Dear Parish Faithful,
GREAT LENT - The Second Day
"The ceremony of mutual forgiveness, so far from being merely a ritual form, can be and often is a profoundly moving moment, altering the lives of those who participate. Symbolic gestures of this kind have a decisive effect. I can recall occasions when this exchange of forgiveness on the threshold of Lent has served as a forceful catalyst, suddenly breaking down long-standing barriers and making possible a true re-creation of relationship. What the Vespers of Forgiveness surely proclaims, in actions that speak louder than words, is that the Lenten voyage is a journey which none can undertake alone. (emphasis added)
"Lent teaches each person to say, not simply 'I', but 'I-and-Thou'; not simply 'me', but 'us'. In our present-day consumer society, dominated as it is by selfishness and the lust for possessions, that gives Lent a direct contemporary relevance."
"Lent and the Consumer Society" by Archbishop Kallistos Ware (from Living Orthodoxy in the Modern World, p. 79)