Announcements for June 7-13, 2009

Today: Matins, Divine Liturgy, Kneeling Prayers & BBQ

Tuesday:  6:00 pm Vespers

Thursday:  6:00 pm Vespers

Saturday: 10:00 Portland parishes IOCC Training Workshop being held here; Middle School – College Students outing & dinner; 6:00 pm Vespers & Panikhida for June; IOCC presentation for Portland area teens and young adults by Vasi Jankovich

Sunday:  8:30 am Matins; 9:30 am Divine Liturgy & Brunch

Looking Ahead:
June 27: The Five–Year Plan Forum
June 28: “Naming the Child” presentation by Jenny Schroedel
July 6 – 11: Iconography Workshop with Heather MacKean
July 10 – 11: Teen Hike to Mt. Hood
July 11: “The Language and Theology of Icons” presentation by Heather MacKean

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The Feast of Pentecost / The Feast of Weeks (i.e., the closing festival for the 7 weeks of Passover = 50 days) was called Pentecosté (i.e., 50) in the Greek speaking Jewish world (Ex. 34:22; Lev. 23:11; Deut. 16:10).  It was a harvest feast also connected with the giving of the Law (Torah) on Mt. Sinai on the 50th day after the original Passover / Exodus events (Ex. 19:11).  It was a great homecoming feast for 1st century Jews from all parts of the world (Acts 2:5-11).  Fifty days after the Resurrection of Christ, the extraordinary events in the Upper Room took place.

It is often called Whitsunday due to the white garments worn by those who were baptized during the Pentecost Vigil…i.e., the catechumens who had not been baptized at Pascha.  In Italy it was customary to scatter rose leaves from the ceiling of the churches to recall the miracle of the fiery tongues.  In France it was customary to blow trumpets during Liturgy to recall the sound of the miracle of the great mighty rushing wind.  In England horse racing was customary on Whitsunday.  In the Christian East the extraordinary service of Kneeling is held — whereat the faithful kneel for the first time since Pascha.  In Russia, the faithful carry flowers and green branches in their hands and decorate the church interiors with greenery, branches and the like on the Feast of Pentecost (which commemorates the Holy Trinity as well as the Descent of the Holy Spirit.)

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According to St. Seraphim of Sarov, the aim of the Christian life is to acquire the Holy Spirit…

Galatians 5 = Fruit of the Spirit

1 Corinthians 12  = Gifts of the Spirit

Having received our personal incorporation into the Pentecost event at Baptism (immersed in Christ; die and rise with Christ; clothed in Christ), Chrismation (Seal of the Gift of the Holy Spirit) and Holy Communion (Holy Things for the Holy, “you are what you eat,” mystical wedding supper of the Lamb of God), and when our thoughts, words, actions and lives can be characterized by the above Fruit and Gifts, we could be considered to be on the way to sainthood…