Blessed are You, Lord, highly exalted and glorified and good. In Your divine providence You set the length of the year, and have anchored us in these days of inner peace. To Your servants give the good fruit of righteousness in all their works. Give them might and power for the destruction of sin and for the renewal of soul and mind, that during the forty days of the Fast, we might overcome the crafty contrivances of the intruder, for You are our God. Through prayer and fasting You have made men equal to angels and the fasting Moses You entrusted with the tablets of the Law, written by Your divine hand. Now, O Lord, return us to the safe harbor of the honorable passion of Your Christ, that with the wood of the Cross as our weapon, we may be victors over sin and worthy of Your joyful third-day Resurection. Through the prayers and supplications of the all-holy and pure Birthgiver of God and ever-virgin Mary and of all Your saints, now and ever and forever.
(Ambon Prayer for Forgiveness Sunday)
JOHNSTOWN, PA — With the setting of the sun and the celebration of Forgiveness Vespers this evening, the season of The Great Fast has been ushered in throughout our God-Saved Diocese and the Orthodox Church throughout the world.
This Holy Season, as His Grace, Bishop Gregory has pointed out in his Lenten Archpastoral Letter ” is a truly beautiful period of time filled with moments in which we can focus our hearts and our minds on the grace of God. Through daily prayer, fasting, worship, and giving to others, and by the grace of God our lives will continue to be transformed by Him and our souls will be drawn closer and closer to our Lord Jesus Christ. The primary goal of the Lenten season and all the disciplines of our Orthodox faith is to lead us to Christ.”
To assist the faithful in making the most of this holy season, additional resources have been added to our Diocesan Website.
His Grace Bishop Gregory, the entire Chancery and Information Technology Apostolate staff members extend their heartfelt greetings and prayerful best wishes for a spiritually uplifting and blessed Lenten Journey to Pascha!