Asking the forgiveness of our sisters and brothers, and for the courage to forgive, we begin our journey to Great and Holy Week and the passion, death, and Resurrection of our Lord, God and Savior Jesus Christ. We will pray the Forgiveness Vespers on Monday, February 15 at 5:00 p.m.
Forgive me, for I am a sinner.
On the evening of the Sunday of Forgiveness the Church traditionally conducts the first service of Great Lent, the Vespers of Forgiveness, a service that guides us on the path of repentance and helps us to acknowledge our need for forgiveness from God and to seek forgiveness from our brothers and sisters in Christ. This is the first time during the annual Fast that the Lenten prayer of St. Ephraim, accompanied by prostrations, is read. At the end of the service all the faithful approach the priest and one another, asking for mutual forgiveness.
The Sunday of Forgiveness is also known as Cheesefare Sunday, as it is the last day that dairy products can be eaten before the full Lenten fast begins on the following day, Clean Monday, the first day of Great Lent.