God wants to help those who have died, because he feels pain for their salvation, but He does not, because He has nobility. He does not want to give the devil the right to say: how do you save him, when he did not labor? So, when we pray for those who have died, we give Him the right to intervene. Further, God is touched more when we pray for the dead than for the living. That’s why our Church has the offerings like the kolyva and the memorial services. Memorials are the best lawyer for the souls of the dead. They can even take a soul out of hell! And you at every Divine Liturgy read kolyva for the dead. The wheat has a meaning: “It is sown corruptible; it is raised incorruptible” (I Corinth, chap 15, V. 42). It symbolizes the death and resurrection, according to the Scriptures.
Note: Kolyva is a dish made of wheat that is shared as part of memorial services in the Greek Orthodox church.
Saint Paisios the Hagiorite
Translated by Dr. Nick Stergiou
Praying for the dead