The Orthodox Funeral. There are actually five separate funeral services in the Orthodox Church; one for children, laity, monks, priests, and to be served during Bright Week (the week after Pascha). Immediately following death the body is prepared for burial by family and friends of the deceased, a strip with the Trisagion placed upon their brow, a small icon or cross in the right hand and prayer rope in the left, and the first panikhida is celebrated. Readers, subdeacons, and deacons are vested, the deacon with a censer in his right hand. Priests and bishops are vested, their faces covered with the aer, and a Gospel book laid on their chest. The casket is sprinkled with holy water, the lid placed outside the doors to show mourning is occurring within, and the wake begins as the Psalter is read (for priests and bishops, the Gospels). The body is carried into the temple with a procession of crosses and banners, singing the Trisagion - bells are usually rung at this time, and the priest censes around the casket. Next to the casket is a table with the koliva, made from wheat symbolizing the new life that springs forth from the “dead” seed, and honey symbolizing the sweetness of the Kingdom of Heaven. The casket is open, with the lower half sometimes draped with a pall, and the lid is placed outside as an invitation to join in the funeral. There is a Divine Liturgy (not on Sundays or Feasts) and special litanties for the dead and another panikhida. The funeral proper begins immediately following the dismissal, with candles held by everyone and a censer swung pretty much throughout. Because death has been defeated by the Resurrection of Christ, the Alleluia is sung. The 17th kathisma/ 118th Psalm is read, followed by a series of hymns, most notable the kontakion and ikhos for the dead, the hymns of St. John Damascene, at the end of which the departed’s spiritual father reads the prayer of absolution and places a copy in the deceased’s hands. The community says goodbye at the last kiss - usually either the Trisagion on the forehead or the cross in the hand. Memory eternal (vyechnaya pamyat) is sung thrice, and the casket is closed. There are additional graveyard services and panikhidas celebrated, but for the space we have here this summary is probably sufficient.