“O Thou Who guidest to wisdom, and givest understanding and intelligence, the Instructor of the ignorant, and Helper of the poor, strengthen my heart and grant it understanding, O Master. Give me word, O Word of the Father; for behold, I shall not refrain my lips from crying to Thee, O merciful One, have mercy upon me who am fallen.” (KONTAKION FOR FORGIVENESS SUNDAY)
Dear to Christ the members of the Body of Christ at St. George,
Christ is in our midst! He is and ever shall be.
This Sunday in the Orthodox Church is called “Forgiveness Sunday”. During the Vespers service the members of the community ask forgiveness from each other before we start the Lent/fast. Fr. Alexander Schmemann writes: “Now, forgiveness stands at the very center of Christian faith and of Christian life because Christianity itself is, above all, the religion of forgiveness. God forgives us, and His forgiveness is in Christ, His Son, Whom He sends to us, so that by sharing in His humanity we may share in His love and be truly reconciled with God. Indeed, Christianity has no other content but love. And it is primarily the renewal of that love, a return to it, a growth in it, that we seek in Great Lent, in fasting and prayer, in the entire spirit and the entire effort of that season. Thus, truly forgiveness is both the beginning of, and the proper condition for the Lenten season.”
I make a matania/prostration before all of you asking for your forgiveness, forgive me a sinner.
This Saturday night don’t forget to change the time on your clocks.
If you like to donate in memory of Fr. Ted Koufos, please make your donation to St. George in his memory as per the request of his sister.
Forgiveness Vespers will take place immediately after the Divine Liturgy this Sunday. All are asked to stay and participate. Next week we will have services every night at 7 PM. There will be a Pre-Sanctified Liturgy (communion) on Wednesday evening. Madaih on Friday evening. You don’t need to register for these services.
Next Sunday March 21st is Orthodox Sunday. Please, bring an icon with you. In the evening we will host “Orthodoxy Sunday Vespers” for all the churches in the GTA at our church at 6 PM. You need to register to attend.
“The Lord said to His Disciples: If you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father also will forgive you; but if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” Monday is called Clean Monday.
Bishop Thomas writes: “The ability to ask for forgiveness and to forgive others is at the heart of the spiritual life. There can be no spiritual growth without these two components. In Saint Matthew’s Gospel, the Lord tells His disciples, “For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you” (Matthew 7:2) Pride is at the root of our unwillingness to forgive. Just as pride is the root of hard-heartedness, humility is the key to forgiveness. Abba Anthony said, “I saw the snares that the enemy spreads out over the world, and I said groaning, ‘What can get through from such snares?’ Then I heard a voice saying to me, ‘Humility.”‘
Forgive me a sinner.