In Orthodoxy, the 9th day after death, like 3 or 40, has a special mystical meaning. It is believed that at this time the fate of the deceased is being decided and his relatives should visit the temple or at least pray for a loved one at home.
After visiting the temple or praying on the 9th day, it is also customary to collect a table for friends and relatives of the deceased. In most cases, Orthodox Christians, including those in Russia, of course, follow this rule and arrange a commemoration without fail.
However, it sometimes happens that it is not possible to organize a meal on the 9th day for some serious reason. And of course, in this case, relatives have a question about whether it is possible to hold a commemoration earlier or later.
9th day value
According to Orthodox canons, within 2 days after death, the soul of the deceased remains on earth and visits its usual places, saying goodbye to loved ones. On the third day, the deceased appears before God.
Over the next 6 days, the soul is shown paradise and the abodes of the saints. On the 9th day he is taken to hell, where over the next 30 days the angels acquaint him with the places of torture of sinners.
On the 40th day, the soul of the deceased is called to God again. And at this moment he already decides where she will stay in the future - in heaven or in hell - until the Last Judgment.
Is it possible to celebrate the 9th day earlier or later: the opinion of the priests
Since this date for the deceased, according to the ideas of the Church, is really of great importance, it is not recommended to postpone it. However, the priests at the same time believe that the most important thing is not the organization of the commemoration itself, but prayers for the deceased.
This means that on the 9th day it is imperative to go to church or pray for a loved one who has left at home. If for some reason it is not possible to gather relatives and friends on this day, you should at least distribute memorial food to friends and certainly the sick and the poor. Actually, the memorial meal itself can be postponed to a later date.
When a memorial table cannot be assembled
Thus, only prayer for the deceased is obligatory on the 9th day in Orthodoxy. In the church, the priests recommend defending the liturgy and ordering a requiem for the deceased. It is not necessary to organize a memorial meal on this day.
Moreover, in Orthodoxy, on some days, it is not even allowed to arrange a commemoration. For example, you cannot do this on Easter. It is not recommended to collect the table for the deceased and during Great Lent. If the 9th day falls on this time, you need to pray for the deceased, and postpone the organization of the meal to a later date. At the same time, it is still not recommended to arrange a commemoration earlier in Orthodoxy.