The making of a coffin begins with prayer, continues with prayer, and is finished with prayer. Thus each coffin itself becomes prayer and a fruit of spiritual experience.
“Lord most high, Ancient of Days and God of our fathers, in accordance with whose saving providence Joseph was placed in a coffin of Egypt: bless me to make a coffin as a resting place for one of your faithful, a temporary resting place in the Egypt that is this transitory world. And then, when heaven and earth shall pass away, and the dead shall arise and all of us shall be changed in the twinkling of an eye, when the saints’ bodies of dust and dry bones shall be in a moment made incorruptible and likened to Your glory, then show Your mercy upon your faithful servant [name], through the prayers of all our holy fathers and brethren who have reposed, and all the world. Amen.”
Coffins are all hand-made by the monastics of St. Tikhon’s monastery.
Width: 26 ½ inches (at the widest part)
Length: 6 feet 3 inches (75 inches)
28 inches at the widest
76 ¾ inches long
If needed, a coffin can be made longer upon request.
The lining of the coffin is made of sheets used in the Holy Friday service to wrap the corpus (the painted body of Christ) when it is taken down from the cross. If these are not available, regular cotton/linen fabric is used.
The exterior is typically left unstained but varnished (if requested, the coffin can be stained but knotty pine does not particularly stain well; its golden beauty is best left as is). A calligraphic inscription of the Trisagion prayer can be hand-painted on the sides.
Another option is a painted coffin, as seen in one of the photos. The colors and ornamental detail are copied from murals of the main church of St. Tikhon’s monastery. Thus the interior of the church and the exterior of the coffin are one.
The coffins are preordered; but one can be made within a week should the Abbot give a blessing to do so.