‘Weep for those who die in their wealth and who with all their wealth prepared no consolation for their own souls, who had the power to wash away their sins and did not will to do it. Let us weep for them, let us assist them to the extent of our ability, let us think of some assistance for them, small as it may be, yet let us somehow assist them. But how, and in what way? By praying for them and by entreating others to pray for them, by constantly giving alms to the poor on their behalf. Not in vain was it decreed by the apostles that in the awesome mysteries remembrance should be made of the departed. They knew that here there was much gain for them, much benefit. When the entire people stands with hands uplifted, a priestly assembly, and that awesome sacrificial Victim is laid out, how, when we are calling upon God, should we not succeed in their defence? But this is done for those who have departed in the faith, while even the catechumens are not reckoned as worthy of this consolation, but are deprived of every means of assistance except one. And what is that? We may give alms to the poor on their behalf’.
from Homilies on Philippians 3.4-10 by St John Chrysostom, d.407
Heavenly Father, Lord and Lover of souls, we pray to thee for those we believe are living still, though they have passed through the grave and gate of death and we see them no more. After the darkness here, grant them the light of vision; after the restlessness of sin, grant them the rest of union with thy will. Nearer to thee, they will not be farther from us: loving thee more, they will not love us less. Fulfil and finish in them thy perfect work, that they may know the more abundant life that he came to bring, who is the Resurrection and the Life, thy Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost for ever. Amen. - Father Andrew SDC, from St Gregory’s Prayer Book.
Fr Lee Kenyon