The Beauty of Forgiveness

The Orthodox Church begins Great and Holy Lent with a simple yet profound service, the Vespers of Forgiveness Sunday. One of the hymns of the services sets the tone for the time and the season which is to begin:

Let us set out with joy upon the season of the Fast, and prepare ourselves for spiritual combat. Let us purify our soul and cleanse our flesh; and as we fast from food, let us abstain also from every passion. Rejoicing in the virtues of the Spirit may we persevere with love, and so be counted worthy to see the solemn Passion of Christ our God, and with great spiritual gladness to behold His Holy Pascha.

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