Saturday, February 13, 2010

Shubhkono - First Monday of Lent Service

The Shubhkono service is on the first Monday of the Great Lent after the noon prayers. This service is a preperation for lent and forgivness and is marked by 40 prostrations and the kiss of peace at the end of the service.
Shubhkono service is all about love and forgiveness. The Gospel reading for the service is the "Parable of the Unforgiving Servant." The Gospel reading reminds us that not only must we be willing to ask for mercy or forgiveness but we must be willing to practice forgiveness and mercy. The Gospel of Saint Luke further reminds us of this when our Lord says “Be you therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.” (Luke 6:36) Our Lord even reminds us of this when He teaches us to how pray in the prayer Our Father; “And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.” (Matthew 6:12).
When our Lord was asked by the Apostle Peter how often he should forgive sin our Lord replied “Until seventy times seven.” (Matthew 18:22) When our Lord said this he did not mean a specific number of times. He was using the biblical understanding of numbers to explain how patient we should be with the sinner or the one that trespassed against us. The number seven in biblical terms means fullness. Thus, seventy times seven means that we are to be willing to forgive forever. This truly shows the extent of God’s love for us and the extent that we must be willing to love the sinner.
The greatest example of practicing forgiveness that we have is when our Lord is on the Cross and says “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34) This shows the extent that we should be willing to forgive.
[Part of the above article is taken from a sermon by Fr.Milan Medakovic of the Serbian Orthodox Church]
Articles and Essays:
True Repentence - H.H Ignatius Zakka I , Patriarch of Antioch and all the East
Some hymns from the day:
Priyare! Teekshnatha kattuka
Kalpana kappananyonyam


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