Saint Leo the Great on the Apostles Fast and its Significance

Saint Leo the Great (Sermon 78 – On the Whidsuntide or Pentecost Fast)

I. Since the Apostles’ Day Till Now Self-Restraint is the Best Defence Against the Devil’s Assaults.

Today’s festival, dearly-beloved, hallowed by the descent of the Holy Spirit, is followed, as you know by a solemn fast, which being a salutary institution for the healing of soul and body, we must keep with devout observance. For when the Apostles had been filled with the promised power, and the Spirit of Truth had entered their hearts,

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Pentecost the indwelling of the Holy Spirit

On this day we recall that just 50 days after the Glorious Resurrection, the Holy Spirit came upon the Holy Apostles and all those gathered with them in a new and different way. For the first time, the Holy Spirit actually took up residence within the human soul.

Before this the Spirit of God would descend upon a person for various reasons – such as when one of the prophets was inspired to speak or write or act in a particular way so that God’s will might be made known to His people, but He did not make His abode within their soul. But something new happened at Pentecost, something wondrous, something marvelous – God came and dwelt not only among us as our Lord Jesus Christ, but within us through the Holy Spirit. The promise of our salvation that we would be united with God, began to be made manifest.

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The holy Pentecost (explanation of the Feast)

On the tenth day after the Ascension of Jesus Christ during the Jewish feast of Pentecost, at the third hour, but according to our reckoning at nine o’clock in the morning, when people usually go to the temple both for offering up a sacrifice and prayer [1] all the disciples were assembled in Jerusalem, in the upper room (Acts 1:13), which was «on Mount Zion», «and suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind,» (as though from an unusually strong wind).»

Actually there was no wind rustling, but the noise was similar as if it were from the strength of a wind, but without the wind.» This noise «filled the whole house where they were sitting», – not only of the apostles, but, according to the commentary of St. John Chrysostom, even other believers in Christ (Acts 1:16). Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

The Prophet Joel: A Message for Today’s Secular World

Fr. George Morelli

And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions. Joel 2: 28

These words by the prophet Joel (whose name means Yahweh is God) were spoken during the reign of King Uzziah (800 BC). Joel prophesied to the people of Judah and probably came from that area. His life overlapped the prophet Amos and the great prophet Isaiah. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

Those Kneeling Prayers!

This past Monday Eve — that is, on Pentecost Sunday afternoon — we prayed the Kneeling Prayers at the Vespers for Holy Spirit Day, on Monday. I love coming to each feast day, in its distinctiveness, and partake of some unique aspect of the Gospel of Jesus Christ communicated through that liturgical celebration. And Pentecost does not disappoint, with its annual Kneeling Prayers.

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In fact, every holy mystery and holy virtue is a little Pentecost.

St. Justin Popovic on Pentecost

From the book, “The Orthodox Church and Ecumenism”

 What is Christ the God-Man? What in Him is God and what man? How is God known in the God-Man, and how is man? What has God given to us men in and, and with the God-Man? The Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth, tells us all the truth there is about Him, about God in Him and man in Him and all that is given us through Him. All this immeasurably transcends everything that the human eye has ever seen, the ear has ever heard, or has ever entered into the heart of man (I Cor. 2:9; cf. Jan 15:26; 16:13; I Cor. 2:4; Eph. 3:5).
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He is the source of sanctification and all life.

 The feast in honor of the Holy Spirit, «one of the Trinity of God, one in honor, one in essence and one in glory with the Father and the Son” is celebrated on the Monday after Pentecost. This feast has been established by the Church «for the majesty of the Most Holy and Life-creating Spirit, for He is one of the Holy and Life-originating Trinity», in reaction to the teaching of the heretics who rejected the divinity of the Holy Spirit and that He is equal-in-honor with God the Father and the God the Son. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

The holy Pentecost (explanation of the Feast)

On the tenth day after the Ascension of Jesus Christ during the Jewish feast of Pentecost, at the third hour, but according to our reckoning at nine o’clock in the morning, when people usually go to the temple both for offering up a sacrifice and prayer [1] all the disciples were assembled in Jerusalem, in the upper room (Acts 1:13), which was «on Mount Zion», «and suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind,» (as though from an unusually strong wind).»

Actually there was no wind rustling, but the noise was similar as if it were from the strength of a wind, but without the wind.» This noise «filled the whole house where they were sitting», – not only of the apostles, but, according to the commentary of St. John Chrysostom, even other believers in Christ (Acts 1:16). Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

Εσπερiνός Τής Πεντηκοστής (Στίχοι και ηχητικό)- Vespers of Pentecost

Vespers of Pentecost

Text in English
Lord, I have cried
We celebrate Pentecost and the coming of the Spirit, the appointed time of the promise and the fulfilment of hope. How great is the mystery? Great indeed and revered! And so we cry out to you: Creator of all, Lord, glory to you! (Twice)

With tongues of foreigners, O Christ, you renewed your Disciples, that through them they might proclaim you, the immortal Word and God, who grant our souls your great mercy.

The Holy Spirit gives all things: makes prophecies flow, perfects priests, taught the unlettered wisdom, revealed fishermen to be theologians, welds together the whole institution of the Church. Advocate, consubstantial and equal in majesty with the Father and the Son, glory to you. (Video follows)

Ελληνικά

Στιχηρά ίδιόμελα,ηχ,α

Πεντηκοστὴν ἑορτάζομεν, καὶ Πνεύματος ἐπιδημίαν, καὶ προθεσμίαν ἐπαγγελίας, καὶ ἐλπίδος συμπλήρωσιν, καὶ τὸ μυστήριον ὅσον; Ὡς μέγα τε καὶ σεβάσμιον! Διὸ βοῶμέν σοι, Δημιουργὲ τοῦ παντὸς Κύριε, δόξα σοι. (Δίς) Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

On the Sunday of Pentecost

By Fr. Antony Hughes

In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, one God. Amen.

Glory to Jesus Christ!

The Reading is from John 7:37-52; 8:12

“He who believes in me, as the scripture says, ‘Out of his heart shall flow rivers of living water.’ Now this he said about the Spirit, which those who believed in him were to receive.“ “Do you not know,” writes St. Paul, “that you are temples of the Holy Spirit?”

The question is: are there rivers of living water flowing from our hearts or rivers of something else? Are our hearts at peace or are we troubled within? Are we at ease or anxious, happy or confused? Do we bring joy to others? What is coming from our hearts? Is it compassion? Kindness? Patience? Love? Does our presence bring peace and healing to the people we meet or would it have been better had they not met us at all? The fruit of our lives reveals much about the state of our souls.

Metropolitan Anthony Bloom poses the same question in a different way:

“Why is it that people who meet us never notice that we are limbs of the risen Christ, temples of the Holy Spirit? Why? Each of us has got to give his own reply to this question. Let us, each of us, examine ourselves and be ready to answer before our own conscience and do what is necessary to change our lives in such a way that people meeting us may look at us and say,’Such people we have never seen. There is something about them that we have never seen in anyone. What is it?’ And we could answer:

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Holy Spirit: The Giver of Life

The Pentecost. 11th-century Byzantine mosaic on a dome at the Monastery of St Luke the New (Greece).

From a homily by Bishop Kallistos Ware

My grandmother long ago once wondered, “Why is the Holy Spirit never mentioned in sermons? Hearing of Him is liking hearing news of an old friend one hasn’t heard of in a long time.” We will hear of news of this old friend today. St Symeon the New Theologian wrote this invocation to the Holy Spirit:

Come, true light.

Come, life eternal.

Come, hidden mystery.

Come, treasure without name.

Come, reality beyond all words. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

Sunday before Pentecost (Metropolitan Anthony of Sourozh)

Ο απόστολος Παύλος. Ψηφιδωτό από το αρχιεπισκοπικό παρεκκλήσιο της Ραβέννας (494-495 μΧ).

The apostle Paul (mosaic). Ravenna, Archiepiscopal Chapel, 494-495 A.D. Ο απόστολος Παύλος. Ψηφιδωτό του αρχιεπισκοπικού παρεκκλησίου της Ραβέννας (494-495 μ.Χ.).

In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost

We have heard in the Acts of the Apostles how, as the Feast of Pentecost was approaching, Paul the Apostle had started on his journey to Jerusalem to be there together with all those who on that very day received the Holy Spirit. Of all of them he was the only one who had not been present in the High Room where the event took place. And yet, God had given him a true, a perfect conversion of heart, and of mind and of life, and had given him freely the gift of the Holy Spirit in response to his total, ultimate gift of self to Him, the God Whom he did not know but Whom he worshipped.

We also are on our way to the day of Pentecost, next week we will keep this event. When Paul was on his way, he thought of what had happened to himself in the solitude of his journey from Jerusalem to Damascus and in the gift of the Spirit mediated to him by Ananias. And we also, each of us singly and all of us together should reflect on all that God has given us. He has given us existence and breathed life into us, – not only the life of the body, but a life that makes us akin to Him, His life. He has given us to know Him, the Living God, and He has given us to meet, in the Gospel and in life, His Only Begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. In Baptism, in the Anointment with Holy Chrism, in Communion to the Body and Blood of Christ, in the mysterious, silent communion of prayer, in the moments when God Himself came near, although we were not thinking of Him, He has given us so much. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

Sacrament of Chrismation

The Pentecost. Painting by Jean Restout (1732).

The Pentecost. Painting by Jean Restout (1732).

From earliest times the church has practised chrismation immediately following baptism. In the sacrament of chrismation (Gr. chrismatis, «anointing») the newly baptised person receives the Holy Spirit through the anointing with oil by the bishop or priest. The roots of this sacrament are clear in both the Old and New Testaments, and are especially brought to light on the Day of Pentecost. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »