Gifts for remembering the dead are offered not to selected people, priest

On Sunday of the Dead, the Christians should refrain from abundant meals and strong alcoholic drinks and should offer gifts for remembering the dead primarily to poor people. During the second year of COVID-19 pandemic, the Christians are urged to remember the dead at home or in the church, in prayer and by lighting a candle in memory of those who passed away, said archpriest Ioan Ciuntu, bishop of the Romanian Orthodox Cathedral “Saint Teodrora de la Sihla”, IPN reports.

“Sunday of the Dead is an important feast for the human soul, for those who enjoyed life, worked hand in hand, tasted joys and experienced also the sorrows of life. It is now not possible to go to the graves of the dear ones. It’s good if some managed to look after the graves. Services there cannot be held either,” said Ioan Ciuntu, noting the restrictions are clear, but the soul and heart do not accept them.

According to the archpriest, the church urges the people not to fall into despair these days. “We, those who create shadow on earth, show bear the dead one in mind, in our conscience and heart, in our prayers,” stated Ioan Ciuntu.

He urged the Christians in towns to go to cemeteries on other days than on Sunday of the Dead so as to avoid crowdedness, for example on the birth or death date or on the date of the guardian angel. He noted that in villages, where there are fewer people and there were no cases of COVID-19 or few such cases, the local public authorities should allow the faithful to remember the dead in cemeteries, but by obeying the protection measures sol as not to endanger the lives of those around.

Ioan Ciuntu said the pandemic teaches us lessons and makes us behave appropriately. “We exaggerate not only the gifts, but also in the case of baptizing ceremonies and wedding parties, with excessively abundant meals,” he said, noting the gifts should be offered not only to chosen persons, friends and these should not be expensive. They should be alms for the poor. The gifts should be modest and should be given with the open heart.

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