Monday, February 19, 2007

Forgiveness Vespers

















Last night, I participated in my first Forgiveness Vespers as an Orthodox Christian. I wasn't sure what to expect, exactly, but the service was one of the most incredibly moving experiences of my life. It is somewhat hard to describe--let's just say that you spend most of the time on the floor, prostrate, asking the forgiveness of, well....everybody.

The homily last night was simple, beautiful, and moving. We were reminded that, as the prodigal son, this is a season for our returning to our senses, and remembering the gift of forgiveness--that in our forgiving of all, we secure our own forgiveness. So, as someone who is proud and opinionated, who often pretends that sarcasm is a virtue (it is not), and who enjoys a bit of gossip and dirt as much as the next person, I humbly ask your forgiveness. Forgive me.

(Fr. Joseph Huneycutt has St. Tikhon's 1901 homily for Forgiveness Sunday, here.)

6 comments:

Dixie said...

What!!! Sarcasm is NOT the gift of tongues!!! ;)

I agree with you, John. Forgiveness vespers is a most incredibly moving service. For fear of sounding like a television commercial I'll bypass saying you can just "feel the love"...but you can. It is for me an example of the essence of Orthodoxy.

emily said...

It is for me an example of the essence of Orthodoxy.

Indeed. And it's one of my favorite services as well.

Anonymous said...

God forgives, and I forgive. [kiss kiss kiss] It was a beautiful service. Afterwards, I had to stop myself from telling a lady in a toll booth, "Forgive me..." [Maybe I shouldn't have stopped myself.] And I learned that Forgiveness Sunday is followed by Walk-Like-a-Duck Monday.

Forgive me...
--Kirk

Steve Hayes said...

You can feel forgiveness in your legs for most of the next week!

Mimi said...

Forgive me, my brother.

John said...

Kirk and Steve,

Glad to hear it wasn't just me.