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How Our Departed Ones Live: The Experience of the Orthodox Church

The Second English Edition

Monk Mitrophan
Translated by Archpriest John R. Shaw

“Certainly, the topic of the next life is indeed central to[...this] book; however, in describing the heavenly afterlife, we are given also a description of this life: our creation, life before the fall and the effects of the fall, of life after the fall, of sin and its effect, of our salvation, of our destiny. We also learn about the communion of the saints and the heavenly host, as well as our own union and communion with those who have gone before and our prayers for the departed and the prayers of the saints for us. We learn about the nature of heaven and hell and of our destiny in the Kingdom of God. More than just a book about death, this book is a catechism of the Orthodox Church. It provides a view of our faith, not from this world, but as if looking back from the next, revealing not how things are, but how things were meant to be, how they went wrong, how they are repaired, and the various results of all these events, this is a book for those who wish to know not only about the next life, but about this life and how to live in it. Truly this is a book that goes far, far beyond its title.”
—“Introduction to the English Edition”


Foreword: The Story of the Rebirth of This Book
Translator‘s Preface
Introduction to the English Edition
Death in Relation to Immortality: Concerning Death
1 The Origin of the Word and Concept of “Death”
2 The Appearance of Death on Earth
3 The Definition of Death
4 The Universality of the Law of Death
5 The Reason for Death
6 The Unnaturalness and the Necessity of Death
7 The Beneficial Nature of Death
8 The Departure of the Soul
9 The Departure of the Righteous Soul
10 The Departure of a Sinful Soul
11 The Third Day and the Tollhouses. The Significance of the Ninth Day, Fortieth, and Anniversary
The Inner Connection and Mutual Relationship Between the Living and the Departed
1 The Spiritual-Moral Realm and Its Members
2 The Basis of the Union, Bond, Relationship, and Communion BetweenThis World and the Next–of the Living with the Dead
3 The First Basis: The Lord Jesus Christ, His Grace, and Holy Faith
4 The Second Basis: Life and the Order of Moral Development
5 The Third Basis: The Immortal Soul of Man
6 The Definition of the Union, Bond, Relationship, and Communion Between This World and That Beyond the Grave
7 The Visible Expression of the Union, Bond, Relationship, and Communionof the Earthly World With That Beyond the Grave
8 The Union, Bond, Relationship, and Communion of This World With That Beyond the Grave
9 The Bond and Communication of Those Living on Earth With the Angelic World in General
   a) With the Holy Angels
   b) With Evil Spirits
10 In General About the Bond and Communion of the Earthly World With That Beyond the Grave, of the Living With the Dead
   a) Of the Bond and Communion with the Saints
   b) The Bond and Communion with the Imperfect
   c) The Bond and Communion with Those Lost to the Kingdom of Heaven
11 The Manifestation of Beings from the Spiritual World—Angels and Souls—to People in This World
   a) The Appearance of Good Angels on Earth
   b) The Appearance on Earth of Evil Spirits
   c) Saints Appearing on Earth
   d) Appearances of Souls from Hades
The Dogmatic Teaching of the Church Concerning Intercession by the Living for the Departed, and Requesting Forgiveness for the Sins of Certain Sinners
1 The Basis of the Church’s Teaching Concerning the Possibility of Salvation for Certain Departed Sinners
   a) The Basis for Asking Forgiveness of Sins for the Dead: Love and Faith
   b) The Old Testament Scriptures
   c) The Gospel Teaching
   d) The Tradition of the Apostles
   e) The Teaching of the Holy Fathers and Doctors of the Church
   f) Decrees of the Holy Councils
   g) Actual Examples
2 The Meaning of the Present Life of the Living in Relation to the Life of the Dead Beyond the Grave
3 The Intercession of Those on Earth for Those Who Have Passed Into the World Beyond the Grave—Prayer
4 The Church and Her Intercession
   a) The Liturgy
   b) Days of the Commemoration of the Dead, or Soul Saturdays
      I) Saturday in Meatfare Week
      II) Saturday Before Pentecost
      III) The Second, Third, and Fourth Saturdays in Great Lent
      IV) Tuesday after Thomas Sunday
      V) The 29th of August
      VI) The Saturday of St. Dimitri
      VII) Royal Days of Commemoration
5 Individual Intercession for the Departed by Relatives, Friends, and Acquaintances Remaining on Earth
6 Almsgiving
7 Not All Intercessions of the Living are Beneficial to the Departed, and Not All the Departed Benefit from the Intercession of the Living
8 Addenda
   a) The Significance of the Third, Ninth, Fortieth, and Anniversary Days After Death. Kutiya
   b) The Benefit to the Living in Praying for the Dead
   c) The Contemporary Nature of Prayers for the Departed
Life Beyond the Grave: Its Inner Connection with the Preceding Sections
Section I
1 Life Beyond the Grave in General
   a) A Definition of Life Beyond the Grave
   b) Nomenclature of the States of Souls Beyond the Grave or of the Places Where They Abide
   c) The Periods of Life Beyond the Grave. Age. Personal, Conscious,and Active Life
Section II
1 The First Period of Life Beyond the Grave
   a) A Definition of This Period
2 In General Concerning the Life and Activity of the Soul and of Its Distinct Powers Beyond the Grave
   a) The Soul and Its Organ of Activity, the Body—Immortality of the Soul and Body—The Activity of the Soul on Earth and Beyond the Grave—Internal and External Activity
3 Inner Life—Inner Activity
   a) Feeling—Mind—Memory—Will—Conscience—Their Activity Beyond the Grave
4 Outward Life—Outward Activity
   a) The Union, Bond, Mutual Relationship, and Communion of This World and That Beyond The Grave, and the Union, Bond, Relationship, and Communion Between Souls Beyond the Grave
5 The Bond and Communion of This World With That Beyond the Grave
6 The Bond and Communion Between Souls in the World Beyond the Grave
7 Life and Activity in Paradise
   a) The Beginning of This State While on Earth—Various Names for the Dwelling Place of the Saints
   b) The Place and Description of the Habitation of the Blessed in the First Period—The Dwellers in Paradise—When They Enter There—The Character of the Saved—The Nature of the Sexes—The Number of the Saints
   c) The Basis and Definition of the Blessed Life, of Bliss—The Makeup of Bliss—Incomplete Bliss
   d) Inward and Outward Incomplete Bliss, or the Activity of the Soul in Paradise
8 Life and Activity in Hades and in Gehenna
   a) The Beginning of these States Beyond the Grave—Of Hades and Gehenna on Earth
      I) Various Names for the Places of the Souls in the Undetermined and Condemned States—The Place and Description of the Dwelling of Those in the Undetermined State—Hades
9 The Dwellers in Hades and Gehenna—When Souls Enter This State Beyond the Grave
   a) Distinctive Character of Souls in the Undetermined and Condemned States—The Basis, Definition, and Makeup of Torment—Incomplete Torment, Internal And External—Life in Hades and Gehenna
Section III
1 The Second Coming of Christ to Earth. The Resurrection of the Dead. The Final Judgment Of Moral Beings, and the End of the Age
   a) The Time and Speed of These Events
      I) Signs and Expectation of the End of the World
      II) The Second Coming of Christ to Earth
   b) Resurrection of the Bodies of the Dead
      I) The Basis for the Resurrection of the Bodies of the Dead—The Immortality of the Body—The Teaching of the Old and New Testaments on the Resurrection of the Dead—The Resurrected Bodies, Their General Characteristics for the Saved and the Damned—The History ofThis Dogma
   c) God’s Final Judgment on Moral Beings
      I) The Universal Judgment—Judgment on Christians and Non-Christians
      II) The End of the Age (of the World)
Section IV
1 The Second Period of Life Beyond the Grave
   a) Definition of the Second Period of Life in Paradise—Description of the Habitation of the Saints in the Second Period—Degrees of Bliss—Bliss of the Soul and Body—Perfect, Complete, Inward, and Outward Bliss—Distinctive Character of the Second Period of Life in Paradise
   b) Definition of the Second Period of Life in Gehenna—Life in Gehenna—Eternal Death—Description of the Abodes of the Lost—Gehenna—The Degree and Eternal Quality of Torture—Utter, Complete, Internal, And External Torment—Distinctive Character of Life in Gehenna in the Second Period—The Life of Suicides Beyond the Grave
2 Concerning the Prayer of Absolution at Funerals
Appendix 1 Reviews of the Original Russian Book
Appendix 2 Reviews of the French Language Edition

Item Number: BKIPG043
Publication Data: Jordanville, NY: Holy Trinity Publications, 2015
Format: softcover
Number of Pages: 395
Dimensions (l × w × h): 22.8 cm × 15.3 cm × 2.0 cm
ISBN: 978‒0‒88465‒401‒8

$22.95 (USD)


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