February 19th, 2012

Forgiveness Sunday 2012

On this last day before we enter the Great Lent, we recall the words of Matthew 6:

14For if you will forgive men their offences, your heavenly Father will forgive you also your offences.

15But if you will not forgive men, neither will your Father forgive you your offences.

16And when you fast, be not as the hypocrites, sad. For they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Amen I say to you, they have received their reward.

17But thou, when thou fastest anoint thy head, and wash thy face;

18That thou appear not to men to fast, but to thy Father who is in secret: and thy Father who seeth in secret, will repay thee.

In humility before God, we ask our clergy and our fellow parishioners to forgive us for every hurt and offense we’ve caused in deed, thought, word, or omission, intentionally or unintentionally. We begin our practice of Lenten prostration by prostrating ourselves before our clergy and each other as we say, “Forgive me, a sinner.” What a blessing it is to be able to hear and speak the response: “The Lord forgives!”

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