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Written by Basil on 02/18/2007 7:37 AM. Filed under:

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This evening at vespers, we hear for the first time these words:

O Lord and master of my life! Dispel from me the spirit of discouragement and slothfulness, of ambition and vain talk!

Instead, give me the spirit of prudence and humility, of patience and charity.

Yes, my king and Lord, let me look at my own sins and refrain from judging others: For you are bless’d unto ages of ages, amen.

With each of these verses, we make a prostration. Then after the service, we prostrate ourselves before each other and ask forgiveness, because forgiveness of each other is a prerequisite for forgiveness from God, as our Lord taught us.

I have duty today, and I am far away from the people I most need to ask forgiveness. (I could not be in all those places at once, anyway.)

Please, my brothers and sisters, forgive me, a sinner.

Appropriately, the choir sings the paschal stichera hymns during the forgiveness rite:

Today is the day of resurrection, let us be illumined by the feast, let us embrace one another joyfully and let us call brothers even those that hate us. Because of the resurrection let us pardon all and let us sing:

Christ is risen from the dead, conquering death by death, and upon those in the grave bestowing life.

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