It looks like I will have to ask you all for your forgiveness before Forgiveness Sunday Vespers (which is coming up this Sunday after our agape meal!)… I was somewhat confused, at our last parish council meeting, as to when Lent began, and that confusion spilled over into scheduling a Presanctified Liturgy before the beginning of Lent! Contrary to what the St. John’s web-calendar says (or at least used to say, as I have now corrected it) we will not be celebrating Presanctified Liturgy this Friday, as Lent does not begin until Monday.
I should also take this opportunity to remind you all that as part of our tradition of starting off Great Lent with as much forgiveness and repentance as possible, we will be serving Forgiveness Sunday Vespers right after the communal meal on Sunday (Did I mention that before?), followed by the Great Canon of St. Andrew of Crete (embedded in Little Compline) at 7pm on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. I will be at as many of the Great Canon services as possible (and encourage you to be too!), while any that I cannot be at will be served by our resident monk and our dedicated team of readers. (Note to readers: Please contact me to let me know which services you will be able to be at!)
The Great Canon of St. Andrew of Crete is a scriptural tour de force which inspires us to true repentance through meditation on the many examples of repentance throughout the Old and the New Testaments. It is experienced in its entirety in these four services at the beginning of Great Lent and in the super-long (and super-wonderful!) complete canon with the life of St. Mary of Egypt celebrated in the middle of Great Lent.
I look forward to seeing you there to repent with you!