My beloved spiritual brothers and sisters in Christ God,
CHRIST IS IN OUR MIDST! HE WAS, IS, AND EVER SHALL BE.
Apolytikion (Dismissal) Hymn of the Feast.
Mode pl. 4.
BLESSED are You, O Christ our God. You made
the fishermen all-wise, by sending down upon
them the Holy Spirit, and through them, You drew
the world into Your net. O Lover of mankind,
glory to You.
Kontakion Hymn of the Feast
Mode pl. 4.
WHEN the Most High God came down and
confused the tongues, He divided the nations.
When He distributed the tongues of fire, He
called all to unity. And when with one voice
we glorify the All-Holy Spirit,
THE GREAT CHRISTIAN FEAST
On June 20th our Holy Orthodox Christian Church celebrates the Great Feast Day of Pentecost. Our Lord Christ’s promise to His holy Disciples was fulfilled FIFTY DAYS after Pascha and ten days after His Holy Ascension into heaven. Thus in the Church, we observed the Feast of Pentecost, in which we honor God the Holy Trinity, and on the following day, Monday we celebrate and glorify the Holy Spirit. So the Feast of Pentecost is a feast of the Holy Trinity.
The Feast of Pentecost is included in what the Church calls the "Twelve Feasts", because it IS THE LAST FEAST OF THE DIVINE ECONOMY. The INCARNATION of Jesus Christ was aimed at victory over death and the coming of the Holy Spirit into the hearts of men. Moreover, it is well known that the purpose of the ecclesiastical and spiritual life is THAT WE SHOULD BECOME MEMBERS OF THE Body of Christ and RECEIVE THE Holy Spirit. These two are inseparably linked together.
The Descent of the Holy Spirit took place on the Lord’s Day (Sunday). And here we see the value of the Lord’s Day, for the Great Feasts of the Lord, took place on it. According to Saint Nicodemos the Hagiorite, THE CREATION BEGAN ON THE FIRST DAY, THAT IS TO SAY, ON THE LORD’S DAY (Sunday), for it was then that LIGHT was created; THE RENEWAL OF CREATION BEGAN ON THE LORD’S DAY (Sunday) with the Resurrection of Christ; THE COMPLETION OF CREATION TOOK PLACE ON THE LORD’S DAY (Sunday) WITH THE DESCENT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT. The making OF CREATION was done by the Father with the cooperation of the Son and the Holy Spirit, THE RENEWAL was done by the Son with the good will of the Father and the cooperation of the Holy Spirit, and THE COMPLETION OF CREATION was done by the Holy Spirit, WHICH PROCEEDS FROM THE Father and IS SENT BY THE SON.
The Feast of Pentecost is a Feast of the Holy Spirit because we learn from the Descent of the Holy Spirit that God is Threefold, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Saint Gregory the Theologian speaks of THREE LIGHTS. Thy Mystery of the Holy Trinity has been revealed to us by Jesus Christ Himself, who told His Disciples that the Holy Spirit PROCEEDS FROM THE Father and IS SENT BY Himself (St. John 15:26).
Many names have been given to the Holy Spirit. One of them which shows the work which He does in the Church as well IN THE LIVES OF THE PEOPLE is the name "Comforter." Our Lord Jesus Christ Himself used this word for the Holy Spirit when He said to the Disciples shortly before His Passion: "I WILL ASK THE FATHER, AND HE WILL GIVE YOU ANOTHER COMFORTER TO BE WITH YOU FOREVER – The Spirit of Truth" (St. John 14:16-17). And a little further on, the Holy Spirit is characterized by Christ as the "PARAKLETOS" ("Paraclete"), the Comforter Who will teach the Disciples and will REMIND THEM ALL OF EVERYTHING He said during His life, "But the Paraclete, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send IN MY NAME , will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you" (St. John 14:25). Having the assurance that the Holy Spirit is the Comforter, we pray to Him: "Heavenly King, Comforter,the Spirit of Truth…"
The Holy Spirit COMFORTS THE PERSON who is struggling against sin, trying to keep Christ’s Commandments in his life. It is hard because THE FIGHT IS AGAINST THE EVIL SPIRITS. Therefore the Holy Spirit is A COMFORTER or one WHO CONSOLES MEN. as Saint John Chrysostom says. It is a mark of God that He consoles men, so God is characterized by the same term as the Holy Spirit. (Source: The Feasts of the Lord by Metropolitan Hierotheos)
(To be continued)
"Glory Be To GOD
– Saint John Chrysostomos
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With sincere agape in His Holy Diakonia (Ministry),
The sinner and unworthy servant of God
+ Father George