Why Do We Pray for The Dead
Why wouldn't we pray for the dead please be seated?
My unstated first reaction to a graded oral question asked by one of our faculty during a lunch. At the Seminary sometime last spring the devious faculty member warrants in his syllabus. You will be asked the theological question about what is happening in the chapel service. The question play place last semester was father. Why do we pray for the dead? My answer was probably reasonable my grade demonstrated proficiency answer should have reflected the first thing entered my mind. Why wouldn't we pray for the Dead? It seems sort of basic to me. Anyway, we are called to pray to our Eternal Father for our most basic needs for daily bread for the Forgiveness of trespass that we can forgive those who trespass against us that we may not be led toward Temptation and be delivered from Evil how therefore could anyone fail to pray when someone or something has impacted them. If we have a close personal relationship with someone beat a person alive today a wife a mother and father are Brothers and Sisters in Christ or be the person who was alive yesterday a godparent an important youth leader and important friend or comrade-in-arms. How could we fail to speak of these people in our most important relationship our relationship with God? The New Testament times the Jewish authorities were confused about the status of the Dead Mark Matthew and Luke account that some satisi is who deny that there was a resurrection came to Jesus to try to track him. They're related a fictional story of a woman who had seven husbands and ass Whose wife with the woman be in the resurrection since she had seven husbands? Jesus told them the resurrected do not marry. Then he assured them of the resurrection of the Dead saying have you not read what was spoken to you by God? Who said I am the god of Abraham the god of Isaac and the god of Jacob. Then Jesus continued God is not the god of the dead but of the living This is not the only passage where Christ refers to the life of the dad in The Gospel of Luke Christ tells the story of a rich man and Lazarus price pronounce when the bag or died Angels carried him to Abraham side. The rich man also died and was buried and in Hades where he was in torment. He looked up and saw Abraham far away with Lazarus by his side. He asked for help but was reminded of all the good things he received an Earthly life while Lazarus received only the bad. The rich man was reminded of the great Chasm Between Heaven and Hell Hades and Paradise. We are we are also reminded of that Chasm even the chasm between the living and the dead the church militant and the church triumphant. It was a woman from Castillo about 25 years ago. She saw or has the Holy Spirit told her to advise of a call to the priesthood the young artillery officer was unimpressed when a war protester told him you were supposed to be a priest. He literally laughed at her she responded matter-of-factly that the Holy Spirit would advise when he was ready. The Holy Spirit was ready about 20 years later wanting to let a former friend know she was right that former artillery officer tried to find his token peace activist who an impacted his life even before discovering her prophetic words were true. The woman had passed yet within his soul. He knew that somehow she knew whether at that moment or it's some distant moment in the Eternal judgement somehow wherever the faithful dead reside that profit new. We are reminded of a place for the dead in some of the last words of Jesus answering the repentant thief on the cross. Jesus said truly I say to you today. You will be with me in Paradise. There are clear Reasons from Christ's own words to believe that the dead reside somewhere after they are no longer seen by us here. We've all lost people who have had to have impacted Our Lives perhaps a teacher a scoutmaster a youth leader their impact can sometimes be felt even beyond what they taught us about life. They can impact us in their death losing respected leader from one's youth can be devastating especially if they died too young say at 40 years old such a death can shake a world. Perhaps one might have mistaken theology that the good will live a long productive life. It doesn't work that way one with so distorted a theology might ask how God can you be so callous to a wonderful person who gave freely for so many he deserve to live not be struck down in his forties. He did everything he was supposed to do. Such a person might pray help me. I am so confused and by taking their concerns for the righteous person to a loving God. God may even answer and increase one's faith. Yep, from such a story of a mortal and imports in perfect weighing of good and evil one may start to understand concerns others may have had about prayers for the dead in the western church prayers for the dead were closely connected with the development of the doctrine of purgatory as we celebrated All Hallows Eve on October 31st, and then All Saints Day on November 1st, and as we celebrate it All Saints Day on November 2nd and even today we also might remember that Martin Luther nailed 95 Theses to the door of the Wittenberg Castle Church 501 years ago on October 31st, 1517 among Luther's concern for the issuance of indulgences by the Roman Church. As tradition was passed down at a Catholic preacher John tetzel sold indulgences with the rhyme as soon as the coin in the Coffer Rings the soul from purgatory Springs. Pressing those words have complete accuracy is debatable but something seems to be a mess with a theology which computed left over Grace as being capable of springing a soul from the Pains of purgatory from whatever tribulation a dead person might Face seems perhaps a little unfair and maybe even diametrically opposed to the gospel message of the rich man and Lazarus. Defining a proper theology regarding the dead and understanding the consequences of actions that those still on Earth might have on their depaint The Departed acquaintances seems an important question for anyone considering the life of those who passed before us after all if positive actions sing a song for the construction of a great cathedral in the name of one's grandfather might have a bearing on his eternal life. How might a future negative action by a descendant have a bearing on one's Eternal Light? clearly an attitude of accumulated Grace to cancel accumulated send had some problems as the thought that the righteous actions of a scoutmaster might earn a long or flea like
Most of us have had godparents responses in our baptism. They cheer for us in our Christian Life my godmother cheer for me all my life. She was by definition present at my baptism some fifty years ago. He was quite traditional. He passed in 2016. She knew of my call and encouraged me regularly if she were still among the church militant. She would have turned my ordination. Should that still be the Lord's will for me I left portions of the burial right for some family members who could not attend the funeral in person.
Inscriptions on the catacombs with their constant prayers for peace and refreshment of The Souls of The Departed and the early liturgy is would commonly contain commemoration of the dad Point toward the early churches acceptance of prayers for the dead according to the Oxford dictionary of the Christian church early Christian father fertilien cyprian and others where Witnesses of the regular practice of praying for the dad. In fact in the 4th Century, one of the counts against the heretic areas was that he denied the efficacy and legitimacy of prayers for the Dead. The early church understood the importance of praying for those who had preceded them in death.
Other deaths can impact us as well. Perhaps the death of a comrade a fellow witness to the devastation that war and hate and evil can wreak upon him find such death affect us in many ways that we cannot imagine many years after their passing just ask any victim of post-traumatic stress syndrome. We need to pray for God's help to process the effect of various Lives who have come to an end in our lifetime and before Give God is our most important Confidant and intimate friend. Why would we fail to bring the lives and deaths of those who have affected us to him? If a husband and wife can speak of the effects that death to had in their lives together, how much more can we all speak with our Eternal Father about the pain we feel from def. If there are no dash with your factory sold then perhaps you have no reason to pray for the dead but if the lives of those who have passed has affected your life and you're so it seems obvious that you might pray for those who have so affected your life and your soul so deeply.
So if you ask me, why do we pray for the dead? I will answer why wouldn't we pray for the Dead?