For me it’s heartbreaking this affirmation of Saint Pavlos/ Paul: „And if Christ/ Hristos has not risen, then vain [is] our preaching and vain [is] and your faith [εἰ δὲ Χριστὸς οὐκ ἐγήγερται, κενὸν ἄρα τὸ κήρυγμα ἡμῶν, κενὴ δὲ καὶ ἡ πίστις ὑμῶν]” [I Cor. 15, 14, BYZ].  For that, without the resurrection of Hristos, we have only graves. Some dusty graves.

Only that the Church lives from the resurrection of the Lord and its life is the Lord. And the Lord resurrected the third day according to the Scriptures. And its life is the Lord for that He is  alive and eternal and fills us on all with His glory.

For that on us assures us that God is living just His glory. And for that to explain, in liturgical mode, His life from us, for those who are asleep we are doing colivă. And the word colivă from Romanian language comes from the Greek κόλλυβα and a colliva looks so.

What is a colivă? A mixture of boiled wheat, sugar, nut, seasoned with candy, apples, oranges etc. And this eating of fast, made as in the photo above, over which we make the sign of the Holy Cross from sugar, represents the body of one who is asleep, who is dead.

And with these colive (the plural form of the substantive colivă), brought to the Church, in Romanian Orthodox Church we serve the Parastasis or Memorial service to those who are asleep. For, as the coliva is full of sweetness, all so and we ask from God the sweetness of His grace which to forgive those who have fallen asleep. And the sweetness of sugar and of candy is a faint image of His glory from us.

Thus, through colivă and through the candle of clean wax, the Orthodox Christians express their living confidence in the living God, because the coliva is one who is asleep and the candle is Hristos, our Lord, Who fills us with His eternal light. And if Hristos is the Light of the world, then He is the Light and to the living and to the dead.

From theological point of view, the glory of Trinity is the light of all. And if the coliva is an alms for who was asleep, imparted to those from Church, the untying of sins, on which the Priest makes it at Parastasis, is one through which those who are asleep receive God’s glory.

Just therefore, at Parastasis, the most important thing is the priestly forgiveness or hierarchly (if the Hierarch is present). Because the members of the Church’s hierarchy, ie the Hierarch and the Priest, by their cheirotonia, received the charisma of the forgiveness of sins of believers. And those who are asleep cannot be forgiven than by the members of the Church’s hierarchy.

From this motive, in Church,  the belief in the resurrection of the dead is always alive, for that the dead are always remembered at Liturgy and at Parastasis. Because in pomelnic or in the memorial list, the living are remembered along with the dead. We do not separate them, but we distinguish from one another! And this for that they, with all, are before of God.

The Creed of the Church speaks about the resurrection of the dead. And the universal resurrection will occur at the Second Coming of the Lord. Only that then, at the coming of the Lord or παρουσία του Κυρίου, only the bodies will resurrect, for that the souls are alive and immortal.

And for that our souls are alive and immortal and have whole conscience of self and whole our personal history, they will be clasped with our bodies and we will be ghostual beings, transfigured. And the resurrection will be the great work of God. An expression of omnipotence, but and of His goodness. Because He wants us to live forever and to live the eternity on which we wanted.

Just therefore, some choose the relation and others the non-relation with God. Some choose the Heaven and others choose the Hell. Because God does not force us to love Him with the force. But  He wants us to choose, to choose wholeheartedly the eternity on which we want.

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