On the eve of Great Lent, the Holy Church remembers Adam’s expulsion from paradise, while each of us – our orphanhood, lost homeland, and the father’s home. So, today, having cleansed our hearts, we once again set upon a journey to return to our God and the Father. Our journey away from sinful darkness towards the Light of Christ’s Resurrection begins today. It is a long and difficult path, where we will encounter infirmities and passions that hold us captive. Thus, it is truly important to support one another on this path with love, mercy, patience, that’s why we enter the battleground of fasting with mutual forgiveness.
The word “forgive” is derived from the Old Russian “проща” that means “to heal” or “to set something free.” That’s how deeply lies the true meaning of forgiveness! If someone treated us cruelly and unjustly and his action is subject to just retribution, we are bestowed with the right and the power to release them in eternity from the punishment they deserve, freeing from bonds, torment, and hell. God bestows us with a great power of forgiveness.
On February 26, the Vespers, along with the Rite of Forgiveness, was served in the Trinity Cathedral of the Seraphim-Diveyevo monastery, following which the monastery’s own Archpriest Igor Borisov asked the clergy, matushka hegumenia, the sisters of the monastery and parishioners for forgiveness. Next, everyone venerated the monastery’s sacred shrines, the relics of St. Seraphim of Sarov and the “Tendernss” Icon of the Most Holy Mother of God, and sought forgiveness before one another by making a prostration. “Christ is in our midst!” – “He is, and always shall be!”
According to tradition, all the sisters of the monastery come together for this service, arriving even from the far-away sketes seeking forgiveness of matushka hegumenia and asking her blessing before Great Lent.