Orthodox America

Commemoration Lists  

    So powerful is the Church's intercession that even the righteous have been known to appear in dreams to those still living to ask the Church's prayers. In view of the great spiritual benefit bestowed upon those commemorated during Divine Liturgy, we should be conscientious in giving the names of those dear to us--and all those in special need of prayer--to be read at she Proskomedia. Most churches provide special printed slips of paper (usually located near the candle counter) for this purpose. For longer lists of names commemorated regularly, it is recommended to use a booklet. 


     How should one write out commemoration slips or booklets to be read at the Proskomedia ? 

    1. Separate lists should be made for the living and departed; these should be clearly marked at the top, either "For the health and salvation of the servants of God..." or "For the repose of the souls of the servants of God..."

    2. Proper Christian names received at baptism should be used, no nicknames or shortened forms: i.e., Theodore, not Ted; Margaret, not Peggy.

    3. Whether a booklet or a slip of paper is used, care should be taken that it is clean and neat, reflecting a reverent attitude towards the holiness of the liturgical commemoration. Papers should not be crumpled or full of messy erasures. Booklets with loose pages or broken staples should be replaced. The writing should be legible; it should not be so small, or the names written so close, as to be difficult to read; those with poor handwriting should print or ask someone's assistance. The priest should be allowed to concentrate on prayer, not on retrieving loose pages or deciphering illegible script.

    4. At the Divine Liturgy only members of the Orthodox Church are commemorated, since the particles placed on the diskos represent the Holy Church, the body of Orthodox believers. Separate lists should be kept of non-Orthodox to be commemorated with appropriate prayers.

    5. Lists and booklets should be regularly updated, i.e, when someone dies or is ordained. It is best to designate "newly-departed" in pencil which can more easily be erased after the 40th day.

    6. Clergy should be given their proper title: not simply "Father..." but Priest, Deacon, Hieromonk, Monk, Reader, etc. Ecclesiastical titles may be abbreviated: Metropolitan--Met.; Archbishop--Archbp.; Bishop--Bp.; Archimandrite--Archim.

    7. Commemoration slips should be handed in at the candle counter as early as possible, preferably at the preceding vigil service. Once the Liturgy of the Catechumens has begun it is more difficult for the priest, particularly it he serves without a deacon, to read the commemorations, although strictly speaking he may do so up to the time of the Great Entrance, 

(Based on "Questions and Answers" in "Vestnik," the parish bulletin of the Holy Virgin Cathedral, San Francisco; March, 1986.)