Today marks three months since my husband fell asleep in the Lord. I recently learned that in the Orthodox Church a memorial service is often held at three months (as we did at 40 days), and because we also are commemorating The Nativity of St. John the Baptist today, it was convenient to have these prayers right after the Liturgy. I made koliva again but decorated it a little differently.
I like what Metropolitan Anthony Bloom wrote on the subject of prayer for the dead:
What does it mean to pray for the dead? Are we asking the Lord to act unjustly? Certainly not. By our prayer, we bear witness that the dead have not lived in vain. We show that as well as the many worthless things they did in their lives, they also sowed the seed of charity. We pray for them with love and gratitude; we remember their presence among us. And our prayer for them must be supported by our lives. If we do not bear fruit in our lives of what the dead have taught us, our prayer for them will be feeble indeed. We must be able to say, “Lord, Lord, this man lived and made me love him, he gave me examples to follow and I follow them.” The day will come when we shall be able to say, “The good that you see in my life is not mine; he gave me it, take it and let it be this for his glory, perhaps for his forgiveness….”
The life of each one of us does not end at death on this earth and birth into heaven. We place a seal on everyone we meet. This responsibility continues after death, and the living are related to the dead for whom they pray. In the dead we no longer belong completely to the world; in us the dead still belong to history. Prayer for the dead is vital; it expresses the totality of our common life.
–Metropolitan Anthony Bloom in Courage to Pray