Cemeteries are especially designated places where the dead are buried. Usually there is a church or a chapel and religious services or rites are performed there. The Orthodox Christians use a cross to mark graves.

The most important things in the Orthodox faith is a belief in resurrection of the dead. A death of a person is not the end of existence. The Church looks after the souls of its believers even after they are dead. A Christian burial is an important devotional rite. On particular days, an office for the dead is ministered – prayers that a priest says in the name of the family and the whole Church for the soul to rest in peace and for the forgiveness of sins.

There are also some days when the Church prays in general for all who have passed away. These days are called Memorial Service. The Church is a community of the living and no one is considered to be finally dead. By saying the name of a deceased in the church, the close ones prey for forgiveness for the sins of the deceased and seek the God’s memory that leads everyone to the Eternal Life.


A Serbian word sаhrаnа (burial) comes from an Old Slavic word, hrаniti (keep, preserve). By interring the deceased, the body is kept for the day of the resurrection.


Burial of a deceased is a prayerful act and is the first thing a Christian has to arrange for when a close one dies. On the first Saturday, forty days and a year after the burial, memorial services are held according to the Church tradition.  Candles have to be lit, as a symbol of eternal light, and wheat is cooked, symbolising the faith and the resurrection.