For Memorials

The Church has always believed and taught that death only ends our lives on earth, but they continue in heaven. “Now that the dead are raised, even Moses showed at the bush, when he called the Lord the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. For he is not a God of the dead, but of the living: for all live unto him (Luke 20:37-38).”

Christians pray for the repose of the souls of the departed as an expression of faith in the resurrection and the belief that in death our relationship with Christ continues. Prayers for the dead cannot change the outcome of God’s judgment because once death comes our destiny cannot change (Hebrews 9:7).

A memorial service is how Christians pray for and remember the dead. The Church also remembers the departed in the prayers of every Divine Liturgy. Traditionally, when families prepare the offering bread (prosforo) they also submit names of the departed and the living to the priest.

Anytime a parishioner would like for someone to be remembered at a Liturgy, simply submit the name(s) prior to the service to the priest. Parishioners may also offer Communion wine, olive oil, and incense to be used at the altar when submitting names as well.

When should a Memorial Service be conducted?

A memorial service should be scheduled with the priest and conducted approximately forty days after someone dies and on the one-year and three-year anniversaries.

When the memorial service is offered, it is customary and necessary for the family of the deceased to bring a dish of boiled wheat to the Church. Koliva can be ordered through our Saint Mark Philoptochos. The boiled wheat is placed on a table on the solea during the Service. The wheat, known as koliva, is a symbol of the Resurrection. When speaking of the Resurrection, our Lord said, “Unless the grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone, but if it dies it bears much fruit (John 12:24).”

The association between death and life, between that which is planted in the ground and that which emerges, is deeply embedded in the making and eating of Kollyva.

The Ways You Can Honor and Remember Your Loved ones

Remembrance & Memorials

Submit names to the Church Office which will be commemorated during Matins as the gifts are being prepared. This is a good way to remember those who have been departed for longer periods or time such as five (5) years or more.

Altar Donations
Saturday of The Souls

Submit names to be memorialized for these services which take place throughout the year at special times.  You may bring Koliva to be blessed and taken home for your family. Or you may contact our Saint Mark Philoptochos to order smaller koliva


Contact the church office with the name and the date of repose of your loved ones.  These are services for an individual deceased. Koliva must be offered at these services for the reposed, generally at 40 days after death, 3 or 6 months after death, and one year. You may order Koliva through our Philoptochos for a fee, and it will be served to the church community after the service.  You are also welcome to make Koliva which will be blessed but it cannot be served to the church community.