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Memorial and Burial of Those Passed Away

It is recommended that our faithful respect the memory of their loved ones and seek the fatherly mercy of God through prayer, charity and religious ceremony. 


For the benefit of those who wish to have a memorial service performed for their departed loved one, or relative, they should take into consideration that it is necessary for them to be present in church from the start of the Divine Liturgy and participate in the prayers, because although the memorial service will be performed at the end of the liturgy, the celebrant priest remembers all our departed ones in his silent liturgical prayers as well. 


--Memorial services are performed at the end of the Divine Liturgy.

 

--According to the canons of the Armenian Church, it is forbidden to perform memorial services on Feast Days: Nativity or Epiphany, Easter Sunday, transfiguration of Jesus Christ, Ascension and Exaltation of the Holy Cross. Special Remembrance Days for conducting memorial services follows on the next days of these five major feasts. Memorial services coinciding with feast days should be moved to the preceding or following Sunday. 


--According to the canons of the Armenian Church it is not permitted to perform memorial services during the Holy Week as well as on Christmas Eve and Easter Eve Liturgies. 


--It is possible to perform Requiem Mass on Sundays during Lent if there is such a request, usually after the Sunrise Service which follows the Divine Liturgy.

Funeral services are permissible on all days of the year but avoid performing funerals on Sundays. 


Pastors must endeavor to explain to the relatives of the deceased, that after the performance of the Wake Service (Dan Gark), performed at the funeral home, they honor the departed one with the Church Service followed by a graveside service at the cemetery. 


During the performance of the Wake Service (Dan Gark) when the casket is still open, it is appropriate to place a wafer in the hands of the deceased. 

--Although there is no special rule concerning whether the deceasedís face should be kept uncovered or covered, prior to the service, for the sake of solemnity and in order to prevent unnecessary or after inappropriate displays of behavior taking place inside the Church, it is advisable to keep the casket closed in the Church. If it has been customary to keep the deceasedís face open, it is proper for that custom to be gradually lifted and the magnificence of the rites of our Holy Church kept undisturbed during the funeral service. 

--It is specifically forbidden to have the deceasedís casket open during the funeral service at the Church.

 

--Pastors and parish councils are requested to use all available means to convince the faithful that, according to the canons and traditions of the Armenian Church, as well as the tenets of the Christian religion, they should not cremate the body of their beloved deceased.

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