11 March 2008

Forgiveness Vespers

At the beginning of our Lenten struggle is the service of Forgiveness Vespers. Two things, in particular, strike me about this service:

1. While the Prokeimenon is sung, the priest changes from gold vestments to the purple, showing that the Lenten fast has arrived.

2. At the conclusion of the service, the priest and each member of the parish begs and grants forgiveness to every other member.

I have also come to love the prayer of our father among the saints, Ephrem of Syria:

O Lord and Master of my life,
Take from me the spirit of sloth, despair, lust of power and idle talk;
But give rather the spirit of chastity, humility, patience, and love to Thy servant.
Yea, O Lord and King, grant me to see my own transgressions and not to judge
my brother, for blessed art Thou unto ages of ages. Amen.

A blessed Lententide to you all!

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