HOKEHANKIST – REQUIEM SERVICE
Christ Our God, grant rest and mercy to the souls of those who are at rest; and to us, sinners, grant forgiveness of our transgressions.
It is a tradition in the Armenian Church to offer special prayers for our loved ones who have fallen asleep in Christ. Prayers for those who have passed away is based on an understanding from the Holy Scriptures that just as Christ died and lived again, the faithful who have died are merely asleep in Christ.
We conduct a special Requiem Service for this occasion, and it is traditionally requested by family members for a loved one 40 days after passing (Karasoonk), on the 1 year anniversary of passing (Darelitz) and on all subsequent anniversaries, as well as any other occasion throughout the year with the exception of the 5 major feast days.
According to the teachings of the Armenian Church, those who have died enter into a period of rest while awaiting our Lord’s glorious second coming at the end of time. But while separated from the Christian community, the souls that are at rest continue to be counted among the faithful, who “rest in the shadow of the church.” We therefore pray for them, as we pray for all of our earthly cares. Essentially, our prayer for the dead is that they rest in peace, that the Lord forgive them all of their sins and find them worthy of eternal life in the Father’s kingdom when Christ comes again.
It is also customary in the Armenian Church for the family to host a fellowship in the memory of loved ones.