What is Forgiveness Sunday and its traditions

Source : 112 Ukraine

On this day, it is a cusom to forgive and ask for forgiveness; it helps spiritual cleansing and add more bright moments to a person’s life
09:24, 14 March 2021

Open source

The Forgiveness Sunday is the last day of Masnytsia and the last Sunday before the Great Lent. This day has no particular date because the beginning of the lent starts on different days of February or March, depending on the date of Easter. In 2021, it is marked on March 14.

This day is a time for spiritual cleansing. It helps to prepare a person for the Great Lent that starts the next day. It helps a person to become better.


This day, traditionally Orthodox Christians ask each other for forgiveness for all worries and offenses caused during a year.

It is considered that the Great Lent loses its high meaning if it is reduced only to fasting without mutual forgiveness of insults.

Every person can ask any person for forgiveness. Meanwhile, confession is especially important of strong people before weak, rich before poor, young before old and so on.  

If on this day if a person asks your forgiveness you should answer: ‘God will forgive and I forgive’.

It is considered that it is easier to waive debts today than on other days. At least for debtors who are in a difficult financial state.

It is necessary to visit a church on this day. On Forgiveness Sunday it is possible to observe a time-honored tradition in the church.

Its essence: people line up and ask each other for forgiveness. The tradition takes its roots from Mount Athos and spread to other countries with time.

It originates from the ancient tradition of Egyptian monks who dispersed in the desert before the Great Lent and Easter to focus on prayer.

There were many dangers in the desert and the meeting before the lent could be last so monks asked each other for forgiveness as before death.

This day it is used not only to forgive and ask for forgiveness but also to hold charitable deeds.

What activities should be held on Forgiveness Sunday

It is obligatory to spend time with family, ask for forgiveness of deceased relatives as not only alive people deserve to hear your confession. A person should forgive all insults to take a load from mind.

Confess and pray for forgiveness.

Of course, the person should prepare for the beginning of the Great Lent. All negativity should stay in the past.

What things cannot be done on Forgiveness Sunday

A person cannot use foul language and work hard. It is banned to be angry, argue and become irritated.

In former times people were sure that exactly on this Sunday evening, the Last Judgement will be held and on this day very pious people tried not to leave the house, reminded their sins and did not drink alcohol.  


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