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It may seem strange call a memorial for the departed "joyful," but the Christian belief that lies behind this joy is the remembrance of Christ's Resurrection and the joy and hope it brings to all.
Because of the importance of the last few days of [[Holy Week]] and the joy of the Resurrection, the [[Typikon]] (''Ustav'') forbids the celebration of the [[Memorial Services|Panikhida]] (memorial service) from [[Holy ThursdayHoly_Week#Holy_Thursday|Great and Holy Thursday]] through [[Sunday of St. Thomas|Thomas Sunday]] (a period of eleven days). Therefore, the first opportunity after Pascha to remember the dead is on the second Monday of Pascha. However, because in Orthodox countries a number of [[monastery|monasteries]] follow the custom of fasting on Mondays, the feast is often celebrated on Tuesday, so that all may partake of the paschal foods (which are intentionally non-fasting).
==Ancient tradition==
On this day, after [[Divine Liturgy]], the priest will celebrate a Panikhida in the church, after which he will bless the paschal foods that the faithful have brought with them. The clergy, with [[incense]] and candles, will then go in [[Crucession|procession]] with the cross, followed by the faithful, to visit the graves of departed believers either in churchyards or in cemeteries. At the graves, paschal hymns are chanted together with the usual [[Ektenia|litanies]] for the departed, concluding with the moving "Memory Eternal" (''Вѣчнаѧ памѧть'',''Viechnaia pamiat'').
The paschal foods will then be consumed with joy by the friends and relatives of the deceased. It is common to place an [[Easter egg]], a symbol of Christ's coming forth from the [[Holy Sepulchre|Tomb]], on the graves of the departed, saluting them with the traditional paschal greeting: "Christ is Risen!" This practice is both to remind the faithful of the [[General Resurrection]] of the dead, and to "announce the Resurrection" of Christ to the departed.
==Customs==
==See also==
*[[Death]]
*[[Panikhida]]
*[[Koliva]]
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