Let Us Begin the Fast with Forgiveness!
Let us begin the fast with joy! Let us prepare ourselves for spiritual efforts!
Let us cleanse our soul and cleanse our flesh! Let us abstain from every passion as
we abstain from food! Let us rejoice in virtues of the Spirit and fulfill them in love!
That we all may see the passion of Christ our God, and rejoice in spirit at the holy Pascha!
Great Lent begins with the Vespers of Forgiveness which will follow the Coffee Fellowship this Sunday (approximately 12:30 pm). It is easily one of the most important services in the Lenten cycle, if not of the whole liturgical year.
It seems to me that we highlight forgiveness as we are about to begin the Lenten struggle because we need to understand that without mutual forgiveness there can be be no spiritual change or growth. In fact, without striving to forgive and asking for forgiveness from God and one another there can be no salvation. The Lord says that divine mercy will be shown only to the merciful and forgiveness only to the forgiving.
Although we may not personally feel the need for others in the parish to forgive us, or a need to forgive them, the habit and practice of forgiveness is essential to our life in Christ.
This service gives us a "running start" in what should be the daily tone of our lives throughout the Lenten Season (and really all time). Make plans to come.
Daylight Saving Time begins at 2:00 AM this Sunday, March 13, 2016. Please remember to set your clocks forward 1 hour before you go to bed on Saturday evening.