First Lenten Ancestral Memorial Saturday
Before taking upon Lenten struggle, on the Ancestral Memorial Saturday, the Holy Church appealed to Her children to become witnesses of the inseparable union of love and connection with all the Orthodox Christians who entered into the bliss of eternity. Thus, over the course of the Holy Forty Days, in order not to deprive the deceased of prayerful commemoration during the Divine Liturgy services, the Ancestral Memorial Saturdays were established on the second, third and fourth weeks of Lent.
On today’s first Ancestral Memorial Saturday of the Holy Forty Days, remembrance prayers during ligurgy and panikhida services were held in the Transfiguration and Trinity Cathedrals, as well as at the “Joy of All Who Sorrow” Church of the Seraphim-Diveyevo monastery, whereas on the day before, Great Vespers and remembrance Matins services were held in the Trinity Cathedral.
Kolivo, or wheat boiled and mixed with honey blessed at the panikhida is a material representation of our belief in the immortality of the soul of the deceased. Just like the seeds, in order to produce a wheat head and bear fruit, must be placed in the ground and then reduced to dust, the body of the deceased is buried in the ground and goes into decay in order to rise again for the life after death.
So, today we are praying that the Lord forgives the sins of all Orthodox Christians who died at all times settling them in the mansions of the righteous: “With the souls of the righteous departed, give rest to the souls of Thy servants, O Savior; preserving them in the blessed life which is with Thee, Who lovest mankind. In the place of Thy rest, O Lord, where all Thy saints repose, give rest also to the souls of Thy servants; for Thou only lovest mankind.”