Sunday, May 11, 2008

Pentecost, also called Whitsunday

Today, Pentecost, is the fiftieth day after Easter, and in the second chapter of the Acts of the Apostles, the Epistle Lesson for today in the Anglican tradition, we read:
1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. 3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

5 And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. 6 Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. 7 And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans? 8 And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born? 9 Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, 10 Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, 11 Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.

The Collect Prayer for this day and to be prayed daily for the week following from the 1928 Book of Common Prayer:
O God, who as at this time didst teach the hearts of thy faithful people, by sending to them the light of thy Holy Spirit; Grant us by the same Spirit to have a right judgment in all things, and evermore to rejoice in his holy comfort; through the merits of Christ Jesus our Saviour, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the same Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen.

From the Catholic Encyclopedia Online:
A feast of the universal Church which commemorates the Descent of the Holy Ghost upon the Apostles, fifty days after the Resurrection of Christ, on the ancient Jewish festival called the "feast of weeks" or Pentecost (Exodus 34:22; Deuteronomy 16:10). Whitsunday is so called from the white garments which were worn by those who were baptised during the vigil; Pentecost ("Pfingsten" in German), is the Greek for "the fiftieth" (day after Easter).

At Lake Murray, the only mention of this holy day was by me during our prayer time in Sunday School. The main focus at church today seemed to be Mother's Day. Unfortunately, the fumes from the new carpet are still too strong for me to worship in the auditorium/sanctuary. It's been over a month since I've been able to attend church at Lake Murray. I've been sitting on a small patch of lawn under a couple of young trees, reading my Bible Book Club lessons, praying through Morning Prayer and the day's Psalms as well as The Divine Hours: Prayers for Springtime by Phyllis Tickle. It's been very pleasant on the lawn; letting the fresh breeze blow my hair a bit, enjoying the sunshine or shade, depending on the weather, and listening to the praise music wafting down the stairs. I miss fellowshipping and worshipping with everyone, but I am also enjoying the silence, the solitude, the peaceful time with God on the lawn.

So a Happy Mother's Day to you moms out there, and a Blessed Pentecost to you all! Thanks be to God for sending His Holy Spirit to us, to comfort us, lead us, teach us, guide us, and counsel us. What a blessed, blessed Gift!

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