1000 petals by axinia

the only truth I know is my own experience

Today is Forgiveness Sunday February 13, 2010

This special day is my favorite in the Christian tradition. Having an atheistic background, I have been always deeply touched by the candid Christian Orthodox celebration of “Forgiveness Sunday”.

The last Sunday before Great Lent, is the day when Orthodox Christians remember the expulsion of Adam and Eve from Paradise. “Forgiveness Sunday” received this name from the pious custom at Vespers of asking each other’s forgiveness for discourtesy and disrespect. People do so, since in the forthcoming fast they will approach the sacrament of Penance and ask the Lord to forgive their sins, which forgiveness will be granted us only if people themselves forgive each other. “If ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” (Matt. 6.14, 15)”

Since the 90-s when religion slowly started getting its position back with the peoples of Russia, the tradition of Forgiveness Sunday came back. According to it, you can ask forgiveness of every person you meet this day, but especially people whom you might have really done some harm, or just your relatives and friends (we never know if by chance we could have hurt anyone!)... Normally one person greets another and says “please forgive me”, in response  he/she says “God will forgive you. And I forgive too”, then they can hug each other heartily… Isn’t it beautiful?

As we all know forgiveness is the core message of Christianity and also a powerful tool to free our blocked heads from a mess of thouhgts. Forgivenss is a must! I have posted already long ago about the forgiving power of Russians, and I am sure it has a lot to do with this beautiful rite that has been practiced collectively since a millenia.

Remebering this wonderful tradition today,  let me humbly ask each of you, my dearest readers PLEASE FORGIVE ME.




13 Responses to “Today is Forgiveness Sunday”

  1. Elke Says:

    This is a beautiful tradition! I grew up in catholic tradition, I had to go to a priest to confess twice a year – totally useless. Nobody makes you forgive each other in catholic church, even though Lord Jesus Christ himself tried to teach us to do exactly that!



  2. I, too, am deeply touched by the noble messages contained at the core of Christianity, Axinia. Being a heathen myself, or worse, an unbeliever in most ways, there are some things that both fascinate me and bewilder me at the same time about Christianity, and forgiveness is one of them. I’m fascinated by it because it sounds like such a civilised concept and bewildered at the same time because an undersirable like me cannot get his dumb mind to ever understand the power of fogiveness.

    If there is one person who needs to ask forgiveness from you more than anybody else, it has got to be me, Axinia 😐 I sometimes seriously wonder to myself what makes you tolerate me and my comments. I believe I have hurt you more than once 😥 though it was never intentional 😐 Do FORGIVE ME, PLEASE? 😦

    • Raj,

      I am really surprised to ‘hear’ you refer to yourself as an ‘undersirable’. I have always felt and experienced that what is at the core of forgiveness doesn’t worry about labels or what we consider ourselves to be. It also doesn’t care about what we define being civilized as. Of course one can argue that my belief predisposed me to believe this but that is a topic for later.

      For now here is something you may or may not enjoy given your like of the noble messages in Christianity. Its from St Francis Assisi.

      No one lives outside the walls of this sacred space, existence.
      The holy water, I need it upon my eyes: it is you dear, you each form

      What mother would lose her infant- and we are that to God
      never lost from His Gaze are we? Every Cry of the heart.
      is attended by light’s own arms

      You cannot wander anywhere that will not aid you
      anything you can touch – God brought it into the classroom of your mind

      Differences exist, but not in the city of Love
      thus my vows and yours, I know they are the same.

      I have just peeled the skin from the potato
      and you are still contemplating its worth
      sweetheart; indeed there are wonferful nutrients in all
      for God made everything

      You joined our community at birth
      with our father being who He is, what do the
      world scales know of your precious value
      The priest and the prostitute the weight the same before the Son’s
      immaculate being

      But who can bear that truth and freedom
      so a wise man adulterated the
      every wiseman knows this

      • Cher Dave,

        I guess I’m not an “undersirable” after all 😉 , as it has no meaning and was a typo 🙂

        I certainly think that I am (or rather, have made myself) an undesirable, though 😦 and I don’t want to delude myself or be hypocritical by thinking I’m not an undesirable 😐

        Thanks for the beautiful message from the wise saint of Assisi. Alas, if only it were true for all earthly places and not just the “kingdom of love”.

        Votre cher ami,
        Un Terrien extraterrestre

        • Cher Ami,
          It used to be difficult for me to reconcile at times how the world can be such a place of trial and tribulation, and yet of Joy and bliss at times. But a lot has changed from this time. In the worst calamity, I feel the Presence. There are some moments where it doesn’t matter what is happening outwardly but I am enraptured. This world is a mirror of the one real essence, but that has been my experience really. I don’t think it so much about finding such a place in the world as much as it is being at this place while in the world, I feel thinking we are undesirable to anyone especially god prevents that.


          ‘Thereupon I repented, and once more I repented of my repentance, and yet once more I repented of seeing my own existence’ -Hujwiri

          • axinia Says:

            “This world is a mirror of the one real essence, but that has been my experience really. ” – totally agree with you! want to post on it one day..

  3. Eddie Ross Says:

    Any church where people can say to each other, “Please forgive me” is an authentic, warm, Christ-like assembly. Of course, I hope the one asking for forgiveness will also strive to repent, so that he/she might stand unashamed and confident. Thank you for your post.

  4. Lakia Says:

    I haven’t heard of this before… I will definitely check this out some more. Thanks so much for sharing 🙂

    God bless

  5. mirel Says:

    Happy Happy Maslenitsa Cheese fare, Happy Mardi Gras Fat Tuesday for guys in US…..tomorrow ‘Clean Monday right! born in a muslim country, spent most of my time in Europe US, I wish everyone a terrific time not only to forgive but to ask for forgiveness.
    have a good one!

    by Rabia

    It acts like love-music-
    it reaches toward the face, touches it, and tries to let you know
    God’s promise: that all will be okay.

    It acts like love-music and,
    tells the feet, “You don’t have to be so burdened.”

    My body is covered with wounds
    this world made,

    but I longed to kiss God, even when He said,

    “Could you also kiss the hand that caused
    each scar,

    for you will not find me until
    you do.”

    It does that-music-helps us
    to forgive.

    • jennifer elling Says:

      Thank you for this post. . .poem/song? I am preparing a lesson on forgiveness and the need for it in today’s world. . .it is an ancient teaching, yet so relevant still today. . .have appreciated the thoughts here. I am a Christian, so I give thanks to Jesus Christ for His ultimate offering of forgiveness on the cross for all mankind. Interesting, isn’t it, how universal the concept/belief is
      . . .spanning all times, cultures, religious beliefs.
      Bless you and thanks again for your post!

  7. 01varvara Says:

    I have incorporated two of your posts on my site with new illustrations. You had linked to one of my posts in the past, so, it’s a hat-tip of sorts to you.

    I hope that you have a soulful and profitable Lent and that you shall celebrate the Holy Easter with all due joy and gladness.

    Prosti Menya!

    Bog balgoslovit!

    Barbara-Marie Drezhlo

    URL for post:

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