Greek Orthodox Beliefs
Orthodox Funeral Services
“Greek Care” states for most Greeks the beliefs, rituals and traditions surrounding death and mourning are founded in the Greek Orthodox religion. For many, following the traditions practiced in their homeland is important.
For Greek migrants who arrived in Australia as children, knowledge of the traditions may come from early memories of funerals and memorials in their village or town. They may remember vigils in family homes where for 24 hours women would wail funeral dirges over the body of the deceased. Although Greek Australians do not follow this ritual today, many customs and beliefs remain predominant. Eternal life is the main belief, for those who follow the Greek Orthodox religion.
Therefore, a positive outcome in death – that a deceased is alive with God, is strongly emphasised by the Church. Though the soul is separated from the body while death, at the Last Judgment the physical body will be reunited with the soul.
The best Orthodox funeral directors
At Divinity Funerals, we have the best funeral directors to take care of Orthodox burials. Therefore, people consider us as the leading name for Orthodox funerals in Sydney. We have a dedicated team that completely empathises with our clients in these situations. They have practical experience of performing such funerals, and they have been doing this for years. We can assist all kinds of Orthodox denominations such as Russian, Serbian, Greek, and Armenian.
Understanding customs and traditions
We understand all the customs and traditions of Orthodox funerals in Sydney, and therefore people regard us highly for the services we provide. We specialise in such procedures. In fact, we are among the few organisations in this industry that have a complete and precise understanding of the traditions that the Orthodox Church follows for funerals. Our funeral directors understand them properly and so they can conduct the ceremony with all due care and attention. This is also why our clients can always rely on us.
How are we better than others of our ilk in Australia?
Many organisations in Australia conduct Orthodox funerals in Sydney. However, we are better than the lion’s share of them. This is because we know and understand these processes properly and fully. This is not something that many of them can claim or even back it up in such case. Therefore, they falter in making the proper arrangements or understanding what your service requires. For example, many do not know that the Orthodox Church forbids cremation. A burial funeral is the only option. They also do not know how Orthodox Christianity differs from other strands of Christianity. For example, the concepts of a physical hell and heaven does not apply to Orthodox Christianity.
The initial steps of such a funeral
These funerals always start with getting the body ready for the funeral. Here people have to wash and then fit it with clothes. Our funeral directors can perform the function, or our clients and relatives can do so as well. Once the body is ready, we place it in the coffin. The priest then sprinkles holy water all around the body and prepares a prayer before the body is taken to the church. A proper funeral procession is an integral part of the proceedings. Our clients can trust us to complete all the processes in this context properly.
We are a unique service provider because we have all that our clients could need for the full completion of an Orthodox Christian burial. We are knowledgeable, have the experience, and are capable. Our clients can be assured that they would be served with care and concern. We make sure that we follow all the relevant customs and traditions thus adhering to the tenets of the Orthodox Church for such ceremonies. We provide our clients with the best services in this regard.
It is a good question and, on an average, most of the orthodox funerals take around 90 minutes to get completed. Most churches in Sydney conduct the ceremony. It lasts for approximately one hour or 60 minutes. The burial takes another 30 minutes. In addition to this, the luncheon organised is optional and would last close to one to three hours. Certain pre-ritual services are conducted which take some time.
The entire ceremony is based on the belief that death is not the end of life. Life is everlasting and has the faith that after death, the soul reunites with the body and death is not death. Instead, the person has fallen asleep.
No, cremation is not allowed in orthodox funerals. In fact. Cremation is forbidden. However, there can be exceptional situations as well where the body needs to be cremated like in the case of any pandemic. Also, the family members have to adhere to the orders of the civil authority if it demands that it needs to be done.
The reason behind the body not being cremated post-death is that the orthodox people in Sydney and across the globe consider this to be a violent treatment of the body after death. They believe that it is, perhaps, one of the gruesome things that could be done to the body of a loved one.
It is related to the churches of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. In this, the funeral practices might vary from territory to territory, family to family, and region to region. In the Greek orthodox funerals, services take place either in a Greek orthodox church or at a funeral home in Sydney. The ceremony would include readings from The Holy Bible. Also, it would include prayers and hymns. Another aspect associated with the service rituals of Greek orthodox funerals is that the priest may or may not offer a sermon about the deceased. The casket would remain open while it is completely upon the people present over there to whether or whether not to look at the body. According to the belief, the casket must face east with feet towards the altar.