On February 21, on Wednesday of the first week of Lent the Rector of St. George Church, Archpriest Igor Tarasov served the Compline with the reading of penitential Canon of St. Andrew of Crete.
This Canon is composed as a conversation of a person with his own soul. It reveals that often we imitate sinners mentioned in the Scripture but do not wish to follow the steps of the righteous ones. It also calls us to bring the fruits of repentance and not to exalt ourselves.
Following the service the Rector preached a sermon about the significance of penitential Canon for the faithful. He pointed out that the Canon teaches us to seek spiritual perfection and to acquire the divine grace to become saved. In order to acquire the grace one needs to bring the fruits of his spiritual endeavors and to make a sacrifice pleasing the Lord. Recalling the sacrifices of the first men, we know that righteous Abel offered to the Lord the best of his flock while Cain offered just any kind of fruits of the soil. God favorably regarded on Abel’s offering but not at Cain’s. Thus we need to offer God the best we can. Then we can acquire His blessing, His grace and His assistance. At this time of the beginning of Lent, our best things to offer the Lord would be our endeavors of repentance, fasting, prayer and avoiding bad habits. Thus the Lord may bestow His blessings upon us and help us to endure this journey of Lent.