Showing posts from May, 2017

The Day of Pentecost, Whitsunday, 4 June 2017

The Day of Pentecost, Whitsunday, 4 June 2017 Acts 2:1-21 or  Numbers 11:24-30 Psalm 104:25-35, 37 1 Corinthians 12:3b-13 or  Acts 2:1-21 John 20:19-23 or  John 7:37-39 Background: Pentecost Pentecost and the Sunday that follows it (Trinity) lie on either side of a cusp that divides the Easter Cycle from Ordinary Time. Pentecost has its roots in a Jewish feast day that celebrated the giving of the Law on Mt. Sinai, called Shavout. It is the reason so many were gathered in Jerusalem on the day that the Holy Spirit was poured out upon the disciples. In the Christian tradition, Pentecost is that fiftieth day following Easter (Ascension is the fortieth). It is oftentimes called “the Birthday of the Church”, a remembrance not only of the gift of the Holy Spirit, but also of Saint Peter’s sermon and its extraordinary results where many were baptized and received into the community. In remembrance of Baptism, as is traditional on this day; it is good to observe

The Seventh Sunday after Easter, 28 May 2017

The Seventh Sunday of Easter, 28 May 2017 Acts 1:6-14 Psalm 68:1-10, 33-36 I Peter 4:12-14, 5:6-11 Saint John 17:1-11 Background: The Feast of the Ascension We know of a celebration of the Ascension from at least the 4 th century, when Eusebius seems to mention it. Other mentions are from Ss. Augustine, John Chrysostom, and Gregory of Nyssa as well. Aetheria writes about the feast in her account of her pilgrimage to the Holy Land. There was some controversy acquainted with the feast in that for a time it was to have been celebrated in conjunction with Pentecost, and the Synod of Elvira requests that the feast “on the fortieth day after Easter” be suppressed. The three days prior to the Feast are observed as Rogation Days. Some of the customs associated with the Feast are related to the days of Rogation, such as the blessing of first fruits, and the blessing of beans and grapes. Other customs are related to the Paschal Candle, which is extinguished following the