Session 2: “With the saints give rest O Lord” - Death and Dying
"With the Saints give rest O Christ, to the souls of thy servants, where sickness and sorrow are no more, neither sighing, but life everlasting.”
Aim: This session attempts to present the Orthodox approach to dying and death. Maybe some participants are unfamiliar with an Orthodox funeral or the memorial services. Certainly, secular American culture attempts to hide and sanitize death, acting in immense denial of human mortality. The Orthodox approach does not back away from death, but denies its power by virtue of the Cross. Before participants are led to see the tragedy of death by abortion, euthanasia, capital punishment and suicide, they need to see the tragedy of death in general and learn of its significance to Christian life. This may seem morbid. That's okay. Young people are surrounded with images of death and violence but these are often very unreal, and occasionally even romanticized. This session is a chance to deal with death in a more realistic manner.
Objectives: By the end of this session, students should be able . . .
1. To sing parts of the memorial service and or funeral services.
2. To discuss the Gospel message of hope in the face of death and the loss of loved ones.
3. To articulate Orthodox practices relating to the dead.
4. To list their own "family trees" as they understand them and discuss the continuity of the Church community as the living and the dead in Christ. (following session 1, activity #4)
5. To express emotions of mourning and understand better the grieving process.
Useful texts: The Reading for Lazarus Saturday (John 11:1-44)
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
2 Corinthians 5:1-10
Funeral Services and Panakhida book.
kollyva and/or bread
Copies of prayer sheet at end of this session.
I. Opening Prayer
II. Check-In and Review
III. Activity #1: Remembering the Departed
IV. Activity #2: W. W. J. D.?
V. Activity #3: Prayer Lists
VII. Closing Prayer