all their sins, receive them into the realms of light and joy, hasten to open Thy fatherly arms to them, and hear us who celebrate their memory and sing:

O Lord of unutterable Love, remember Thy servants who have fallen asleep.

Ikos 1

O Thou Who savest Adam and the whole human race from eternal perdition, Thou didst send Thy Son into the world, O good God, and by His Cross and Resurrection Thou hast granted us also eternal life. Trusting to Thine infinite mercy, we look for the deathless Kingdom of Thy glory, we implore Thee to grant it to those who have fallen asleep, and we pray: Gladden, O Lord, souls wearied by the storms of life, that earth’s sorrows and sighings may not bury them in oblivion. Hear them, O Lord, in Thy bosom, as a mother responds to her children, and say to them: Your sins are forgiven you. Receive them, O Lord, into Thy calm and blessed haven that they may rejoice in Thy divine glory.

O Lord of unutterable Love, remember Thy servants who have fallen asleep.

Kontakion 2

Enlightened by the illumination of the Most High, Saint Macarius heard a voice from a pagan skull: “When you pray for those suffering in hades, there is relief for the heathen.” O wonderful power of Christian prayer, by which even the infernal regions are illumined! Both believers and unbelievers receive comfort when we cry for the whole world: ALLELUIA.

Ikos 2

Saint Isaac the Syrian once said: “A merciful heart is one that burns with love for men and animals and for the whole of creation, and at all times offers prayers with tears that they may be purified and kept.” Likewise we all boldly ask the Lord for help for all the dead from the beginning of time and cry: Send down to us, O Lord, the gift of fervent prayer for the dead. Remember, O Lord, all who have charged us, unworthy as we are, to pray for them, and pardon the sins they have forgotten. Remember, O Lord, all who have been buried without prayer. Receive, O Lord, into Thy dwellings all who have died of sorrow or joy by a sudden or untimely death.

O Lord of unutterable Love, remember Thy servants who have fallen asleep.

Kontakion 3

We are to blame for the calamities in the world, for the sufferings of dumb creatures, and for the diseases and torments of innocent children, for through the fall of man the beatitude and beauty of all creation has been marred. O Christ our God, greatest of innocent sufferers! Thou alone canst forgive all. Forgive, then, all and everything, and grant to the world its primordial prosperity, that the living and the dead may rejoice and cry: ALLELUIA.

Ikos 3

O joyful Light, Redeemer of the world, embracing the whole universe with Thy love: behold, Thy cry from the Cross for Thine enemies is heard: “Father, forgive them ” In the name of Thy all-forgiving love we make bold to pray to our Heavenly Father for the eternal repose of Thy enemies and ours. Forgive, O Lord, those who have shed innocent blood, those who have sown the path of our life with sorrows, those who have waded to prosperity through the tears of their neighbors. Condemn not, O Lord, those who persecute us with slander and malice. Repay with mercy those whom we have wronged or offended through ignorance, and grant that our prayer for them may be holy through the sacrament of reconciliation.

O Lord of unutterable Love, remember Thy servants who have fallen asleep.

Kontakion 4

Save, O Lord, those who have died in grievous sufferings, those who were murdered, those buried alive, those who were drowned or burned, those who were torn by wild beasts, those who died of hunger or cold, from exposure in storms, or by falling from heights, and grant them all eternal joy for the sorrow of their death.. May the time of their suffering be blessed as a day of redemption, for which they sing: ALLELUIA.

Ikos 4

Recompense with the compassion of Thy infinite love, O Lord, all who have died in the full flush of their youth, who received on earth the thorny crown of suffering, who never experienced earthly joy. Grant recompense to those who died from overwork, through exploitation or sweated labor. Receive, O Lord, into the bridal halls of Paradise boys and girls, and grant them joy at the marriage supper of Thy Son. Comfort and console the grief of parents over their dead children. Give rest, O Lord, to all who have no one to offer prayer for them to Thee, their Creator, that their sins may vanish in the dazzling light of Thy forgiveness.

O Lord of unutterable Love, remember Thy servants who have fallen asleep.

Kontakion 5

Thou hast given us death as a last prodigy to bring us to our senses and to repentance, O Lord. In its threatening light, earthly vanity is exposed, carnal passions and sufferings become subdued, insubmissive reason is humbled. Eternal justice and righteousness opens to our gaze, and then the godless and those burdened with sins confess on their deathbed Thy real and eternal existence and cry to Thy mercy: ALLELUIA.

Ikos 5

O Father of all consolation and comfort, Thou brightenest with the sun, delightest with fruits, and gladdenest with the beauty of the world both Thy friends and enemies. And we believe that even beyond the grave Thy loving kindness, which is merciful even to all rejected sinners, does not fail. We grieve for hardened and wicked blasphemers of Thy holiness. May Thy saving and gracious will be over them. Forgive, O Lord, those who have died without repentance. Save those who have committed suicide in the darkness of their mind, that the flame of their sinfulness may be extinguished in the ocean of Thy grace.

O Lord of unutterable Love, remember Thy servants who have fallen asleep.

Kontakion 6

Terrible is the darkness of a soul separated from God, the torments of conscience, the gnashing of teeth, the unquenchable fire and the undying worm. I tremble at the thought of such a fate, and I pray for those suffering in hades as for myself. May our song descend upon them as refreshing dew as we sing: ALLELUIA.

Ikos 6

Thy light, O Christ our God, has shone upon those sitting in the darkness and shadow of death and those in hades who cannot cry to Thee. Descend into the infernal regions of the earth, O Lord, and bring out into the joy of grace Thy children who have been separated from Thee by sin but who have not rejected Thee. For they suffer cruelly. Have mercy on them. For they sinned against Heaven and before Thee, and their sins are infinitely grievous, and Thy mercy is infinite. Visit the bitter misery of souls separated from Thee. Have mercy, O Lord, on those who hated the truth out of ignorance. May Thy love be to them not a consuming fire but the coolness of Paradise:

O Lord of unutterable Love, remember Thy servants who have fallen asleep.

Kontakion 7

Endeavoring to give help by Thy might power to Thy servants who have fallen asleep, Thou hast appeared to their loved ones, O Lord, in mysterious visions clearly inspiring them to pray, that they may remember the departed, and do good works and labors of faith and love for them, crying: ALLELUIA.

Ikos 7

The universal Church of Christ unceasingly offers prayers every hour for the departed throughout the world, for the sins of the world are washed away by the most pure Blood of Thy divine crown, and the souls of those who have fallen asleep are translated from death to life and from earth to Heaven by the power of the prayers offered for them at God’s altars. May the intercession of the Church for the dead, O Lord, be a ladder to Heaven. Have mercy on them, O Lord, through the intercession of the most holy Mother of God and all the Saints. Forgive them their sins for the sake of Thy faithful who cry day and night to Thee. For the sake of innocent children, O Lord, have mercy on their parents, and by the tears of their mothers, forgive the sins of their children. For the sake of the prayers of innocent sufferers and the blood of martyrs, spare and have mercy on sinners. Receive, O Lord, our prayers and alms as a memorial of their virtues.

O Lord of unutterable Love, remember Thy servants who have fallen asleep.

Kontakion 8

The whole world is a sacred and common graveyard, for in every place is the dust of our fathers and brothers. O Christ our God, Who alone unchangeably lovest us, forgive all who have died from the beginning till now, that they may sing with infinite love: ALLELUIA.

Ikos 8

The day is coming, as a burning furnace, the great and terrible day of the Last Judgment, when the secrets of men will be revealed and the books of conscience will be torn apart. “Be reconciled with God!’ cries the Apostle Paul. “Be reconciled before that terrible day ” Help us, O Lord, to fill up with the tears of the living what was lacking in the dead. May the sound of the Angel’s trumpet, O Lord, be to them the glad announcement of their salvation and the joyful manumission of their freedom at the hour of Thy judgment. Crown with glory those who have suffered for Thee, O Lord, and cover the sins of the weak with Thy goodness. O Lord, Who knowest all by name, remember those who have sought salvation in the monastic life. Remember the blessed pastors with their spiritual children.

O Lord of unutterable Love, remember Thy servants who have fallen asleep.

Kontakion 9

Bless swiftly passing time. For every hour, every moment brings eternity nearer. A new sorrow, a new gray hair are heralds of the coming world, witnesses of earthly corruption, for all is passing (they tell us) and the Eternal kingdom draws near, where there is no sorrow, no sighing, no tears, but joyful singing: ALLELUIA.

Ikos 9

Just as a tree loses its leaves after a time, so our days after a certain number of years come to an end. The festival of youth fades, the lamp of joy goes out, the alienation and dispossession of old age approaches. Friends and relations die. Where are you, young merrymakers? Their tombs are silent, but their souls are in Thy hand. Let us think how they watch us from the spiritual world. O Lord, Who art the brightest Sun, illumine and warm the abodes of those who have fallen asleep. May the time of our bitter separation pass for ever. Grant us a joyful meeting in Heaven. Grant that all may be one with Thee, O Lord. Restore to the departed, O Lord, the purity of childhood and the genial spirit of youth, and may eternal life be to them a Paschal festival.

O Lord of unutterable Love, remember Thy servants who have fallen asleep.

Kontakion 10

Shedding silent tears at the graves of our relatives, we pray with hope, and cry expectantly: Tell us, O Lord, that their sins are forgiven. Give our spirit a secret assurance of it, that we may sing: ALLELUIA.

Ikos 10

Looking back, I see the whole of our past life. What a vast multitude of people have departed from the first day until now! And many of them have done me good. In gratitude for what I owe them, with love I cry to Thee: Grant heavenly glory, O Lord, to my parents and those near and dear to me who watched over my cradle in childhood, and reared and educated me. Glorify, O Lord, in the presence of the Holy Angels all who have told me the glad tidings of salvation and have taught me what is right and good, just and true by the holy example of their lives. Fill with delight, O Lord, those who fed me on hidden manna in the days of my sorrow and affliction. Recompense and save all benefactors and all who have helped others personally and by prayer.

O Lord of unutterable Love, remember Thy servants who have fallen asleep.

Kontakion 11

O death, where is thy sting? Where is the gloom and terror that held sway in the past? From now on thou art the longed for means of inseparable union with God. Oh, the great peace of the mystical Sabbath! We long to die and to be with Christ, cries the Apostle. Therefore, we too look upon death as the gateway to eternal life, and cry: ALLELUIA.

Ikos 11

The dead will rise and those who are in the graves will stand up, and those who are alive on earth will exult when they stand with their spiritual bodies, radiantly glorious and incorrupt. Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord: “I will bring upon you a spirit of life, and will lay sinews upon you; and I will bring flesh upon you, and cover you with skin ” Rise out of the ancient past, you who are redeemed by the Blood of the Son of God, restored to life by His death, for the light of the Resurrection has dawned upon you. Open to them now, O Lord, the whole abyss of Thy perfections. Thou hast shone upon them with the light of the sun and moon, that they may see the glory of the radiant choirs of Angels, Thou hast delighted them with the magnificence of the heavenly lights of East and West, that they may also see the never-setting light of Thy Divinity.

O Lord of unutterable Love, remember Thy servants who have fallen asleep.

Kontakion 12

Flesh and blood will not inherit the Kingdom of God. While we live in the flesh, we are separated from Christ. And if we die, we live for eternity. For our corruptible body must put on incorruption, and this mortal nature must shine with immortality, that in the light of the eternal day we may sing: ALLELUIA.

Ikos 12

We expect to meet the Lord, we expect the clear dawn of the Resurrection, we expect the rousing from their tombs of our dead relatives and acquaintances and their restoration to the most holy beauty of life. And we rejoice in the coming transfiguration of all creation, and cry to our Creator: O Lord, Who didst create the world for the triumph of joy and goodness, Who hast restored us to holiness from the depths of sin, grant that the dead may reign in the new creation, and may shine as heavenly lights in the day of their glory. May the Divine Lamb be their perpetual light. Grant, O Lord, that we too may celebrate with them a deathless Passover. Unite the dead and the living in unending joy.

O Lord of unutterable Love, remember Thy servants who have fallen asleep.

Kontakion 13

O most merciful and eternal Father, Whose will it is that all should be saved, Who didst send Thy Son to the lost and didst pour out Thy Life-giving Spirit: Have mercy on our relatives and those who are near and dear to us who have fallen asleep, and on all who have died throughout the ages; forgive and save them, and by their intercession visit us, that with them we may shout to Thee, our God and Saviour, the song of victory: ALLELUIA. (3 times)

Then the First Ikos and Kontakion.

Prayer for those who have fallen asleep

O God of spirits and all flesh, Who hast trampled down death, overthrown the devil, and given life to Thy world: Give rest, O Lord, to the souls of Thy servants who have fallen asleep, Patriarchs, Metropolitans, Archbishops, Bishops, Priests and Deacons, Monks and Nuns, and all who have served Thee in Thy Church; the founders of all Churches and Monasteries, and all Orthodox forefathers, fathers, brothers and sisters who lie here and everywhere; officers and men of the armies and navies who have laid down their lives for their Faith and country, all the faithful killed in civil wars, all who were drowned, burned, frozen to death, torn by wild beasts, all who died suddenly without repentance and had no time to be reconciled with the Church and with their enemies; all who took their own lives in a moment of mental unbalance; all who have asked us to pray for them, and those who have no one to pray for them, and all who died without a Christian burial, (NAMES), in a place of light, in a place of refreshment, in a place of repose, whence all suffering, sorrow, and sighing have fled away. Forgive every sin committed by them in thought, word and deed, for Thou art the good God and Lover of men. For there is no one who lives without sinning. Thou alone art without sin, and Thy righteousness in eternal righteousness, and Thy Word is Truth.

For Thou art the Resurrection, the Life, and the Repose of Thy servants who have fallen asleep (NAMES), O Christ our God, and to Thee we send up glory, with Thy Eternal Father, and Thy Holy and Good and Lifegiving Spirit, both now and ever and to the ages of ages. Amen.

from: http://saintsilouan.org/