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Orthodox Talks #28: Do the Dead Need Our Help or Do We Need Theirs?


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Talk 28: Do the Dead Need Our Help or Do We Need Theirs?

Speaker: Hieromonk Kosmas

(Duration: 3hr 27min) 

Without a doubt, even among Orthodox Christians there is considerable ignorance today regarding the soul after death. When someone close to us departs this life, those left behind are at a loss as to what to do for their departed loved one. Some ascribe the greatest importance to flowers, poems and speeches, and beautiful funerals and graves. Others believe that they can communicate with their departed loved ones, and instead of seeking to help the dead attempt to obtain help from them.

In this talk, Father Kosmas uses the teachings of the Orthodox Church to present the truth about the soul after death. He explains that that departed souls greatly desire spiritual help from the Church and their loved ones, and emphasises that the help we give our departed loved ones can deliver them from a place of suffering to a place of eternal blessedness.

The following questions are also discussed: how do the prayers before and after the soul’s departure help a person? Is it a myth that demons and angels fight each other for a newly-departed soul? Can Orthodox elders or eldresses know the condition of a departed soul? What is meant by: “It is better for some to die than to continue living in this world”? How do mediums reveal secrets and personal information about the departed and those present in the audience? Can departed souls communicate with the living?

Other topics covered in this talk include: the importance of performing good deeds on behalf of those who have departed this life; how private prayers help the soul of a departed loved one; examples of souls that have appeared to the living; how a monk prayed for the suffering soul of his mother who had lived as a prostitute; why psychics such as John Edward never mention the existence of Hell, suffering, and the demons; the difference between an elder and a psychic medium; and how commemoration of the dead at the Divine Liturgy is the highest form of help.


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