Pemptousia and OCN have entered a strategic partnership to bring Orthodoxy Worldwide. Greek philosophers from Ionia considered held that there were four elements or essences (ousies) in nature: earth, water, fire and air. Aristotle added ether to this foursome, which would make it the fifth (pempto) essence, pemptousia, or quintessence. The incarnation of God the Word found fertile ground in man’s proclivity to beauty, to goodness, to truth and to the eternal. Orthodoxy has not functioned as some religion or sect. It was not the movement of the human spirit towards God but the revelation of the true God, Jesus Christ, to man. A basic precept of Orthodoxy is that of the person – the personhood of God and of man. Orthodoxy is not a religious philosophy or way of thinking but revelation and life standing on the foundations of divine experience; it is the transcendence of the created and the intimacy of the Uncreated. Orthodox theology is drawn to genuine beauty; it is the theology of the One “fairer than the sons of men”. So in "Pemptousia", we just want to declare this "fifth essence", the divine beaut in our life. Please note, not all Pemptousia articles have bylines. If the author is known, he or she is listed in the article above.
Petros Panayiotopoulos, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Theology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
Our holy Church offers us another opportunity to remember and honor our dead people, our beloved persons who passed away, and all her members by whom we are in communion through God’ s love and the grace from the sacraments, beyond this sense of time. To say it in other words, by this care we confirm the unity of triumphant and militant Church, at our common path to the Kingdom of God, as well as the solidarity of the Body of Christ beyond places, times, and even biological aspects of human existence.
It is certainly true that in the life of the Church we can honor our deceased brothers and fathers through many opportunities. From the daily prayer, our specific sequences (thrice Holy, memorial services, etc.), and also every Saturday is a day dedicated to their memory. More than this, however, two Saturdays of the year, that of Carnival and today are devoted specifically to blissfully rest of our gone brothers.
Especially in these latter cases “we do Mention” the brothers who left this life in hard conditions, so there were the usual religious ceremonies defined: those that lost their lives during wars, journeys, in distant and secluded places, in infancy, in accidents or even those due to poverty who hadn’t the prayers of the Church.
On eve, then, of the great feast of the manifestation of the Church in the world, i.e. Pentecost, we do not forget our dead brothers and so we dclare its Universality of the One and Indivisible the ecclesiastical body. In the eucharistic communion, the prayers of the living unite in Christ with those who have fallen asleep and give an opportunity to the merciful Father to offer forgiveness, as is taught in our ecclesiastical tradition.
Praying for our brothers who are no longer living with us, we express our love for them and so we can lessen our grief and to come into communion with them sustained in the eternal memory and love of God. At the same time, we get encouraged to engage in acts of charity and love, for the benefit of those who passed away but also of ourselves.