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[[Memorial Services]] (
Greek: '' '''Μνημόσυνα''' '' (memorial) or ''' ''Παραστάς'' ''' (wake) , Church Slavonic: '' ''' паннихида, panikhída''' '') are special prayer services offered for the benefit of the departed.
The memorial service is most frequently served after the Divine Liturgy, however it may also be served after Vespers, Matins, or as a separate service by itself. For the memorial service, [[Kollyva]], a ritual food of boiled wheat, is often prepared and is placed in front of the "memorial table" or an icon of Christ and is blessed by the priest afterwards.<ref group="note">The memorial table is a small, free-standing table to which has been attached an upright crucifix, sometimes including also icons of the Theotokos (the Virgin Mary) and the Apostle John. The table will also have a place for the faithful to put lighted candles.</ref>
The service is composed of Psalms, Ektenias (litanies), hymns and prayers. In its outline it follows the general outline of Matins,<ref group="note">From this comes the Greek name ''parastas'' which refers to standing all night in vigil, which in the early days was what literally took place.</ref> and is in effect a truncated funeral service. Some of the most notable portions of the service are the Kontakion of the Departed,<ref group="note">Kontakion of the Departed: "With the saints give rest, O Christ, to the soul(s) of Thy servant(s), where there is neither sickness, nor sorrow, nor sighing, but life everlasting."</ref> and the final, slow and solemn singing of ''"Memory Eternal."''<ref group="note">''Deacon'': In
a blessed falling asleep, grant, O Lord, eternal rest unto Thy departed servant (Name) and make his/her memory to be eternal!<br>
''Choir'': Memory eternal! Memory eternal! Memory eternal!</ref>