How to commemorate for 9 days after death according to the Orthodox tradition – memorial dinner, prayers and rituals

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The question of how to commemorate for 9 days after death and how to correctly celebrate the commemoration of the deceased is important for families who survived the loss. There are a lot of customs and rituals that must be observed on this day. A memorial meal, a service in the church where memorial services are held, church prayers, a visit to the grave – all this is an obligatory and integral part of the memorial. In order to adequately honor the memory of one’s neighbor, one must know how they celebrate 9 days from the date of death.

Commemoration of the dead in Orthodoxy

Commemoration of the departed is a special custom among Orthodox Christians. In Orthodoxy, the numbers 3, 9, 40 have a sacred meaning, so these days are special for commemoration. According to church traditions, after death, one must remember the person in order to help the departed to find peace with his prayers. After leaving earthly life, the soul of the deceased is in search of its path into a new life. She is looking for her new home in the other world. Remembering a person, praying for him, neighbors facilitate the fate of the departed and help the soul find peace.

Wake for 9 days after death

In Orthodoxy, Christians have a tradition of honoring the memory of the deceased for nine days from the date of departure. There are special customs for the remembrance of the deceased, which are extremely important to observe, because these are traditions established by the times. Adhering to these traditions and rites is important not only from the point of view of religion, but also for peace of mind and balance of the family of the deceased.

Necessary rites of remembrance for 9 days after death:

  • going to church;
  • service (memorial service, lithium, funeral service, magpie)
  • reading prayers (in church or at home);
  • visiting the grave;
  • funeral dinner.

Woman in church

Why make a wake for 9 days

The commemoration of the deceased is arranged for 9 days after the death in honor of nine angels who protect the soul of the deceased and ask the Almighty for her salvation. Following the Orthodox traditions, the purpose of the memorial service is to help the deceased find his new home. The ninth day after the person leaves is a very important period for relatives and friends. According to church customs, the transition of the soul of the deceased to the kingdom of heaven depends on them. With their prayers, relatives can help the soul of the departed to find peace.

Who is invited

Traditionally, a nine-day wake is considered uninvited. It is important that people come of their own free will. It is not customary to invite or remind about this date in Orthodox traditions. However, in the modern world they often invite to commemorations in order to plan and solve organizational issues in advance. Sometimes the relatives of the deceased accidentally remind themselves of this event, thereby they, without breaking traditions, warn in advance of their arrival. If a large number of people are expected, then a memorial is arranged outside the home, for example, in a restaurant.

What is cooked

The most common dish, which is prepared for a 9-day commemoration, is kutia: boiled wheat seeds, which add something sweet, such as sugar or honey. Seeds are a symbol of life, and sugar or honey is the sweetness of life after death. Instead of kutia, you can cook another porridge, for example, rice. On a memorial table for 9 days it is customary to put compote or jelly. Sometimes at funeral feasts you can see pancakes, pies, various fish dishes, meatballs, as well as borsch. According to Orthodox customs, a memorial meal should do without alcohol.

Funeral rice kutia

What they do for 9 days

The remembrance of 9 days after death is the day when the deceased is remembered and only the good is remembered. During this period, it is not customary to arrange funeral gatherings or, conversely, to arrange a joyous feast. He should go quietly, and the family of the deceased should behave humbly. In addition, there are a large number of different customs that need to be considered..

Customs commemoration of 9 days:

  • A slice of bread and dishes with water should be at home from morning to night.
  • Next to the photo of the deceased, you need to light a candle or lamp.
  • We must visit the cemetery of the deceased, but it is impossible to arrange a funeral right in the middle of the cemetery.
  • A memorial meal should be modest, no frills.
  • Food that is left after a memorial meal cannot be thrown away. The remaining products must be distributed to the poor and homeless..
  • On this date, you need to give alms, give dinners for the poor, help the needy.


Correctly remembering the dead on day 9 means praying for them. Despite the pain and bitterness of loss, you need to realize that prayer will help the deceased more than tears. It is important to release a loved one so that in the afterlife his soul finds peace. Praying for the mercy of the Almighty for the deceased is extremely necessary, because if they pray for the departed, then there is something good in him. Therefore, it is important to visit the temple, order a magpie about the departed. Before the memorial meal, it is imperative to read the order of lithium about the deceased..

A man is praying

How to count 9 days after death

According to Christian canons, commemoration on the 9th day after death is an important event, so you need to correctly calculate the date on which it falls. In order to correctly calculate nine days, you need to start the report directly from the day the deceased left. The first day should be considered the day of death itself, not the funeral. Including from the moment of death, you need to count nine days only if death has arrived before midnight. If the death came after midnight, then they begin to count from the next day, inclusive.

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