The Orthodox Pages

























Question 285

For how many years should the yearly Mnemosino be observed  I read in a Greek book that it’s only got 5 years (can’t remember which book)  Thanks


Answer to Question 285


There is no time limit on Mnymosina, or on how many times a year we can perform them. Mnymosina are our way of remembering our loved ones and praying for them and if we what to remember them every week and all our lifetime, there is nothing in our faith that can place restrictions on our love for our departed. We can do nothing better or greater for the dead than to pray for them, offering commemoration for them at the Liturgy. But I think I understand what the author of the book is implying.


Many people after a few years stop individual mnymosina and only have their loved ones commemorated during the general mnymosina. What are these general mnymosina? Besides the personal days set aside for commemorating our departed friends and relatives, the Orthodox Church, has set aside certain days on which all Orthodox Christians that have departed in hope of resurrection and eternal life must be commemorated in general. There are two such days which we can term as “universal,” days for the departed which we call PsychoSavvata (Saturdays of the departed souls). The first is on Meatfare Saturday which this year falls 10th February. It is the last Saturday on which we may eat meat before the Great Fast begins. On the following day, Sunday, the Church commemorates the Dread judgment of Christ, thus the Church prays for all that have departed in faith and in the hope of the resurrection, beseeching God, the righteous judge to show forth His mercy upon them before the universal judgment.


The other day is the Saturday before Pentecost. The day of Pentecost is the day the Holy Spirit descended upon the earth to teach, sanctify and lead all people to eternal salvation. Therefore, the holy Church calls upon us to make a commemoration on the Saturday before the feast, that the saving grace of the Holy Spirit wash away the sins from the souls of all our forefathers, fathers and brethren, that have reposed throughout the ages and, asking that they all be united in the Kingdom of Christ.


Feel free to practice what you feel comfortable with, if you want to continue with personal mnymosina all your life you can and if you simply remember all your departed loved ones during the general mnymosina on the Psychosavvata that also is totally acceptable.