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Orthodox Talks #30: Did You Know That the Souls in Hades are in Urgent Need of Help for Their Release?

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Talk 30: Did You Know That the Souls in Hades are in Urgent Need of Help for Their Release?

Speaker: Hieromonk Kosmas

(Duration: 3hr 29min) 

This talk is a continuation of Talk 29. There is much ignorance amongst Orthodox Christians regarding many aspects of the Church’s teachings. One of the topics of which people are particularly ignorant is where souls go after death. For example, Christians are unaware of the difference between Hades and Hell. Saint Nikodemos the Athonite and other holy fathers teach that, unlike Hell, which is a place of eternal torment, Hades is the place where the souls of those who have departed this life without having been freed from sins or passions go to dwell until the Last Judgement and the General Resurrection.

In this talk, Father Kosmas discusses the purpose of serving memorial services and liturgies for our departed loved ones. He explains that when a priest commemorates the names of the departed he is asking God to forgive them their sins, to grant them release from Hades, and to place them in Paradise with the saints. Throughout the talk he emphasizes that many Orthodox Christians are very ignorant of the Church’s teaching on this topic, and as a result departed souls are left without help.

The following questions are also discussed: is it “healthy” for an Orthodox Christian to think about Hell? Is it proper for the clergy to use scare tactics? How do our personal sins affect the souls of our departed loved ones? Can a priest refuse to commemorate the name of a departed Orthodox Christian? What is meant by: “With the saints give rest, O Lord, to the soul of Thy departed servant”?

Other topics covered in this talk include: how a holy elder prayed for the lost soul of his unrepentant departed cousin; how one father blasphemed because his daughter had died; the “good obsession” of an elder who prayed for the release of all the souls that are in Hades; how people who have died without producing fruits of repentance are in need of help; and why one priest continually forgot to commemorate the souls of certain relatives.

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