Monday, March 7, 2011

Clean Monday

Well, today is the first day of Great Lent in the Orthodox Church. It is known as "Clean Monday" - a day of prayer and repentance to begin the great journey toward the celebration of the Resurrection of Christ. 

It is also my birthday.  I find it very appropriate this year to spend this day with extra prayer and repentance and to begin the next year of my life at the same time as we begin the journey to Pascha (Easter.)

Last night we traveled about an hour and a half from our home in order to attend Forgiveness Vespers - the service that actually inaugurates Great Lent in the Orthodox Church. We had never been to this type of service before and it was very, very, beautiful. 

 We prayed the Prayer of St. Ephraim:

O Lord and Master of my life! Take from me the spirit of sloth, faint-heartedness, lust of power, and idle talk.  But give rather the spirit of  chastity, humility, patience, and love to Thy servant. Yea, O Lord and King! Grant me to see my own errors and not to judge my brother; For Thou art blessed unto ages of ages. Amen

We observed the beginning of the Rite of Forgiveness, where everyone in the church asks and receives forgiveness from each other.  The Professor and The Boy were a little shy about participating, so we slipped on out of the church, but we did a little Rite of Forgiveness later with each other. I found that service to be a very healing experience, if that makes any sense.

It was a beautiful way to begin Lent and the next year of my life.


  1. Happy belated birthday! God bless you!

  2. What a beautiful prayer! Thank you so much for sharing it. May your Lenten season be blessed.

  3. Thank you Leila and Jackie!

    Sister, I love you MORE!