Holy Pentecost

Pentecost Icon

The Great and Holy Feast of Pentecost celebrates the Gift of the Holy Spirit to Christ's Disciples, 50 days after Holy Pascha. The Holy Spirit is the Third Person of the Holy Trinity. The Church is empowered by the Holy Spirit. He abides in His Church and in the hearts of His people, in degrees of fullness as we repent and open our hearts with faith and love, and receive Him sacramentally. We are then able to bear the Fruit of the Spirit in our hearts and lives: 'Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control" Gal. 5:22.

On Pentecost Sunday, the disciples become Apostles and are then sent out to various lands to witness about Christ and the Salvation that He gives us, who believe and are joined to Him. All nations and ethnic groups are loved by our Lord and become members of His Body, the Church. Many people were added to the Church on the Day of Pentecost, and have been added to this very day.

In the Old Covenant, Pentecost was a Feast of the First Fruits being harvested and the gift of the Law of God to God's people after being delivered from slavery in Egypt. Both themes are foreshadows of the Fulfillment of the Feast in the New Covenant.

The theme of Harvest - is seen in the final Old Covenant feast of the in-gathering in the fall of the year, labor is finished and joyous rest felt. In the New Covenant, we look for that Final Day of the Lord - the Second Coming of Christ, the Resurrection of the Dead, and Eternal Paradise with the Lord. Revelation 21 speaks of this Day: "
Then he showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations."

Our dark world is seen by us vividly in these troubled times of virus crisis, racism and killing, violent reactions to injustice by hurting or killing others, and some government leaders who greatly disappoint us. All of this is symbolized in the "King Cosmos" wearing a crown in the bottom of the Pentecost icon that needs this Healing, Divine Light, Living Water. The scrolls held by Cosmos represent the Saving Gospel that the Twelve Apostles and His Church bring to the dark world. Inside Christ's Holy Church, we rejoice already in the first fruits of the Harvest with the Great Feast of Pentecost and the Gift of the Holy Spirit.

Enjoy a video of how the joyous Feast of Pentecost is celebrated at St Elisabeth Orthodox Christian Convent, Minsk, Belarus:


In our parish, Pentecost is especially joyous for us. 11 years ago we opened the door to our new temple for the first Divine Service. Enjoy seeing a short video of this (you may need to try the link a second time to see this video):


The Sunday after Pentecost is All Saints Sunday. This is the fruit of Pentecost in the New Covenant People of God, set apart to be a "cloud of witnesses" - Saints and Martyrs - from the beginning of the Church to the present day. Some of these holy ones we know, some only God knows. We receive the Gift of the Holy Spirit as we become part of the Church of God, and we are called to live spiritual lives of faith fully becoming a holy people. The Saints, by their prayers and witness in various times and circumstances, encourage us to live faithful and Godly lives in our time and work. Our eternal destiny is a union with all the Saints in the Lord forever.