02 March 2009, 12:53
Patriarch Kirill asks forgiveness from the Russian Orthodox Church's
flock on Forgiveness Sunday
Moscow, March 2, Interfax - On Forgiveness Sunday, Patriarch of All
Russia Kirill blessed all worshipers for the upcoming Great Lent and
asked forgiveness from those who he had voluntary or involuntary offended.
On Sunday, on the eve of the Great Lent, Head of the Russian Orthodox
Church served traditional vespers and led the rite of forgiveness at
Christ the Savior Cathedral which gathered over 4,000 believers. In
his address to the laity, Patriarch mentioned that asking forgiveness
from neighbours and fellow-Christians was the first deed of the Lent.
"There is no purification of soul if we do not forgive one another",
Patriarch Kirill said, "We disburden us of our sins through
forgiveness. Properly speaking, the essence of our spiritual life to
a large extent is to overcome our sins."
According to Patriarch, "the danger of the time we are surviving now
is that the notion of sin is being displaced from peoples'
conscience." This, in turn, leads to "the end of human history" when,
according to the Bible, people accept the Antichrist because they
stop to distinguish between good and evil.
In the mean time, Patriarch Kirill believes, that "Shrove Sunday
which keeps returning to our life shows that the new-fangled ideas of
morals which are destructive to morals still fail to enthrall our people."
"Forgiveness begins our way to spiritual revival, and let God help
us," Patriarch Kirill wished the believers in conclusion.