Parastas (Paos) Service

The third part of the Funeral Service is what is called the Parastas or Memorial Service. This service is served on the 40th day after the falling asleep as well as the each year for three years. The service is basically the wake service or the Litany of the Dead from the Divine Liturgy.

The tradition in this Romanian Parish is to use boiled wheat but in some places the tradition is to use bread. It all depends on from where in Romanian your family comes from. As mentioned before the wheat symbolizes the resurrection. In the center of the wheat we place a candle to represent the light of Christ’s teaching. At the end of the service a little red wine is poured over the wheat to remind us the we are purified, cleansed, and made holy by the blood of Christ. In the name of the person who has fallen asleep we pray on their behalf for forgiveness and mercy.

This service is not just an event where we shed tears for the dead, but an active participation in making Christ present in this world and the next.

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