The Gospel of the day (Matthew 25, 1–13)

The Parable of the Ten Virgins

25 “At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish and five were wise. The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. The wise ones, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep.

“At midnight the cry rang out: ‘Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’

“Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.’

“‘No,’ they replied, ‘there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’

10 “But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut.

11 “Later the others also came. ‘Lord, Lord,’ they said, ‘open the door for us!’

12 “But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I don’t know you.’

13 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.

What happens with the soul after the physical death

The life of saint Makarios the Egyptian — The word of saint Makarios the Egyptian about the departing of the soul of the righteous and of the sinful ones, in Church Fathers and Writers (1992), vol. 34, p. 67-70

On the third day all Christian souls go to heaven to bow before God of all creatures and to imitate the resurrection from the dead – the third day – of Christ, God of all creatures. Thus the church does good bringing oblations on the third day and praying for the soul.

After the soul bows before God, at His command are shown to him the wondrous tents of the saints and the beauty of paradise. All these are known by the soul for six days and in this time he marvels and praises God Who created everything. Seeing all these, the soul changes and forgets about the troubles he had when he was in flesh. If he is responsible of sins, seeing the delights of the saints begins to sadden and blame himself and say: `Woe to me, how foolishly I had lived in this world fulfilling my pleasures. After he looks for six days at the joy of the righteous ones, he is brought by angels to bow again before God. Therefore, it is good when it is made liturgy and oblation for the reposed. After the second bow again at the Lord`s command the soul is taken to hell and are shown to him the places for torments from there: the chambers of hell and the different punishments of the wicked; the places where the souls of the sinful stay forever and where they cry and grit their teeth. The soul is taken through these places of punishment for thirty days shivering not to be brought there. On the 40th day is brought again to bow before God and then taking into account all his deeds the Judge decides the place where to stay. Therefore it is good to be remembered in the church the memory of the reposed who were enlightened before (by baptism)


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