Rest eternal grant unto them, O Lord; and let light perpetual shine upon them. May they rest in peace. Amen.
Lord, remember your servant Karol Wojtyla. May his soul, and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in + peace. Amen.
I have come across many prayers online for the deceased pope, and I have found it interesting to see the different things that people have been praying for. This clearly reflects the different beliefs that people hold about death and what happens.
Death, judgement, heaven and hell: I have never been sure what actually happens here.
The protestant idea of death being an instant ticket to either heaven or hell has never sat well with me. It seems too mechanical and so out of accordance with the rest of the Faith, and it also cannot be explained in the light of the scriptural references to hope in the resurrection of the dead, especially the examples of people praying for those who had died.
The answer to this seemed logical - purgatory, but then this also seems to me to be rather mechanical, and again doesn't sit well. Now I'm not saying that I must be comfortable with every aspect of the Faith in order for it to be Truth, for that itself would be a nonsense, but the idea of Purgatory, with its time measured in years strikes me as odd, as I have always understood that time is a constraint of this plane of existence, and does not apply to those who have departed this life. Purgatory, I believe, is also an addition that was added by the west after the schism, and so does not have the consensus of the whole Church anyway. All of the above considered, the Church Militant, the Church Suffering and the Church Triumphant is not something that I can embrace.
However, I have, a few times now, heard Anglicans refer to The Church Militant, the Church Expectant, and the Church Triumphant. I rather like this. It seems to acknowledge that the dead require our prayers, for they too were sinners, much like us, and require God's grace and forgiveness, but it does not place too fine a definition on what actually happens. This, I can embrace, but I am aware that this has come only from my reasoning and I am keen to find out what orthodoxy says about all of this.
I know that the Orthodox do pray for those who have died and that they reject the idea of Purgatory, but I am not sure what they actually do believe.
Any comments would be welcome.
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