Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States
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Please explain why we pray for the people that have departed to heaven. Do our prayers make any difference for them? Can God forgive their sins because of our prayers?

We commemorate the saints as the Lord commanded us and we pray for the souls of the departed asking God to have mercy on their souls and on ours on Judgment Day. The prayers for the departed are included in the Divine Liturgy following the commemoration of the saints. Thus, not only are we praying for them, but also believing they are in the presence of Jesus Christ our Lord, we ask them also to pray for us. It is a fellowship of love between them and us.
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