Sunday is Forgiveness Sunday in the Orthodox Church. And then on Sunday night, with Forgiveness Vespers, we enter Great Lent.
Instead of writing something new about it this year, I'll share three things:
Father Thomas Hopko speaks to the heart of forgiveness in this podcast on Ancient Faith Radio.
"Forgiveness Sunday and Kites on Clean Monday" (from 2008)
"As White as Snow" (from 2009)
I didn't go to Forgiveness Vespers last year. I wasn't ready to forgive some people who had hurt me, although God forgives me for my sins against others, which are great. My pride and anger kept me from Holy Communion many times throughout the past year. But, as Father Hopko says, "Forgiveness is life itself.... and we kill ourselves in the act of not forgiving."
With God's help, and the encouragement of my father confessor, I hope to be there this Sunday night, when each parishioner asks of others, "Please forgive me, a sinner."
And each will answer, by God's grace, "God forgives... and I forgive."