St. Mark on Prayers for the Dead

St. Mark of Ephesus ca. 1392-1444

The sinners and those imprisoned after death in Hades benefit from these prayers [for the reposed] on the one hand because they have not been definitively condemned and do not yet have the final decision of the tribunal, on the other hand because they have not yet fallen into hell, which will happen after the Second Coming of Christ. If this is effective for sinners, much more do the memorial services and prayers benefit those who have repented but did not have time to be purified completely and therefore illuminated. If these have very small or light sins, they are restored to the inheritance of the righteous or remain where they are, that is to say in Hades, and their troubles are lightened and they return towards more honorable hopes. (excerpted from the pamphlet “The Dead Urgently Need Our Help” produced by Orthodox Monastery of the Archangel Michael, Marrickville, NSW, 1475 Australia)