If it were a mockery

21 December 2021

What God wants is for us to do good to others, both in this life and the next. If he didn’t see this as the right thing, he wouldn’t have given us the right to remember the dead in the divine liturgy, nor to have memorial services on the third, ninth and fortieth days, and after a year, which is something which devout people most certainly do. In other words, if this were a travesty, without profit and benefit, surely one of the many earlier, God-bearing saints, patriarchs, fathers and teachers would have been enlightened to put a stop to the delusion. But none of them ever tried to abolish memorial services. On the contrary, in fact, they all approved, and so every day this practice is not only spreading and becoming more firmly entrenched, but is also acquiring successive additions.

Saint John the Damascan