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40 day rule for Eastern/Coptic Orthodox?

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I am not familiar w/forty day rules in Catholicism. Could be because I dont practice.


But Eastern/Coptic has a baptism rule, that you have to be baptized forty days after birth. Did that w/both girls.


My question is my fil just passed 39 days ago and dh tells me we have to go to a special service for the forty day rule?


I am so confused, could you help a girl out, where in the bible does it lay out these rules.?????

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The Orthodox pray for the dead during the first 40 days after death (and after, but the first 40 are very important for the soul of the deceased). It really is not called a "rule", but rather it is taught by Orthodox Tradition that the day of Particular Judgment for that person is on the 40th day. During those 40 days, the soul is shown heaven and hell.


Catholics do not have this tradition, but rather the Tradition of Purgatory. It is believed there is no set time for a soul in Purgatory.



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Forty days is a special time period throughout the Old Testament and New Testament. It's everywhere! Anyway, a little Googling yielded this information.


The Orthodox do a blessing of mother and child re-entering the congregation at the 40-day mark. That's an Old Testament thing. They also do a blessing at the eight-day mark, just as Jesus had, and even a blessing on the first day -- neat! Baptism can occur after the 40-day blessing and not before.

Baptisms, St. Barbara Greek Orthodox Church, Sarasota FL

Blessings, St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church, Seattle WA


The Orthodox have a mourning period of 40 days after a death, another Old Testament thing. (St. John Chrysostom is quoted as saying Jacob & Moses were mourned for 40 days, and the New Testament says that Jesus walked the earth for 40 days after his resurrection, until his ascension). The Orthodox also have special prayers at various points during the mourning period and in the first year after death.

Death and mourning for the Greek Orthodox


There is a special 41-day prayer service, the Trisagion; it looks like it marks the end of the intense mourning period.

The Trisagion prayer


I hope this helped a bit. I'm so sorry for your loss.

Edited by BarbaraL in OK
changed 'church' to congregation; makes more sense with the OT reference.
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