INSTRUCTION ON THE FESTIVAL OF PENTECOST

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INSTRUCTION ON THE FESTIVAL OF PENTECOST

The Church’s Year
By Rev. Fr. Leonard Goffine

What festival is this?

It is the day on which the Holy Ghost descended in the form of fiery tongues, upon the apostles and disciples, who with Mary, the Mother of Jesus, were assembled in prayer in a house at Jerusalem. (Acts II.)

Why is this day called Pentecost?

The word “Pentecost” is taken from the Greek, and signifies fifty. As St. Jerome explains it, this was the last of the fifty days, commencing with Easter, which the early Christians celebrated as days of rejoicing at the resurrection of the Lord.

Why is this day observed so solemnly?

Because on this day the Holy Ghost, having descended upon the apostles, the law of grace, of purification from sin, and the sanctification of mankind, was for the first time announced to the world; because on this day the apostles, being filled with the Holy Ghost, commenced the work of purifying and sanctifying mankind, by baptizing three thousand persons who were converted by the sermon of St. Peter; and because on this day the Church of Jesus became visible as a community to the world, and publicly professed her faith in her crucified Saviour. Continue reading

VENI CREATOR SPIRITUS

One of the most widely used hymns in the Church, Veni, Creator Spiritus, is attributed to Rabanus Maurus (776-856). It is used at Vespers, Pentecost, Dedication of a Church, Confirmation, and Holy Orders and whenever the Holy Spirit is solemnly invoked. A partial indulgence is granted to the faithful who recite it. A plenary indulgence is granted if it is recited on January 1st or on the feast of Pentecost.
VENI, Creator Spiritus,
mentes tuorum visita,
imple superna gratia
quae tu creasti pectora.
COME, Holy Spirit, Creator blest,
and in our souls take up Thy rest;
come with Thy grace and heavenly aid
to fill the hearts which Thou hast made.
Qui diceris Paraclitus,
altissimi donum Dei,
fons vivus, ignis, caritas,
et spiritalis unctio.
O comforter, to Thee we cry,
O heavenly gift of God Most High,
O fount of life and fire of love,
and sweet anointing from above.
Tu, septiformis munere,
digitus paternae dexterae,
Tu rite promissum Patris,
sermone ditans guttura.
Thou in Thy sevenfold gifts are known;
Thou, finger of God’s hand we own;
Thou, promise of the Father, Thou
Who dost the tongue with power imbue.
Accende lumen sensibus:
infunde amorem cordibus:
infirma nostri corporis
virtute firmans perpeti.
Kindle our sense from above,
and make our hearts o’erflow with love;
with patience firm and virtue high
the weakness of our flesh supply.
Hostem repellas longius,
pacemque dones protinus:
ductore sic te praevio
vitemus omne noxium.
Far from us drive the foe we dread,
and grant us Thy peace instead;
so shall we not, with Thee for guide,
turn from the path of life aside.
Per te sciamus da Patrem,
noscamus atque Filium;
Teque utriusque Spiritum
credamus omni tempore.
Oh, may Thy grace on us bestow
the Father and the Son to know;
and Thee, through endless times confessed,
of both the eternal Spirit blest.
Deo Patri sit gloria,
et Filio, qui a mortuis
surrexit, ac Paraclito,
in saeculorum saecula.
Amen.
Now to the Father and the Son,
Who rose from death, be glory given,
with Thou, O Holy Comforter,
henceforth by all in earth and heaven.
Amen.

The Feast of Pentecost Sunday

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The Feast of Pentecost Sunday

“And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost.”–Acts ii, 4.

“And He commanded that they should not depart from Jerusalem; but should wait for the promise of the Father, which you have heard,” said He, “by My mouth, that you may give testimony of Me, even to the uttermost bounds of the earth.” Thus runs the admonition of the Lord before His ascension. (Acts i, 4-8.)

The Apostles, therefore, with Mary, the Mother of Jesus, and many of His disciples, obeying the command of Christ, remained at Jerusalem, united in prayer; and, behold, after ten days, the promise of Christ was fulfilled: “Suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting; and the Holy Ghost came down upon them in the form of fiery tongues, and sat upon every one of them.”

Then did this Spirit of light replenish their souls with knowledge, power, and love; and enrich them with His sevenfold gifts. St. Paul says of himself, that the same Lord Who decreed that there should be light, caused the light of knowledge in holy faith to irradiate his soul; and so it was with the disciples assembled at Jerusalem. Their understanding seemed darkened; they were faint-hearted and timid since the ascension of Him Who was at once their Lord, their Saviour, and beloved Friend. They remained secluded–“behind bolt and bar,”–not daring to appear in public; but, lo! that fear suddenly vanished, for seven new and most precious gifts were bestowed upon them. Continue reading