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The Archdiocesan District of Adelaide celebrates the Vespers of Forgiveness 2024

Sunday 17th of March 2024 was Cheesefare Sunday, ushering in the start of Great Lent. With the blessing of His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Australia and in accordance with established custom, the Archdiocesan District of Adelaide celebrated the Vespers of Forgiveness together at 7:00pm as a district-wide event – for the second time at the new Archiepiscopal Church of St Sophia, Bowden.

The Vespers were officiated by the Archiepiscopal Vicar of the District of Adelaide, His Grace Bishop Silouan of Sinope, and attended by nearly two-dozen clergy from across Adelaide (including two Ukrainian priests).

His Grace addressed the people, conveying the blessings of His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Australia, and reflecting on the significance of the expulsion of Adam and Eve from Paradise that we commemorate on this day.

The Vespers of Forgiveness is a solemn and beautiful way to mark the start of Great and Holy Lent, and it showcases our equality in Christ and the humility of our clergy who humbly ask forgiveness of all the faithful at the close of the service.

It has become one of the favourite pan-District services in the calendar, with over 300 faithful attending this year. The Church was filled to overflowing, with the fine weather permitting the faithful to sit in the courtyard and participate by watching the service on the large screens that had been installed for that purpose.

As always, the Parish and Central Philoptochos offered refreshments after the service and many stayed to share fellowship and strengthen each other for the imminent start of the fast. In all, it was a beautiful evening and a wonderful start to the Great Fast.