Why we fast and mourn?

The Holy and Great Monastery of Vatopedi – The Orthodox Monastic Republic of Mount Athos – March 2017

Why we fast and mourn? – Photo journal from Vespers of Forgiveness

Mourning, according to God, is sadness of soul, and the disposition of a sorrowing heart, which ever madly seeks that for which it thirsts; and when it fails in its quest, it painfully pursues it, and follows in its wake grievously lamenting. Or thus: mourning is a golden spur in a soul which is stripped of all attachment and of all ties, fixed by holy sorrow to watch over the heart.

So, keep a firm hold of the blessed joy-grief of holy compunction, and do not stop working at it until it raises you high above the things of this world and presents you pure to Christ.

Based on St. John of the Ladder

In the photos you will see candid shots from the Vespers of Forgiveness, a very impressive service held at the beginning of the Great Lent at which everyone as for forgiveness from all the others.