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Is it allowed to go to the cemetery on Saturday before Easter
Is it allowed to go to the cemetery on Saturday before Easter

Video: Is it allowed to go to the cemetery on Saturday before Easter


Great Easter is shrouded in many different traditions and rituals. On the eve of Bright Resurrection, on the Saturday before Easter, many go to the cemetery, but can this be done? The competent answer is given by the priest.

Where did the custom of going to the cemetery on Easter come from?

There are several stories of the appearance of this custom. Many argue that the lay people used to visit the cemetery on Easter. In the distant past, graveyards were located not far from holy temples, which were far from being in all villages and villages.

Believers had to travel long distances for the consecration of cakes, and therefore, in order not to go again, after church they went to the dead relatives and brought them the consecrated food.

There is another version that people began to visit cemeteries on the Great Day already in Soviet times. In order to somehow justify their campaigns towards churches, people began to visit churchyards, especially since they were located not far from the church. Moreover, in the absence of the opportunity to celebrate the Great Day, many replaced it with a trip to the graves of the dead.

Days of visiting the cemetery before Easter

Every Saturday of Great Lent (except for the first week), services are held in churches for the commemoration of the dead. There are certain dates when you can go to the cemetery before Easter in 2020, they are set by the church calendar.

But many are trying to do this rite on Saturday, but is it possible? To begin with, let's dwell on certain dates when the Orthodox should remember the dead. In 2020, it is February 22, as well as March 14, 21, 28 - Saturdays during the fasting period.

It is on these dates that it is allowed to visit the graves of relatives. But this does not mean that on other days it is forbidden to make trips to the cemetery. However, on the day of Easter itself, people should rejoice, rejoice and exclaim the great "Christ is Risen". But in no case should we cry for those who have left us.

The priest's answer

When asked whether it is possible to go to the cemetery on Saturday before Easter in 2020, we asked the priest Philip Ilyashenko (vice-rector for missionary work of PSTGU in Moscow) to give an answer. Here's what he said:

“The Church forbids and does not approve of visiting the graves of the dead on Saturday before the holy feast of Easter. There are certain dates when we must visit relatives and pray for their souls. This is Radonitsa, which comes on the ninth day after Great Easter.

If it happens that 9 or 40 days after death falls on Bright Week, relatives are allowed to come to the deceased at the grave and pray for the peace of his soul, but funeral services are not held, this is contrary to the church charter. The first day after Easter, when funeral prayers are heard in churches, is day 9 (Tuesday after Bright Week).

The very word Radonitsa sounds like the word "joy". This is a continuation of the Great Orthodox holiday of Easter. All Christian people rejoice in the victory of Jesus Christ over death.

Therefore, when we come to the cemetery, we should, together with our deceased relatives, rejoice for the resurrection of our Savior. From all this, the laity should learn one lesson, they should not go to the cemetery on the Saturday before Easter.

In 2020, spend this day preparing for the upcoming joyful event. You ask, is it possible to pray and remember the departed? They are always in our hearts, and, of course, rejoicing for the Almighty, remember your beloved people who are no longer with us."

Summing up

  1. The church forbids visiting the graves of the deceased on the eve of the Easter holiday.On Saturday, divine services begin in churches, after which the rite of consecration of Easter cakes and eggs is held.
  2. The day when we should visit our deceased loved ones during the Easter festivities is strictly established by the church charter. This is Radonitsa, which is celebrated on the ninth day after Bright Resurrection.
  3. The churches were not recognized by the Soviet regime. Therefore, since that time, it has become a tradition to visit cemeteries on Saturday and Sunday. But this tradition is not approved by the church charter.
  4. If commemorations of deceased relatives fall on Easter week (9th or 40th day), the church allows visits to the cemetery on these days, but funeral services are read only starting from the 9th day after Easter.

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