The Panachida

The Panachida is a memorial service for the dead, which is celebrated fairly frequently in the Byzantine Catholic Church. Like all our services for the departed, it provides an opportunity to pray for the soul of the one who has died, asking God to grant them rest and forgiveness of all their sins, and also serves to comfort and console those left behind. The name comes from the Greek pannychis, meaning an all-night vigil.

The Panachida is ordinarily celebrated:

The Panachida also forms the concluding part of a longer memorial service for the dead, the Parastas.

The structure of the Panachida is very simple. It consists of:

An opening blessing: "Blessed is our God...."
The usual "beginning prayers", from "Holy God" through the Lord's Prayer
Troparia for the dead ("With the souls of the just brought to perfection...")
Litany for the Deceased, concluding with the prayer, "O God of spirits and of all flesh"
"Eternal memory"

The complete text of the Panachida can be found in our Divine Liturgies book on pages 432-440, where it immediately follows the hymns of the Divine Liturgy "for the faithful departed."

For guidelines on leading the singing of this service, see Singing the Panachida.

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