Sunday of Cheesefare: Expulsion of Adam from Paradise

1-2 times a month we make a pilgrimage out of town to attend a full Divine Liturgy. Some of our favorite locations for this are:

Joy of All Who Sorrow Orthodox Church (OCA)
4145 Sepulveda Blvd.
Culver City, CA 90230
Liturgy is at 10am and they are on the Old Calendar (13 days behind the civil calendar)
More info about this parish at http://joyofallwhosorrow.org/

St. Athanasius Orthodox Church (Antiochian)
300 Sumida Gardens Ln.
Santa Barbara, CA 93111
Liturgy is at 10am and they are *not* on the Old Calendar.
More info about this parish at http://www.stathanasius.org/

Forgiveness Sunday (Cheesefare)
As we begin the Great Fast, the Church reminds us of Adam’s expulsion from Paradise. God commanded Adam to fast (Gen. 2:16), but he did not obey. Because of their disobedience, Adam and Eve were cast out of Eden and lost the life of blessedness, knowledge of God, and communion with Him, for which they were created. Both they and their descendents became heirs of death and corruption.

Let us consider the benefits of fasting, the consequences of disobedience, and recall our fallen state. Today we are invited to cleanse ourselves of evil through fasting and obedience to God. Our fasting should not be a negative thing, a mere abstention from certain foods. It is an opportunity to free ourselves from the sinful desires and urges of our fallen nature, and to nourish our souls with prayer, repentance, to participate in church services, and partake of the life-giving Mysteries of Christ.

At Forgiveness Vespers we sing: “Let us begin the time of fasting in light, preparing ourselves for spiritual efforts. Let us purify our soul, let us purify our body. As we abstain from food, let us abstain from all passion and enjoy the virtues of the spirit….”