CHICAGO, IL [DOM Communications] – Forgiveness Sunday, the start of Great and Holy Lent, was celebrated at the Diocesan Cathedral, Holy Trinity Cathedral, with great anticipation this past Sunday. The services were led by His Eminence Archbishop Paul, with the assistance of Priest Alexander Koranda, Cathedral Dean, and Protodeacon Thomas Keith.
His Eminence prayerfully attend the All-Night Vigil on Saturday evening in preparation for Sunday’s divine service. With the start of the next day and the ringing of the bells, Archbishop Paul gave the blessing for the liturgy to begin and at the completion of the gospel reading offered a reflection on the upcoming fasting season; “We move ahead with the goal of lent of seeking reconciliation and love with one another. That’s the answer. It’s not counting how well you fasted or being pharisaical about following the rules, but does our fasting, does our ascetical practice lead us toward loving toward one another and being reconciled to one another.”
The Archbishop then spoke directly on one’s approach to Great Lent saying, “So when I ask you to consider what you might do during lent, let us begin lent with seeking to love on another.” Continuing this idea, he pointed to the true meaning of lent saying, “Let this lent be about love and forgiveness and reconciliation. Let us become of one mind again and overcome these ideological divisions.”
During the course of the liturgy, special petitions were offered for those suffering during the ongoing pandemic, and for God’s assistance in calling servants to the Holy Priesthood to serve the diocese.
Following the morning offering, Archbishop Paul installed the newly elected parish council and expressed his gratitude for their service to the Church.
Several hours later, the faithful would gather again with the sound of the bells to begin the holy season of Great Lent. The moving service transitioned everyone gathered to the starting point of the fast. At the conclusion of the service, the Rite of Forgiveness was initiated by His Eminence asking forgiveness for his shortcomings this past year and then the whole community proceeded with this important rite, asking one another for forgiveness.