Praying for the dead.
There is a great deal of confusion and folk-law about why we pray for the dead. It is one of those things that can really get Anglicans tied up in knots – but there is no need, the reason is very simple.
We pray for people when they are alive, so why then should we stop when they die?
There are two things at play here. One is the belief that when we die we immediately go to Heaven or Hell and the prayers of our loved ones on earth will make little difference to either outcome.
The second is the belief that the saints in Heaven can not pray for us or encourage us on this earth – in this great race.
Both of these things are very easy to understand, but are ultimately wrong.
God does not operate in our ways – our ways are not His ways – and when it comes to time and things like ‘immediately’ what does that mean to Him? Do you think for one moment that when we die the concept of time as we understand it means God is not able to hear the prayers of our loved ones made after we die? Of course He hears our prayers, and if He hears them then we should make them.
The second idea that the saints and angels don’t pray for and encourage us in this life is just contrary to scripture. We know (read Hebrews) that the departed run this race with us and alongside us – so why then not ask them to pray for us in Heaven?
The point of praying for the dead is to pray for the repose of their souls, to bring comfort to the living and to remind us of our own mortality. All of these things are good and healthy. So pray for your departed loved ones with confidence that God hears you.
There will be no Evening Prayer in church on Thursday 5th November as Fr. Matthew has an appointment in central London.
We will have a new tutoring company starting in church this week on Monday evenings. Please do ask Fr. Matthew for details if you’re interested.
Parish Giving Code – 230 623 503.
Call – 0333 002 1271.