The Great Feast of Pentecost
June 16, 2019
“Blessed art Thou, O Christ our God, Who hast revealed the fishermen as most wise, having sent upon them the Holy Spirit, and through them Thou hast fished the universe, O Lover of mankind, glory to Thee.”
+ Apolytikion of Pentecost in Tone Eight
In a mighty wind Christ distributeth the Divine Spirit
In the form of fiery tongues unto the Apostles.
In one great day, the Spirit was poured out on the Fishermen.
On this day—the fiftieth after Great and Holy Pascha—we commemorate the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the holy Disciples and Apostles in the form of tongues of fire. Numbering about 120, they who followed the Master gathered in Jerusalem in the upper room of a house to await the Lord’s promise to send the Holy Spirit. At about the third hour of the day, there came a sound from Heaven as of a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the house. Cloven tongues immediately appeared, like as of fire, and sat upon the head of each of them. The Apostles began to speak, not with the languages of their ancestors, but with other languages with which the Holy Spirit supplied them, as He inspired them. After the Apostle Peter explained what had happened, 3,000 people joined the Church on the inauguration of the priesthood of grace. The objectives of Pentecost are, namely, the coming of the Holy Spirit into the world, the fulfillment of the promise of Jesus Christ, and the completion of the undefiled hope of the Apostles By the intercessions of the Holy Apostles, O Christ our God, have mercy on us. Amen.
The Reading from the Acts of the Apostles. (2:1-11)
When the day of Pentecost had come, the Disciples were all together in one place. And suddenly a sound came from heaven like the rush of a mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire, distributed and resting on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven. And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in his own language. And they were amazed and wondered, saying, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language? Parthians and Medes and Elamites and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabians, we hear them telling in our own tongues the mighty works of God.”
The Reading from the Holy Gospel according to St. John. (7:37-52; 8:12)
On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and proclaimed, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.’” Now this He said about the Spirit, which those who believed in Him were to receive; for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified. When they heard these words, many of the people said, “This is really the prophet.” Others said, “This is the Christ.” But some said, “Is the Christ to come from Galilee? Has not the Scripture said that the Christ is descended from David, and comes from Bethlehem, the village where David was?” So there was a division among the people over Him. Some of them wanted to arrest Him, but no one laid hands on Him. The officers then went back to the chief priests and Pharisees, who said to them, “Why did you not bring Him?” The officers answered, “No man ever spoke like this man!” The Pharisees answered them, “Are you led astray, you also? Have any of the authorities or the Pharisees believed in Him? But this crowd, who do not know the Law, are accursed.”Nicodemus, who had gone to Him before, and who was one of them, said to them, “Does our Law judge a man without first giving him a hearing and learning what he does?” They replied, “Are you from Galilee too? Search and you will see that no prophet is to rise from Galilee.” Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
Pentecost & Kneeling Vespers
At 12:00PM, following Fellowship Hour, please return to the Nave for the
“Kneeling Vespers” Service
To Orthodox Christians, the feast of Pentecost is not just a celebration of an event in history. It is also a celebration their membership in the Church. They have lived Pentecost and received “the seal of the gift of the Holy Spirit” in the sacrament of chrismation.
An extraordinary service called the Kneeling Vespers, is observed on the evening of Pentecost. This is a Vespers service to which are added three sets of long poetical prayers, the composition of Saint Basil the Great, during which everyone makes a full prostration, touching their foreheads to the floor (prostrations in church having been forbidden from the day of Pascha (Easter) up to this point). In many parishes, this service is done immediately after the Liturgy. (orthodoxwiki.org)
The late Fr. Alexander Schmemann, onetime Dean of Saint Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary, offers the following concerning the three special prayers of Pentecost:
“We are invited to kneel. This is our first kneeling since Easter. It signifies that after these fifty days of Paschal joy and fullness, of experiencing the Kingdom of God, the Church now is about to begin her pilgrimage through time and history. It is evening again, and the night approaches, during which temptations and failures await us, when, more than anything else, we need Divine help, that presence and power of the Holy Spirit, who has already revealed to us the joyful End, who now will help us in our effort towards fulfillment and salvation.”
Together, bowing-low, we bowed our hearts and brought to God our repentance, and hope for forgiveness of sins.
Together, bowing-low, we bowed our hearts and cried out asking the Holy Spirit to help us, yearning to be taught how to pray and better follow the true path in these dark and difficult times where the foundation, and boundaries, of society are crumbling.
Together, bowing-low, we bowed our hearts and called to remembrance all those who have finished “the race” and completed “the marathon” of life, yet remain united with us through the love of God.
Each day we are all called to bow our hearts “unto the Lord” and truly realize what an incredible, and sobering, act it is to enter into such prayers – supplicating the Holy Trinity is a serious gift.
NO Community Bible Study on 6/13
(Fr. Paul at PLC)
Join us next Thursday (6/20) for our weekly gathering
If we don’t know our faith, how can we live it?
Join us in gathering together to learn about the Holy Scriptures through the lens of the Ancient Christian Faith.
This is not a lecture hour with Fr. Paul but rather a warm-discussion about the relevant reading and how it fits into our personal life, local community, and world.
Come learn about the Faith, which was “once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3).
NO Great Vespers on 6/15
(Fr. Paul at PLC)
Join us next Saturday (6/22) for our weekly GV Service
Why is Great Vespers important?
“The service leads to the meditation of God’s word and the glorification of his love for men. It instructs and allows us to praise God for the particular events or persons whose memory is celebrated and made present to us in the Church. It prepares us for the sleep of the night and the dawn of the new day to come. On the eves of the Divine Liturgy, it begins the movement into the most perfect communion with God in the sacramental mysteries.”
Learn more about Great Vespers here
A Reflection for Father’s Day:
Who Else Will Raise the Second Generation of Orthodox Christians?
By Fr. George Shalhoub
On June 18th, we will celebrate and honor every father again on Father’s Day.
In the Holy Orthodox Church, no man is defined without a woman, no woman is defined without a man, and no man or woman is defined without God. A mother is not more important than the father and neither is the father more important than the mother. The two cannot be separated. They are like railroad tracks; one cannot exist without the other. They become one flesh in marriage (Ephesians 5:31) and share the responsibility for their future.
I recall that even when my mother took me to church, my father was no less important. On many occasions, I tagged along with my father as he was one of the builders of St. George Cathedral in my hometown of Hama, Syria. It took ten years to build this church which was next to our old church, the Dormition of the Virgin Mary.
My dad and I would attend church service during the breaks from his construction job. He and the late Metropolitan Ignatius of thrice blessed memory, formed a great friendship and in the summer of 1962, His Beatitude requested that dad send me to the Balamand Monastery in preparation for the priesthood.
My father never hesitated. After I was kissed and touched by my mother’s tears, dad took me to the train station, at the tender age of twelve, and placed me on a train traveling from Syria to Lebanon with three other boys. It was his fulfillment of faith.
However, before we talk about dads, we need to talk about the embodiment of what makes a good man and what makes a good husband, one who will develop into a good parent….Continue Reading