Forgiveness Sunday ends the pre-Lenten season by commemorating Adam’s expulsion from Paradise. Tonight we gather for the service of mutual forgiveness. Then Lent begins.
O precious Paradise, unsurpassed in beauty, tabernacle built by God, unending gladness and delight, glory of the righteous, joy of the prophets, and dwelling of the saints: with the sound of thy leaves pray to the Maker of all: may He open unto me the gates which I closed by my transgression, and may He count me worthy to partake of the Tree of Life and of the joy which was mine when I dwelt in thee before.
– Vespers for the Sunday of Forgiveness