The torments of Hell – 1) the torment of the souls of unrepentant sinners as a result of God’s vengeance on the one hand and their inner state on the other hand, lasting from the end of the Personal Judgment to the time of the general resurrection and the subsequent Last Judgment; 2) the eternal torment of unrepentant sinners after the end of the Last Judgment as a result of the ruling of this Judgment according to the spiritual and moral disposition of each condemned person.
Will there be frying pans in hell?
Despite the presence in the Holy Scriptures and Tradition, and in particular in iconography, symbolic images of the tortures of the wicked in hell under the image of bodily torment, the view that a person in hell will be fried by devils on pans and spits, tormented by chains and snakes, devil’s pincers, saws, fire wheels, is not so much taken from Orthodox sources as from imagination and folklore.
The condition of sinners in hell, both before and after the Last Judgment, of course, cannot be characterized other than as painful. These torments, presented in the Holy Tradition symbolically, should not be reduced to the gross physical torture of sinners by demons, who seem to be assigned an eternal role to be in hell in the privileged position of the tormentors.
As for the devil and his angels, they will all be thrown into the lake of fire, where they will suffer and burn (Revelation 20:10-15). What will be the degree of their eternal torment, the Lord knows. It is likely that these torments will exceed those torments, which will be a consequence of righteous reward to sinners (people), who, understandably, sinned not without the instigation of evil demonic forces.
In the case of wicked people, the agony will be reduced mainly to the agony of conscience (burning in fire (Mark 9:48)); consuming action of unhealed passions which, according to God’s Providence, will not be realized in hell (Mark 9:48); feeling of deep loneliness, Godforsakenness (external darkness (Matthew 25:30)); repentance without the possibility of purification, the lack of joy inherent in God’s saints, bitterness (crying, gnashing of teeth (Matthew 25:30)).
Of course, the agony of sinners after the Last Judgment will be different from the agony suffered by sinners until the general resurrection. After all, now only their souls are tortured in hell, and later the torment will spread to their bodies. It is difficult to say exactly what it will be like. In any case, some of the Holy Fathers noted that, for example, the action of fire and the worm, the lack of light will affect the body feelings, and the symbolic crying (Matthew 25:30) and gnashing of teeth to some extent can be correlated with literal crying and gnashing of teeth. In addition, after the Last Judgment, the suffering will be more complete.
Translated by The Catalogue of Good Deeds