On Monday evening of the first week of the Great Lent, the clergy of Holy Virgin Mary Cathedral served Great Compline with the reading of the Great Canon of Repentance of St. Andrew of Crete.

The divine service was sung by the HVM choir under the direction of Serge Liberovsky.

At the end of the service, Fr. Nazari addressed the flock with a sermon, recalling that the reading of the Great Canon of St. Andrew of Crete should lead of each of our souls to repentance.

Thinking over the meaning of the great penitential Canon, we must remember that the Lord raised man to an unprecedented height. Nevertheless through beguilement, man was tempted by sin, prompting us to renounce divine love, to depart to the "land far away", as in the parable of the prodigal son. Dear brothers and sisters, may today's reflections and prayers remind us of the high dignity of the personhood given by the Lord and manifested in each of us. Let us perceive sin as an act against divine love and a distortion of the image and likeness of God. Let us each strive to acquire the penitential spirit that permeates the Canon of St. Andrew of Crete. Let us furthermore push ourselves to study the Holy Scriptures and make time to examine more closely the liturgical texts sung and read at each service. Then our participation in the services will become meaningful, then prayer will be quite different and it will not be painful to stay in the temple of God for long Lenten services!