Thursday 13 October 2016

Sending a prayer

Once again we prepared for a family memorial, the three year service in memory of my greek brother-in-law.  The older you get the more of these  you attend, and there are many.

We were reminded by a monk at the monastery that all good Orthodox followers must arrange memorial services for all their dearly departed
after -
3 days
9 days
40 days
3 months
6 months
9 months
1 year
2 years
3 years and on and on

The more services that are held, he preached, the more candles lit, the more prayers sent, the more comfort you will give to those gone onto the next life.  However, if your late departed was one of those who enjoyed their life on earth too much, drank more than a daily ouzo and flunked on the 10 commandments then he (or she) will feel no comfort at all and be forever doomed to dwell in hell.  In this life you must suffer so you can enjoy the next one.  

Beware, your prayers  are useless if you eat meat on Wednesday or Friday or work on Sunday.  Females should cover themselves from neck to ankle, homomsexuals are damned for eternity and don't even think about cremation.  It is a mortal sin.  

All this was preached with absolute certainty. Ye gods and little fishes.

Decorating the tray of funeral wheat which is blessed in the church and then  shared out after the service.  My daughter liked the silver decorations so much she took the leftovers to decorate her birthday cake.

A Hobbit!  The meeting room at the monastery is just below ground level and the doors are tiny.

Of course we had a feast afterwards for all the family.  A family gathering without food?  Never!   It was a Saturday so we were permitted to eat meat.  A local goat and some fatted pig.  And giant beans stewed with village sausages.

The goat which had been slowed cooked in baking paper for four hours. 

 No garlic, no oil, no salt.  Just its own juices.  The meat was so tender it fell off the bone.  The covered  pot on the table was full of bbqed pork chops, just to make sure no-one got up from the repast feeling less than bloated.

The fatted pork was also cooked slowly, stewed in a couple of cans of greece's finest lager.

Homemade spinach pies. 

 Homemade pastry  -
 olive oil, flour and water.  
The filling - 
 chopped spinach,  chopped onion and a little olive oil, coarsely cut and uncooked.  Plain, simple, fresh, made by a loving hand and delicious.

R.I.P. Vangelis


  1. So sad. I am sorry for your loss. Life seems to pass so quickly, it is good to feast with family. It cements you together.

  2. Sorry for your loss, glad though that he was seen out with such a magnificent feast xx

  3. Vangelis was a good hardworking man who lived into his eighties. He has had many good send offs and we've drunk many a glass in his memory. My sister in law is traditional and does all the memorials and invites all the family and friends. That monk is rather eccentric. I'm not sure that is the right word. He's turning the young ones away from the church. He's quite young himself but he does know much about the world! Always lecturing on the sins of women. Enough.

  4. Ooooof does NOT know much about the world

  5. It's about time that the religions of the world turned their thoughts to positive philosophy, and abandoned all that silly mumbo-jumbo.

    That looks quite some feast.

  6. So sorry for your loss.
    Yup I think the memorials are way over done in the orthodox religion
    When my brothered died I felt like everytime I'd start to be ok another memorial and I'd be plunged down the hole again.
    The food looks very yummy.
    Your brother in law sounds like he would of been a lot of fun to party with