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We say the Lord’s prayer, asking for forgiveness.  We condition this request on our own forgiveness of others.  We are all alike inheritors of the disobedience of Adam, and are all alike cast out of the Garden of Paradise, not only because of the inheritance, but we each have a share in this obedience by our own doing.  We are all equally in need of God’s forgiveness and each others’.  To forgive is a big part of our striving to follow the Lord’s second great commandment to love our neighbor as ourselves.  Forgiveness is the foundation of our acceptance of the salvation offered to us, “prepared before the face of all people,” as Righteous Simeon says.

While forgiveness is always to be part of our interaction with God and each other, asking, giving and receiving, the Church sets aside this Sunday each year to practice forgiveness in a ritual way.  Just as our need for salvation and forgiveness is emphasized this day, so we follow this up by emphatically practicing forgiveness, with each other, with everybody present.

Here and at many parishes, the evening of this day is devoted to this rite of forgiveness in the Sunday evening Vespers service.  We also do this at this time because tomorrow is the beginning of Great Lent and we want to demonstrably start Lent with a clean slate.  We should not neglect this once-a-year opportunity.  When we ask for forgiveness, it is normal to make a full prostration, that is, go down on the knees and touch the head to the ground.  It is a sign of humility before God and each other as mutual creations in God’s image.  Whether able to make a full prostration or not, the important thing is to humble ourselves. 

God willing, we will great each other for this blessed activity at 6:30 this evening. 

Please note that this beginning is enforced by the provision of services every evening in this first week, culminating in the remembrance of St. Theodore the Recruit and the Sunday of Orthodoxy.  This provision is a real spiritual shot in the arm and well worth the effort.

Sunday of Forgiveness - The Casting Out of Adam from Paradise - Apodosis of the Meeting of the Lord

Cheese Fare Sunday is today.  It is the last day before Lent starts to consume dairy products.  Tomorrow begins the strict fast of Great Lent.

No Sunday School at the Rectory Today - This is because we are to gather again this evening for Forgiveness Vespers and don’t want to add to the logistical difficulties in so doing.

Please obtain your copy of the beautiful 2018 Church Calendar! - Get more than one if you can, because when you see it, you will always be reminded of your church family and the church’s praying life.  The price is $10.00.

St. Joseph’s Chapel Property Development - Architect Andrew Gould is working on designs for the chapel and parish hall.  We are convinced that God has sent him to us. We will need $3,000.00 to support this stage of the development.   Let us not be weary in this instance of well-doing.  “God loveth a cheerful giver.”

Make an Annual Pledge to help us with steady financial help and fulfill  our responsibility to God and each other.  It should be a significant percentage of our income, we make a pledge of a percentage of our income.  The ideal foundation is 10%.  Those who do at least this much can testify of God’s blessings.  Please complete a pledge form and return it to the donation box.

Travelers to Remember - Abraham Alexander is currently sojourning in Canada, helping his family.

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