Talk 28: Do the Dead Need Our Help or Do We Need Theirs?

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Set of 3 Audio CD's

(Duration: 3hrs 13mins) 

Without a doubt, even among Orthodox Christians there is considerable ignorance today regarding the soul after death. When someone close to us departs this life, those left behind are often at a loss as to how to help their departed loved one. Some ascribe the greatest importance to flowers, poems and speeches, beautiful funerals and graves. Others try to communicate with their departed loved ones to find out how they are or to seek some help from them. But few actually know how to help the dead.

In this talk Father Kosmas uses the teachings of the Orthodox Church to present the truth about the soul after death. He explains that departed souls greatly desire spiritual help from the Church and from their loved ones, and he outlines ways of providing this help, which are able to deliver the departed from a place of suffering to a place of eternal blessedness.

The following questions are also discussed: how do the prayers before and after the soul’s departure help a person? Is it a myth that demons and angels fight each other for a newly-departed soul? Can Orthodox elders or eldresses know the condition of a departed soul? Why is it better for some to die than to continue living in this world? How do mediums reveal personal information about the departed and those present in the audience? Can departed souls communicate with the living? What trials do Christians face at the time of their death? How does one become receptive to prayers offered after one’s death?

Other points covered in this talk include: the importance of performing good deeds on behalf of those who have departed this life; how private prayers help the soul of a departed loved one; examples of souls that have appeared to the living; how a monk prayed for the suffering soul of his mother who had lived as a prostitute; why psychics such as John Edward never mention the existence of Hell, suffering, and the demons; how commemoration of the dead at the Divine Liturgy is the highest form of help; and the importance of arranging for our own commemoration and almsgiving before our death.