On Cheesefare Sunday, the 14th of March 2021, at the Monastic Church of Saints Constantine and Helen, the Service of the Small Compline was read, and before dismissal, Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos read the Prayer of forgiveness to the Fathers, Archbishops, Hieromonks, Deacons and Monks, as they were down on their knees.
This is done as an act of forgiveness before the beginning of the Great Lent, which is ordained by the Church as a period of intense prayer for our preparation for Easter.
After the reading of the prayer, Hierodeacon Simeon was chanting “the rivers of Babylon” while the Hagiotaphite Fathers kissed the Patriarch’s hand and exchanged forgiveness wishes with each other. There were no pilgrims at the service due to the continuing covid-19 plague.
Having received forgiveness, the Fathers retreated to their cells in the Central Monastery, which will remain closed until Wednesday of the first week of Great Lent.
Moreover, on Cheesefare Sunday, the 14th of March 2021, the Contrite Vespers was officiated at Saint James’ Cathedral, by Archbishop Aristarchos of Constantina.
Before Vespers dismissal, the Patriarch read the Prayer of forgiveness for Priest Haralambos Bandour, the Stewards and the Byzantine singers of the Holy Church with their helpers, as well as for the Arab-speaking faithful from Jerusalem, the Nuns of the Patriarchate, members of the Greek Consulate and of the Greek Community. Not many faithful were present, due to the covid-19 restrictions.
The prayer of forgiveness concluded with the kissing of the Patriarch’s hand and exchanging forgiveness wishes among the faithful.
Source: Patriarchate of Jerusalem