An Enochian memorial?

The following prayer occurs in the Litany for the Departed, an Eastern Orthodox memorial service:

O God of spirits and of all flesh, who hast trampled down death and made powerless the devil and given life to thy world: Do thou, thyself O Lord, give rest to the souls of thy departed servants, NN, in a place of brightness, a place of verdure, a place of repose, whence all sickness, sorrow and sighing have fled away.
Translation: The Liturgikon (Antakya Press, 1994)

Two things in this short passage of the litany always bring to mind the book of First Enoch, and I wonder if there’s any direct connection.

The first is the phrase “God of spirits and of all flesh.” This is similar to the title “Lord of Spirits” which is very common in First Enoch, particularly in the Book of Similitudes (or Parables) section, chapters 37 through 71.

The second is the requested place of rest for the departed: “a place of brightness, a place of verdure, a place of repose, whence all sickness, sorrow and sighing have fled away.” This brings to my mind First Enoch 22.9: “And this has been separated for the spirits of the righteous, where the bright fountain of water is” (from the Nickelsburg/VanderKam translation).

Neither of the parallels are particularly close, but I find the combination of these two somewhat distant allusions suggestive, indeed I found them striking when I first heard them. Whether the writing of the litany, the origin of which is lost to the mists of time, was influenced by First Enoch or not, there is another, more interesting and striking parallel. This is the shared understanding of the author of First Enoch and the author(s) of the litany (and hence also of Eastern Orthodox Christian believers for whom this litany is a canonical statement of our beliefs) concerning the intermediate state, between death and resurrection, as a state in which one receives a foretaste of one’s eternal reward, whether good or bad, based upon one’s life.

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