Starting Lent with Forgiveness

In the Orthodox church in the weeks leading to Great Lent, we prepare ourselves for a Lenten period dedicated to prayer, fasting, almsgiving and spiritual growth.  In those preparatory weeks, we read scripture that reminds us that to grow spiritually:

  • we must first have the desire like the Canaanite woman (Mark 12:13-17)
  • we must be humble like the Publican (Luke 18:9-14)
  • we want to be recognize the right path, always turning back to God in repentance when we go of course, like the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32); and
  • we must  love and care for our neighbor, being mindful of the Last Judgment (Matthew 25:31-46).

On the Saturday before Lent we pray for our departed loved ones, and on the Sunday before Lent we have a beautiful service that ends by us each forgiving each other and beginning Lent in unconditional love and unity.  Our teens prepared a breakfast for the parishioners on Forgiveness Sunday (March 17), before we began our Lenten journey with a vegan fast.

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