Inspired by affection towards her departed children, the Orthodox Church has, since early times, adopted the custom of burying her dead (as is evidenced in the catacombs and from the graves of martyrs and the saints). Cremation, therefore, is contrary to the tradition of our Church and forbidden for Orthodox Christians.
In cases where relatives cannot go against the expressed wishes of their departed loved ones, the funeral service may take place in the church, however, at the end of the service the remains will be handed over to the relatives and the priest no longer officiates.
What to do.
Relatives of the deceased person are therefore required to instruct an undertaker to organise all the funeral arrangements. At St. Demetrios church we closely work with Demetriou & English Funeral Directors, who have been providing a service for the Orthodox community of London for many years.
Demetriou & English.
Demetriou & English are the ONLY Greek Orthodox undertakers in the UK, both Peter Demetriou and his staff understand the traditions and customs which we Orthodox Christians and the Orthodox Church follow. His staff speak Greek which is a great benefit for the elderly who find it easier especially when dealing with such personal and emotional matters. Furthermore, Peter and his staff will ensure that every aspect of the funeral has been looked into that other non-Orthodox undertakers may not be aware of or provide such as:
- Koliva & Bread
- Olive Oil, Soil & Kouzo with Water for the burial service
- The Cross, Oil Lantern with oil, Kapnistiri, and the Box to hold these items,
- Pariorka, etc.
The remains of your relatives will be held in an Orthodox Chapel of rest during the interim period leading up to the burial, were you can visit them as well as also arrange for either Fr. John or Fr. Evangelos to attend and offer the prayers of the Trisagion prior the burial.
Our experience at St. Demetrios is that the level of service provided to the family and the priests by Peter and his staff is excellent and go towards making a difficult day more endurable.
If you wish to use Demetriou & English their details are as follows:
Demetriou & English Funeral Directors
131 – 133 Myddleton Road
Wood Green, London, N22 8NG
TEL: 0208 889 9888
FAX: 0208 888 9205