Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Light and Sorrow

Last night I attended the funeral of Winston James Miroy, age twenty, the oldest son of good friends of mine. The service was held at my former parish in Northern Virginia. It was a bit different from the normal Orthodox funeral because it was held on the Monday after Pascha, (Easter Sunday for you in the West). In the week after Pascha all services are changed to celebrate the joy and hope of the resurrection. The usual service is beautiful in its own right, solemn, penitent and reflective. The service during this week has all of that, but also adds some of that hope, joy and fervor of the Paschal celebration. We wept together with his parents, friends and family, but also joined in the great shout of "Christ is Risen" and sang that He "is trampling down death by death and on those in the tomb bestowing life." The words did not deny our grief or diminish the feelings of loss for the absence of this good young man. They were not a denial of pain and loss, but a statement that the deepest truth is not exhausted by loss and grief, that, even in the midst of great sorrow there is still the possibility of hope and, someday, of joy.


Vladimir M. Laven, TSGT. USAFR (RET) said...


Thank you for your posting and sharing the information and details of the Orthodox Funeral for PFC. Winston James Miroy.

I learned of the untimely passing of PFC. Miroy through an emailed story from the Fredericksburg news paper. The story saddened me greatly. It is always so sad to see someone lose their lives at such a young age.

Your posting touched me as you related the information about the funeral and how Orthodox funerals differ during bright week. There's an old Carpatho-Rusyn folklore that it is a blessing to die or be buried during Bright Week…that the sole of the departed enters heaven directly through the opened royal doors, which are kept open during this most joyful time in the Orthodox Church.

The passing of a loved one is always traumatic and causes so much grief to the surviving family and friends. However, being able to sing the Paschal troparion of "Christ is Risen..." really brings home the fact that we live in Christ, we die in Christ, and we are resurrected for eternal life through the Risen Christ.

Please pass along my condolences to PFC Miroy's family. He is in my personal prayers and the Saint George Orthodox Military Association will keep him in their prayers and will offer a Panikhida for his immortal soul on the 40th day. Memory Eternal, Memory Eternal, Pascha Eternal!

Elizabeth @ The Garden Window said...

Memory Eternal..........