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Holy and Glorious Pascha - Preparation - Vespers of Clean Monday - the First Day of Great Lent - Service of Forgiveness (Eve of 40th Day before the Transition Period)

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Pascha
Cycle
Triodion Propho-
nisimon
Sun.
All
Souls
Sat.
1st
Great
Lent
Praying Fasting
Theology
Fasting
Guide-
lines
Doing
Charity
Vespers
Clean
Mon.
Serv.
For
give
ness
Clean
Mon.
Sun-
days
5
Fri.
after
5th
Sun.
Palm
Sun.
Sha-
neen-
eh
Great
Holy
Week

 

Sundays of Great Lent or Pascha Cycle
SundayNameDay of
Great
Lent
Day before
Transition
Period
ApostolosGospelAction
Vespers
of
Clean
Monday
Service
of
Forgiveness
Vespers
of
1st day
of
Great
Lent
Eve of
40th day
before
Transition
Period
  Forgive
Clean
Monday
1st day
of
Great
Lent
1st day
of
Great
Lent
40th day
before
Transition
Period
1 Cor.
3:18-23
Lk.
21:8-36
 
Friday
after
Fifth
Sunday
Last
day
of
Great
Lent
40th day
of
Great
Lent
1st day
before
Transition
Period
Eph.
2:4-10
Mt.
4:1-11
 

A short "Service of Forgiveness" is done during the "Forgiveness Vespers". These are the Vespers of Clean Monday on the evening of the Fourth Sunday of Triodion: Sunday of Cheesefare / Forgiveness Sunday.

The reason for the "Forgiveness Vespers" with "Service of Forgiveness" is that we need to enter the holy season of Great Lent free from resentments and grudges, that is without holding anything against anyone. Holy God the Son within the Holy Trinity / Our Lord, God and Savior, Jesus Christ has told us to do this: "So when you are offering your gift at the altar, if you remember that your brother (or sister) has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother (or sister), and then come and offer your gift" (Mt. 5:23-24).

Some parishes have moved the "Service of Forgiveness" to the end of the Divine Liturgy on the Fourth Sunday of Triodion: Sunday of Cheesefare / Forgiveness Sunday or following a lunch break after the Divine Liturgy.

Forgiveness Vespers

The Forgiveness Vespers text is from The Lenten Triodion published by the Eparchy of Newton (Our Lady of the Annunciation (Al Bisharah) in Roslindale, MA), Roslindale, Massachusetts, United States. This book is available from Sophia Press, Eparchy of Newton (Our Lady of the Annunciation (Al Bisharah) in Roslindale, Massachusetts, United States)

We use the Sunday night Lenten Format. Often normal tones are used until the Great Prokimenon. After it, the doors are closed and lenten tones are used. Often the priest changes from bright to dark vestments at that point.

At "O Lord, to You I call..." we sing 10 stichera: 4 penitential stichera in the Tone of the week (Tone 1), then three from the Triodion, and finally three stichera to the Saint of the day from the Menaion, with their Theotokion.

Stichera of Repentance

10. How deep is the ocean of my transgressions, O God my Savior! I am sinking into the abyss of sin: stretch out Your hand to me as You did to Peter! Save me, O God, and have mercy on me!
9. O Savior, I stand condemned by my wicked thoughts and deeds! Put into my heart the desire to repent, that I may cry out to You, O my God: "Save me in Your goodness, and have mercy on me!"
8. Another world awaits you, O my soul; and the Judge is going to make public your secret thoughts and your sinful deeds. Do not persist in evil, but hasten to cry aloud: "O my Judge and my God, have mercy on me and save me!"
7. O my Savior, do not turn away from Your servant, captive as I am to laziness and sin. Stir up my heart to repentance, instead; and make me a worker in Your vineyard, O Lord, granting me the wages of those who came at the eleventh hour and Your great mercy.

Stichera from Triodion (Tone 1)

6. As we set out on the course of the Fast, let us hasten to tame our flesh through abstinence. With prayer and tears, let us seek the Lord our Savior. In order that He may forget our evil deeds, let us say to Him: "We have sinned against You, O Christ our King! Save us as You saved the people of Nineveh of old. In Your compassion, grant us a share in Your heavenly Kingdom!"
5. When I think of my deeds, deserving every punishment, I despair of myself, O Lord. Behold, I have despised Your precious commandments and have wasted my life like the Prodigal. Therefore, I entreat You: cleanse me in the waters of repentance; and through prayer and fasting, make me shine with light, for You alone are merciful. Do not reject me, O Benefactor of all, whose goodness exceeds all measure.
4. Let us enter the season of the radiant Fast with joy, giving ourselves to the spiritual combat. Let us purify our spirint and cleanse our flesh. As we fast from food, let us abstain also from every passion. Rejoicing in the virtues of the Spirit, may we persevere with love, so as to be worthy to see the solemn Passion of Christ our God, and with great spiritual gladness to behold His holy Resurrection.

Three stichera to the Saint of the day from the Menaion, with their Theotokion. Entrance with the censer. "O Joyful Light." Great Prokimenon (Tone 8).

APOSTICHA
(Tone 4)

1. O Lord, the light of Your grace has risen and shines upon our souls. Behold, now is the acceptable time: the season of repentance is here. Let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light, that we may pass through the Great Fast as through a great sea, and reach the goal of the third-day Resurrection of Jesus Christ, our Lord and the Savior of our souls!
v. To You I have lifted up my eyes, to You who live in heaven. Behold: the eyes of the servants are turned to the hands of their masters, and the eyes of the maid-servants to the hands of their mistresses: thus do our eves watch the Lord our God until He takes pity on us.
2. O Lord, the light... (Repeat)
v. Have mercy on us, O Lord, have mercy on us, for we have been filled with shame: our soul has been filled to overflowing. May scorn befall detractors, and humiliation come to the proud.
3. You are glorified in the memorials of Your saints, O Christ our God! By their intercession, send down upon us Your great mercy.
v. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and always and forever and ever. Amen.
The ranks of angels praise you, O spotless Virgin, for you gave birth to our God, coeternal to the Father and the Holy Spirit, by whose will the choirs of angels were created out of nothingness. Therefore, beseech Him to save our souls from corruption, for we praise you with true faith, O Mother of God.

After the Apolysis, but before "Through the prayers...", the ceremony of forgiveness is held. During it, often the final hymns ofParaclisis are sung, as below.

(Tone 2) ~ Gracious Virgin, victory will come to those who put their trust in the strength of your arm, for we sinners, who stoop under the weight of our sins, have none before God to plead For us but you.
~ O Mother of God most high, we bend our knee to you: deliver your faithful servants from every kind of trouble.
~ You are joy to the distressed, you are strength to the oppressed, you are food to those who sink into despair.
~ You console all the strangers, you support all the blind, and vou come and visit all the sick. You are shelter to the weary, vou are comfort to the crushed, you are heavenly assistance to the orphans.
~You are the Mother of God most high, and so we pray to you: hasten, O immaculate one, and save your faithful servants. ~ All my hope I place in you, O Theotokos. Keep me under the wings of your protection.

Service of Forgiveness

The Service of Forgiveness text is from Byzantine Melkite Euchologion published by the Eparchy of Newton (Our Lady of the Annunciation (Al Bisharah) in Roslindale, MA), Roslindale, Massachusetts, United States. This book is available from Sophia Press, Eparchy of Newton (Our Lady of the Annunciation (Al Bisharah) in Roslindale, Massachusetts, United States)

The priest bows and says:
Bless me and forgive me, holy brethren, for I am a sinner.

Brethren respond:
May God forgive you, holy father!

The brethren bow and say:
Bless me and forgive me, holy father, for I am a sinner.

The priest responds:
May God forgive you, holy brothers.

The priest says:
- Let us pray for the peace of the world. R: Lord, have mercy!

-For our Orthodox Christians of true faith.
R: Lord, have mercy!

-For our public authorities, that they may be protected by God.
R: Lord, have mercy!

-For our most reverend bishop N. and all our brethren in Christ.
R: Lord, have mercy.

-For those who are away from us, our parents and our brethren.
R: Lord, have mercy.

-For those who have mercy on us and those who serve us.
R: Lord, have mercy.

-For those who hate us and those who love us.
R: Lord, have mercy.

-For those who have asked us, unworthy as we are, to pray for them.
R: Lord, have mercy.

-For the release of captives.
R: Lord, have mercy.

-For the travelers by sea, air and land.
R: Lord, have mercy.

-For those afflicted with sickness.
R: Lord, have mercy.

-Let us pray also for abundance of the fruits of the earth.
R: Lord, have mercy.

-For all our parents and brethren departed from this life, for those who rest in this place and in every other place.
R: Lord, have mercy.

-Let us pray also for ourselves.
R: Lord, have mercy (Three times).

-Through the prayers of our holy Fathers, O Lord Jesus Christ, our God, have mercy on us and save us.
R: Amen.

Pascha Cycle

Clean Monday is within the Pascha Cycle. Great and Holy Monday is between Holy and Glorious Palm Sunday--Shaneeneh and Great and Holy Tuesday.

How to determine when Clean Monday occurs

Great Lent is Forty Days.
A count back from the date of Pascha is made.
Clean Monday can be as early as February 2 and as late as March 8.

More Information

Great Vespers

 

Sundays of Great Lent or Pascha Cycle
SundayNameDay of
Great
Lent
Day before
Transition
Period
ApostolosGospelActionSaint
Vespers
of
Clean
Monday
Service
of
Forgiveness
Vespers
of
1st day
of
Great
Lent
Eve of
40th day
before
Transition
Period
  Forgive 
Clean
Monday
1st day
of
Great
Lent
1st day
of
Great
Lent
40th day
before
Transition
Period
1 Cor.
3:18-23
Lk.
21:8-36
  
1Sunday
of
Triumph
of
Orthodoxy
7th day
of
Great
Lent
34th day
before
Transition
Period
Heb.
11:24-26,
32-40,
12:1-2A
John
1:43-51
Procession
with
holy ikons
and
presentation
for
veneration
 
2Sunday
of
Veneration
of
Holy Relics

Gregory
Palamas
14th day
of
Great
Lent
27th day
before
Transition
Period
2nd Cor.
4:6-15
Mk.
2:1-12
Procession
with
holy relics
and
presentation
for
veneration
All Saints
have Relics


St.
Gregory
Palamas
3Sunday
of
Veneration
of
Holy Cross
21st day
of
Great
Lent
20th day
before
Transition
Period
Heb.
4:14-5:6
Mk.
8:34-9:1
Procession
with
Holy Cross
and
presentation
for
veneration
 
4Commem-
oration
of Our
Holy Father
John
Climacus
28th day
of
Great
Lent
13th day
before
Transition
Period
Heb.
6:13-20
Mk.
9:17-31
 Our
Holy Father
John
Climacus
5Commem-
oration
of Our
Venerable
Mother
Mary
of Egypt
35th day
of
Great
Lent
6th day
before
Transition
Period
Heb.
9:11-14
Mk.
10:32b-45
 Our
Venerable
Mother
Mary
of Egypt
Friday
after
Fifth
Sunday
Last
day
of
Great
Lent
40th day
of
Great
Lent
1st day
before
Transition
Period
Eph.
2:4-10
Mt.
4:1-11
  

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Melkite Greek Catholic Church Information Center
Martha Liles
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Melkite Greek Catholic Church Information Center is dedicated to my cousins: Bucky (Richard C. Liles) and Shirley (Shirley Jean Liles Buck). Bucky fell asleep in the Lord on Dec. 12, 2000 and Shirley fell asleep in the Lord on Nov. 8, 2001.
O God of all spirits and of all flesh, who have destroyed death, overcome the devil, and given life to the world: grant, O Lord, to the souls of your servants Bucky and Shirley, who has departed from this life, that it may rest in a place of light, in a place of happiness, in a place of peace, where there is no pain, no grief, no sighing. And since You are a gracious God and the Lover of Mankind, forgive him/her every sin he/she has committed by thought, or word, or deed, for there is not a man who lives and does not sin : You alone are without sin, your righteousness is everlasting, and your word is true. You are the Resurrection and the Life, and the repose of your departed servants Bucky and Shirley. O Christ our God, and we send up glory to You, together with your eternal Father and your all-holy, good and life-givng Spirit, now and always and for ages upon ages. Amen.

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Last Updated: Saturday, August 08, 2009, 22:28:29, CDT
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