Thursday, July 19, 2018 UTC

MAY 19, 20, 22 & 23: PENTECOST SUNDAY, KNEELING VESPERS, FEAST OF THE HOLY TRINITY (MAY 21) & COMMEMORATION OF CONSTANTINE & HELEN EQUALS TO THE APOSTLES (MAY 22)

 MAY 19: TYPIKA (SN) – 4:00 PM, MAY 20: MATINS – 7:00 AM, DIVINE LITURGY – 10:30 AM, KNEELING VESPERS – 1:00 PM; MAY 22: DIVINE LITURGY – 11:00 AM; MAY 23: DIVINE LITURGY – 6;00 PM.

The Gospel Readings for Sunday is John 7:37-52 & 8:12, The Promise of the Holy Spirit. The Gospel reading for Pentecost includes: “If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink” and “I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” We must learn to thirst for the Holy Spirit and for light.  How do we learn to thirst? We must search for knowledge about our weaknesses, and with faith to learn to walk in the light. This does not just happen, as we go through life in order to have the Holy Spirit abide in us, since He is the Spirit of Truth, we must live according to the truth.

Feast of Pentecost occurs 50 days after Pascha and commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles of Christ after His Resurrection. Traditionally, in the Byzantine Rite, Green is the color associated with Pentecost.  The emphasis is always on the life-giving, life-renewing aspect of the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit comes to bring new life to all.  Churches and homes are often decorated with green boughs and branches to herald the life-giving Spirit. In the Slav tradition, Pentecost is often called Rusalija. In the “night” of Pentecost Sunday a special Vespers is celebrated, called the Kneeling Prayer. We will celebrate it at 1:00 PM. 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. Eastern Christians do not kneel for prayers from Pascha until Pentecost, so this Vespers service is the first time we kneel! (Of course we don’t on Sundays throughout the year.)

Pentecost Monday (May 21) is also known as “Feast of the Holy Trinity” and is the first day of the after feast of Pentecost, being dedicated specifically to the honor of God the Holy Spirit and particularly to the historical event of His descent on the holy apostles on Pentecost. The third day, Tuesday, is called the “Third Day of the Trinity. The After-feast of Pentecost lasts for one week and is festive, during which fasting is not permitted. Then we return to “ordinary time” of the Church year.

Also, on May 22nd we commemorate Constantine & Helen Equals to the Apostles. St. Constantine is the first Roman Emperor to support Christianity as a replacement for Roman paganism and is attributed for the conversion of the Roman Empire to Christianity.  St. Helena, his mother, built many Holy Christian temples and monasteries among which the most important are: the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the Church of Nativity in Bethlehem and the Church of Nazareth.

 

 

 

 

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