Pentecost. Trinity Sunday. Descent of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles

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And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans? And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born? Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.

(Acts 2:1-11)


Blessed art Thou, O Christ our God,
Who hast shown forth the fishermen as supremely wise,
by sending down upon them the Holy Spirit,
and through them didst draw the world into Thy net.
O Lover of mankind, glory be to Thee.

The Feast of the Descent of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles is the celebration of the triumph of Divine Love, the feast celebrating the unification of all people.  Thus, in the kontakion of the Feast we hear, “Once, when He descended and confounded the tongues, the Most High divided the nations [at the construction of the tower of Babel – Genesis 11:5-9]; and when He divided the tongues of fire, He called all men into unity; and with one accord we glorify the All-Holy Spirit.”  When, in the descent of the Holy Spirit [God] distributed the tongues of fire, He called everyone to unity.  In order to destroy the people’s evil intent in constructing the Tower of Babel, God descended and caused everyone to speak in different languages and no longer understand one another; thus construction of the tower came to an end.  On the Day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit descended upon the Apostles in the form of tongues of fire, and gathered everyone together, gathered them together by being in each of them; although the Apostles began to speak in various languages, that did not prevent them from understanding one another.  This clearly shows that the grace of the Holy Spirit is capable of gathering the peoples of the world into one single whole.  It is only the presence of the Spirit of God, acting as an unbreakable link among men, that unites them without regard to nationality, age, or social position.  What is required for this to be so?  It is not enough to merely call humanity toward friendship, brotherhood and equality.  For there to be unity, brotherhood and equality must exist among people not just in word but in deed, everyone must accept Christ and believe on Him.  Faith in the Savior and life in accordance with that faith is the sole essential condition needed in order to receive the grace of the Holy Spirit into oneself.  All those who turn to Christ through the Mystery of Baptism enter into a new life and comprise the Church of God on earth, which is the essential beginning towards universal unity.  The Church is the image of unity for all mankind, which can only become one when everyone joins in the Church of Christ.  Then there will be neither Greek nor Jew nor barbarian nor Scythian, neither slave nor freeman, but all one in Christ.

Let us implore the All-holy Trinity that we and all people might acquire, through the power of Divine love, blessed unity.

Congratulations on the Feast, beloved faithful and readers!

Vespers. Prayers to the Holy Trinity.

Pentecost. Most-Holy Kirill, Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia.

The Feast of Pentecost (2005)

The Feast of Pentecost (1995)

Pentecost (Holy Trinity Day) (1989)

Lessons from the Fathers

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