Greetings on the glorious Feast of Pentecost, one of the major Feast days of our Holy Orthodox Church. On this day we celebrate the day when the Glorified Christ poured out the Holy Spirit upon His followers. We remember when John the Baptist prophesied, “I baptize you with water, but someone is coming who is so much greater than I am… He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire” (Luke 3:16).
Pentecost literally means, “the fiftieth day”, because it falls 50 days after the Feast of Pascha. On this great festival of the Church, Almighty God gave humanity the gift of Spirit, the pledge of a new Promised Land, God’s kingdom. When He finished His mission on earth, Christ charged His followers to remain in Jerusalem and, “wait for the gift I told you about and the gift my Father promised…for in a few days you will be baptized with His Holy Spirit…you will be filled with power, and you will be witnesses for me in Jerusalem, in all of Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth”. (Acts 1:4-5, 8)
In the Orthodox Church the Feast of Pentecost or Green Sunday is one of the seven great feasts of the Lord which we commemorate throughout the liturgical year. It is a celebration of the Lord’s bestowal of the Holy Spirit upon His Church. It is the Feast of the Holy Trinity, God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit: One God in Three Persons.
This is also the day of kneeling, when we hear the prayers glorifying God by recounting His great acts of salvation in history. We solemnly kneel before God recognizing our sinfulness and we earnestly implore Him for forgiveness. We entreat God for protection and renewal with the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon us. For as we sing the Great Prokimenon of this day, ” Who is so great a God as our God. You alone are the God who does wonders”.
So let us come to Church on Pentecost, adorned with green, to give thanks for the coming of the Comforter, the Spirit of Truth who art everywhere present and fillest all things. Let us renew our faith, for the Comforter, the treasury of blessings and the giver of life, comes to abide in us, and cleanse us from all impurity and iniquity.