We have reached the breakthrough of the Kingdom. The tone has changed and we begin Great Lent with the Vesperal Psalm, "Lord, I have cried unto You, hear me. Hear me O Lord," Receive the voice of my prayer, when I cry unto you, hear me, hear me, O Lord...."
And on this day, we proclaim the Great Prokeimenon announcing the beginning of Lent:
"Turn not away Thy face from Thy servant
for I am afflicted!
Hear me speedily,
Attend unto my soul and deliver it!"
It is a desperate call for divine help.
We hear the prayer of St. Ephrem, for the first time, and ask for mutual forgiveness, sorry to have hurt one another, (this follows our Divine Liturgy on Sunday).
The tones now will reflect the sadness we feel, as we move slowly through the desert of our life, until the great Light of the Kingdom shines on us. We experience a foretaste of the light of (Easter )Pascha.
The rite of reconciliation is here and love is our bond.
1 week ago