Announcements for May 23-29, 2010

(Fresco of the Descent of the Holy Spirit, Mesnil, France)

Today: Matins, Liturgy, Kneeling Prayers, BBQ

Monday: 10:00 am Divine Liturgy at Holy Trinity GOC

Tuesday: 6:00 pm Vespers

Thursday: 6:00 pm Vespers

Saturday:  6:00 pm Vespers

Sunday: 8:30 am Matins; 9:30 am Divine Liturgy, Akathist for the Departed, Classes, Blood Pressure Screening, Brunch

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.)

Looking Ahead:

Beginning June 1st and lasting for 8 weeks (i.e., through July 20), Tuesday Vespers will be followed by a period of Lectio and discussion that will conclude about 8:00 pm.  This evening series of spiritual “re-charging” for the members of our parish community will gently lead participants on a journey toward a more contemplative and peace-filled way of life. It is sponsored by the Fellowship of New Skete.  You are invited (encouraged) to attend one, a few, many or all of the Tuesday Reflections.

Our final Theology Classes for the season:

Saturday, June 5 & 12, following Vespers.  If you’d like to join us in these overviews of Sacramental Ecclesiology (i.e, The Sacraments in the Life of the Church; The Body of Christ), please feel free to attend.  A full term of Liturgical Theology will commence this Fall.