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May 6, 2015 + Reflections on Mid-Pentecost

The feast of Mid-Pentecost, and indeed the whole season of the Pentecostarion, is a period of joy and brightness, and yet the Pentecostarion is not without hymns of compunction. Just as the period of Great Lent is not void of the light of the Resurrection, so too the period of Pascha is not void of the theme of repentance. The light of Pascha and Pentecost compels us to recognize the darkness within us and to seek purity and renewal that we may be able to fully share in the joy and holiness of the Spirit:

As we come together on the mid-feast between Your Resurrection and the divine descent of Your Holy Spirit, O Christ, we praise the mysteries of Your wonders. Wherefore, on this day send down upon us Your great mercy.
(Vespers for the Wednesday of Mid-Pentecost, doxastikon of the stichera)

Mid-Pentecost strengthens our preparation for Pentecost— a preparation which requires a renewal of faith and an intensified effort to ascend the heights of righteousness and purity to which we were called when we became members of Christ's Body. The joy of Pascha lies in a vigorous response to the Resurrection and the presence of the Holy Spirit within us and around us. The more sensitive to His presence we become, the more aware we become of our own sins. And our response to this sinfulness is not a paralyzing despair, but a renewed hope and desire to be filled with the Holy Spirit:

May 29, 2013 + The Feast of Mid-Pentecost

by St. Theophan the Recluse

On Mid-Pentecost we hear the call of the Lord: "Whosoever thirsteth, let him come to Me and drink" (John 7:37). If this is so, then let us all run to Him. Whatever you thirst for - so long as it is not contrary to the spirit of the Lord - you will find relief in Him. If you thirst for knowledge, run to the Lord, for He is the one and only light, enlightening every man. If you thirst for cleansing from sin and quenching of the flames of your conscience, run to the Lord, for He tore asunder the handwriting of our sins upon the Cross. If you thirst for peace in your heart, run to the Lord, for He is the treasury of all good, Whose abundance will teach you to forget all deprivations and despise all earthly good, so as to be filled with Him alone. If you need strength, He is almighty. If you need glory, His glory surpasses the world. If you desire freedom, He gives true freedom. He will resolve all of our doubts, loose the bonds of our passions, dispel all our troubles and difficulties, will enable us to overcome all obstacles, temptations and intrigues of the enemy, and will make smooth the path of our spiritual life. Let us all run to the Lord!

The Living Waters of Mid-Pentecost

by Fr. Stephen Rogers

Nothing is more elemental to life than water. Water sustains life; all the processes of our bodies are dependent on it. In fact, more than anything else, our bodies are composed of water. To thirst is to desire that which sustains us on the most basic level.

On May 9 of this year [2012], the Church celebrates the Feast of Mid-Pentecost, that Wednesday marking the mid-point between Pascha and Pentecost. On that day the Church continues to celebrate what has already come – the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus, the second person of the Holy Trinity – while looking forward to what is to come – the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Holy Trinity.

On this day we celebrate both the establishment and the experience of our salvation, our union with God. For it is the Cross and Resurrection that establishes the means of that salvation and it is in the Church, established on the Day of Pentecost, where we experience that salvation.

At Mid-Pentecost we celebrate the enormity of God’s love for us, the full revelation of the means established for our salvation. On the Cross, Christ conquers sin and death, the empty tomb proclaims the fruit of that victory and the Church is the kingdom established by the Holy Spirit and headed by Jesus Christ – the One who conquers.

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