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Forgiveness Sunday - March 17, 2013

Photos below

Forgiveness Sunday, also called Cheesefare Sunday, is the final day of pre-Lent. It is the Sunday after Meatfare Sunday and the Sunday before the Sunday of Orthodoxy.

On this last Sunday before Great Lent, the last day that traditionally Orthodox Christians eat dairy products until Pascha, the Church remembers the expulsion of Adam and Eve from Paradise. God commanded them to fast from the fruit of a tree (Gen. 2:16), but they did not obey. In this way Adam and Eve and their descendants became heirs of death and corruption.

On Forgiveness Sunday many attend Forgiveness Vespers on the eve of Great Lent. They hear of the Lord's teaching about fasting and forgiveness and enter the season of the fast forgiving one another so that God will forgive them. If you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will forgive you; but if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your heavenly Father forgive you your trespasses (Matthew 6:14).

The Gospel reading of the day also gives advice on fasting. Moreover, when you fast, do not be like the hypocrites, with a sad countenance. For they disfigure their faces that they may appear to men to be fasting. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, so that you do not appear to men to be fasting, but to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. (Matthew 6:16-18).


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Changing the cloth on the Analogions to purple, the color representing penitence

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Changing the cloth on the Analogions to purple, the color representing penitence

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Prostrations

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Asking for forgiveness of each other

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