The Cathedral extends its deepest condolences to the families who have suffered a loss. Funeral services are available for any of our Greek Orthodox brothers and sisters and we would suggest the following course of action given a death in the family:
- Contact the appropriate medical examiner or doctor to obtain a certificate of death
- Call the Cathedral office at 202-333-4730 to speak with our priests
- Contact one of the local area funeral directors for scheduling a viewing and funeral service
Many of our parishioners and their families request Memorial Donations to be designated to the Cathedral in commemoration of their loved one. Donations may be made towards any aspect of the Cathedral or to the discretion of our priests. Please notify both our priests and the funeral director should a memorial donation request be desired.
A warm custom of our faith, the Makaria is a meal following the funeral service to comfort the family and to commemorate the life of the loved one lost. The Cathedral’s Frosene Education Center has a banquet hall on the top floor, a glass-enclosed atrium and church hall, which are available for reservation and use for a Makaria.
After funeral service, memorial services are available to commemorate the memory of a loved one. Families holding memorial services should bring koliva to the memorial service or contact the Cathedral office to request koliva from one of the groups of the Cathedral. Please contact the Cathedral office as soon as possible to schedule these memorials.
Typical Memorial Service Schedule
- On the 40th day
- At the one-year anniversary
- At the second-year anniversary
- At the third-year anniversary
- On the Saturday of Souls
Memorial Services may not be held on:
- All Holy Days of our Lord (including Christmas, Epiphany, Pascha, Transfiguration)
- From the Saturday of Lazarus to and including St. Thomas Sunday
- Pentecost Sunday
- August 15th
Because the Orthodox Faith affirms the fundamental goodness of creation, it understands the body to be an integral part of the human person and the temple of the Holy Spirit, and expects the resurrection of the dead. The Church considers cremation to be the deliberate desecration and destruction of what God has made and ordained for us. The Church instead insists that the body be buried so that the natural physical process of decomposition may take place. The Church does not grant funerals, either in the sanctuary, or at the funeral home, or at any other place, to persons who have chosen to be cremated. Additionally, memorial services with kolyva (boiled wheat) are not allowed in such instances, inasmuch as the similarity between the “kernel of wheat” and the “body” has been intentionally destroyed.