Ye who have trod the narrow way of grief,
all ye who in life have taken upon you the Cross as a yoke,
and followed Me by faith;
draw near, enjoy ye the honors and celestial crowns I have prepared for you.-verse from funeral hymn in Panikhida, tone 5
For the people of God, there is no such thing as distance, even if they be thousands of miles apart. However far away our fellow human beings may be, we must stand by them . . . . When Christ unites us, distances don’t exist. When I leave this life it will be better. I’ll be closer to you.
– Wounded by Love, p. 89, Elder Porphyrios (+1991).
I pray thee, O Virgin,to dispel the tumult of my souland the storm of my grief;for thou, O Bride of God,hast given birth to Christ, the Prince of Peace,O only immaculate one.. . . . . . .As I lie on the bed of my pain and infirmity,do thou help me,as thou art a lover of goodness, O Theotokos,who alone art Ever-Virgin.
. . . . . . .Bedridden, I lie supine with sickness now,and there is no healing for my flesh;but to thee, O good onewho gavest birth to God and the Savior of the worldand the Healer of infirmities, I pray:From corruption of illness raise me up.. . . . . . .Entrust me not to human protection, O most holy Lady,but receive the supplication of thy servant;for sorrow hath fettered me,I cannot endure the demon’s darts;a shelter have I not, neither place to run,I the wretched one;always I am fleeing and no consolation have I but thee,O Sovereign Lady of creation,hope and protection of the faithful;turn not away from my supplication,do that which will profit me.. . . . . . .Turn not away from the torrent of my tears, O Virgin,thou who didst give birth to Christ,Who doth wipe away all tears from every face.. . . . . . .Fill my heart with joy, O Virgin,thou who didst receive the fullness of joy,and didst banish the grief of sin.-selections from the Supplicatory Canon to the Most Holy Theotokos
The brothers were such strict ascetics that when their mother came to the monastery to see her children, they did not come out to her from their cells. The mother stood there for a long time and wept. Then St Poimen said to her through the closed door of the cell, “Do you wish to see us now, or in the future life?“ St Poimen promised that if she would endure the sorrow of not seeing her children in this life, then surely she would see them in the next. The mother was humbled and returned home.
Well, your child may have departed from you, but he
has gone to Christ the Lord. For you his eyes have been
shut, but they are opened to the eternal light: he is
gone from your table, but is now added to the table of
the angels. The plant was uprooted from here, but planted
there in Paradise. From the earthly kingdom he was
transferred to the heavenly kingdom. You see what was
exchanged for what. Are you sad because you no longer see
the beauty of the face of your child? But this happens,
because you do not see the real beauty of the soul with
which he rejoices in the heavenly feast. How beautiful
indeed is the eye that sees God! How sweet indeed is the
mouth that is adorned with divine melodies!
-The Mystery of Death, p. 320, Nikolaos P. Vassiliadis
Thy departure from this earthly life is a cause of grief and sorrow for your parents and all who love you, O little child; but in truth you have been saved by the Lord from sufferings and snares of many kinds.
O Savior and Master of our life: comfort the faithful parents of this departed child with the knowledge that to innocent children, who have done no deeds worthy of tears, are granted the righteousness, peace and joy of Thy kingdom.
—Canon Ode 9, The Service of Burial of an Infant