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Cheesefare Sunday (Forgiveness Sunday)

O Lord, we were estranged before from paradise, because of eating from the tree. Therefore, lead us into it again by Thy Cross and by Thy Passion, my Savior and my God. Fortify us therein that we may fulfill our fast with becoming purity, and worship Thy divine Resurrection and Passover of salvation, by the intercessions of Thy Mother.

-- from Orthros, Tone 2

According to the Lenten Fast, Cheese-Fare Sunday is the last day on which eggs and dairy are eaten before Pascha.

On Cheese-Fare Sunday, we also commemorate the expulsion of Adam and Eve from Paradise, entering into the Lenten fast in remembrance of mankind's separation from God through disobeying his commandment to fast from the fruit of the tree. Furthermore, many faithful attend Forgiveness Vespers on Sunday evening, asking forgiveness from each other in accordance with the Lord's words: 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 (Matt. 6:14).

RESOURCES

A Word on Forgiveness
by Bishop THOMAS and Peter Schweitzer
How and Why Do We Fast? by Fr. Steven Ritter
A Lenten Reflection: Christ, Our Model for Forgiveness by Fr. George Morelli
The Expulsion of Adam from Paradise by Fr. Thomas Hopko (podcast)
Visit our full section on Great Lent