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Memorial Service


When Are Memorial Services Performed?


Memorial services for the departed are traditionally conducted on: The Sunday just prior to, or after, the fortieth day after the death, and the first, second, and third year anniversaries of the death.


In order to arrange a Memorial Service for a loved one at Saint Sophia, the Church must be contacted at least one month in advance to be sure that the we may accommodate your request. 


On the day of the Memorial Service, the family and friends of the deceased should be in Church at 10:00am for the beginning of the Divine Liturgy, and in order to sit together in the front pews. 


The kollyva (boiled wheat) is traditionally offered and distributed to the faithful at the conclusion of the service.

Kollyva (Κόλλυβα) 


When the Memorial Service is offered, it is customary for the family of the deceased to bring a tray of boiled wheat to the Church. The wheat, known as kollyva (boiled wheat), is a symbol of the Resurrection. When speaking of the Resurrection, our Lord said: “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” (John 12:24).


The tray of Kollyva is placed on a table to the side of the solea during the Liturgy Service with candles. Some families also elect to place a small bouquet of flowers on the table. 


Family members must arrange in advance for the Kollyva.  For a nominal fee,  arrangements for the preparation of the Kollyva can be made through the Church Office. 


Days Memorial Services Note Permitted


Memorial services are not permitted on the following days: 

  • From the Saturday of Lazarus (before Palm Sunday) through the Sunday of Thomas (after Easter)

  • Pentecost

  • All the Feast days of our Lord

  • All the Feast days of the Theotokos

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