“If you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will forgive you;
but if you do not forgive men their trespasses,
neither will your heavenly Father forgive you your trespasses (Matthew 6:14)”

On this last Sunday before Great Lent, the last day that traditionally Orthodox Christians eat dairy products until Pascha, the Church remembers the expulsion of Adam and Eve from Paradise. God commanded them to fast from the fruit of a tree (Gen. 2:16), but they did not obey. In this way, Adam and Eve and their descendants became heirs of death and corruption.

On Forgiveness Sunday many attend Forgiveness Vespers on the eve of Great Lent. They hear the Lord’s teaching about fasting and forgiveness and enter the season of the fast forgiving one another so that God will forgive them.

So concluding the vespers service, we should be asking anyone who we have wronged to forgive us, by asking “Forgive me my brothers and sisters”, which you should respond “God Forgives”