Life after Death | Orthodox | 2
About those who live in another life
Hasn’t anyone watched chains of people strolling to the grave-yards on the Easter to pay homage to the dearest tombs?
And though this custom of going to the graveyards on a Bright day of the Resurrection Of Christ was taken root during the Soviet power (the Orthodox have a special day of the Easter remembrance of the departed – Radonitsa),
it is worth noting that it is just on the bright days of the Christian feast of victory over death that even non-Church-goers seek to remember their departed relatives.
They want to believe that their dearest ones have not passed away forever, that they are alive but somehow live differently and it is possible to be with them, at least in spirit.
This inner ineradicable sense of immortality of the human personality is stronger than any skepticism. And it is really so:
all of them – our beloved and dearest, - are alive, but they live through a different life, not that one that we are living through right now, but a life to which we will come to in due time, when everyone comes to sooner or later.
That is why any questioning about that life which is life eternal and which we celebrate marking the Easter, - the Resurrection of Christ, is especially close to us, it does not touch upon our mind only but our heart, maybe in the larger extent.
Our heart perceives very closely the word with a deep meaning - departed that sounds in a Church.
While hearing it you feel a certain tranquility, which they might have achieved, having thrown a flesh from themselves with its numerous concerns, fuss, a fire of unquenchable passions.
- You have freed yourself, our beloved and dearest departed.
How different is the word from those ones which we hear outside the Church walls!
And of course, we would like to know – how are they there and what is there?
There are few people who do not display any concern about it.
And what happens with a man when he dies away?
What occurs with a soul when it comes out from its body?
We stick to certain Orthodox traditions:
It is a custom to remember those passed away on the 3rd, 9th, 40th days. But we have very approximate ideas what is happening with a soul during this period of time.
We have heard that every person goes through many torments.
But what is this? Is it really that very thing, what popular brochures write about on the subject or something different?
And even a more serious question:
Who is being saved?
And what does it mean: “being saved?
If Christians only are saved, or else – only the Orthodox?
And out of the Orthodox only those who have lived through a righteous life?
And a torturing question put by the life itself,
whether they will be saved or perished forever
– all those who due to some reasons could not accept Christianity (for example, there was no worshipping about Christ or it was worshipped falsely, or they were not brought up in this way and etc.)?
If all unfaithful or all adherent of a different faith, of the non-Orthodox perish, in that case a minor fraction of a percentage of the humankind will be saved, and will all the rest perish?
Didn’t God know about it?
And another question that springs up when we touch upon the issue of a posthumous state of a soul:
What is Gehenna and everlasting torments?
Are they really everlasting in the sense of endless?
How could it be matched: from the one side – God’s awareness and love and from the other – existence of eternal torments?
Here we see what kind of serious questions arise out of a simple, at first glance, fact of remembrance of the departed.
The theme of life of a soul after death is secret, concealed.
Very little is revealed to a man about his posthumous residence.
We’ll touch upon here only some fragments of the matter, which are of interest for many and are highlighted in the Holy Tradition of the Church.