Friday, May 21, 2010

Feast of Pentecost

This coming Sunday is the Feast of Pentecost. Pentecost celebrates the gift of the Holy Spirit to the disciples. You can read more about this feast in the Book of Acts chapter 2.

I always liked this particular festal celebration. The Church changes colors from white to green, leaving behind the Easter season and re-entering back into Ordinary time as they say. Pentecost has been called the birthday of the Church because it is the beginning of the great evangelization project that we read about in the Book of Acts.

Below is the troparion or major hymn that is sung in the Eastern Church on this feast:

Blessed are you O Christ our God
Who has made the fishermen as most wise
By sending down upon them the Holy Spirit
You have drawn the whole world into your net
O giver of life glory to you

The background of Pentecost is the Jewish feast of Shavout, the feast of the spring harvest. Last May I was in Israel the wheat fields were ripe for harvest, some farmers were already gathering in their first crop of Spring wheat to sell and to use for flour and other products.

Pentecost has many themes associated with it; fire, wind, harvest, beginnings, as well as proclamation and power.

I wish everyone a blessed Pentecost.