Friday, March 21, 2014
Our Prayers Help the Departed ( Part 4 )
In the Skete of St. Anne lived a certain hieromonk Savvas, the famous “Papa-Savvas” as he was called. Fr. Joachim Spetsieris had him as his spiritual father. The Empress of Russia, Catherine, also had him as her spiritual father. He served the Liturgy every day; he was a God-bearing, clairvoyant teacher of noetic prayer.
Once some people asked him, “What motivates you to commemorate so many names in the proskomidi?”
He answered, “When I was younger, we called the bishop to consecrate the church above the Holy Monastery of St. Dionysios. After the consecration
, the bishop said to my elder, ‘May I give
Papa-Savvas some names to commemorate for forty days, since he serves Liturgy every day?’ My elder told him, ‘Give him as many as you want.’ So he gave me sixty-two names. When I had completed thirty-nine Liturgies and was about
to serve the fortieth, I leaned against the chanter’s stand and waited for my elder to come, so that I could say the entrance prayers to serve the Liturgy.
I fell asleep and saw in my sleep that I was wearing priestly vestments and was standing before the Holy Table. On the Holy Table was the holy diskos for the Liturgy, and the holy chalice fu
ll of the holy Blood of Christ. Then I saw Papa-
Stephen come and take the communion spoon and the paper from the proskomidi, approach the Holy Table, and put the paper on it beside the holy diskos. Then he dipped the spoon into the holy Blood of Christ and a name was erased. He dipped it again, and another one was erased, and so forth until all were done and the paper was clean.
“Then I awoke, and in a little while my elder came. Immediately I told him what I saw. The elder said to me, ‘Didn’t I tell you not to believe in
dreams?’ After the Liturgy he added, ‘You are not worthy for their sins to be forgiven; through the power of the Blood of Christ their sins were
forgiven.’ So this is the reason why commemorate
the names of everyone.”
The proskomidi is the service of preparation for the Divine Liturgy in which the portion to be
used for the Eucharist is cut out of the prosphora, and during which the living and the dead are
from the book
Counsels from the Holy Mountain