On this day we celebrate the holy feast of Pentecost, the descent of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles.
Just before our Lord ascended into heaven, on the fortieth day after His resurrection, he promised his disciples that the Holy Spirit would be sent to them giving them spiritual strength and teaching them the truth. On the fiftieth day after the Resurrection, while they were gathered together in the upper room, there came a great sound from heaven which was like a rushing mighty wind. Great tongues of fire were seen over each of the heads of the apostles, they were filled with the Holy Spirit and they began to speak many languages. This was the fulfillment of the promise which the Lord had given to them.
On this day, the first Pentecost, St. Peter delivered the first sermon in Jerusalem. Over 3000 people present there believed in Christ and were baptized by the Apostles. The first church was created through the grace of the Holy Spirit. Each one of the 3000 people there present heard and understood the sermon in his own native language. This was the miracle of Pentecost. The Apostles then traveled to the far corners of the earth to bring the gospel of Christ to all men. All this was made possible by the power of the Holy Spirit on that eventful and historic day of Pentecost in the city of Jerusalem almost 2000 years ago.
During the Divine Liturgy today, all Orthodox Christians take part in the beautiful service known as “the service of kneeling”. While the priest reads the prayers about the miracle of Pentecost and the descent of the Holy Spirit, the faithful kneel and pray also. Let us pray that the grace of the Holy Spirit will enter our hearts and give us spiritual strength to live out our lives according to the gospel and the will of God in today’s troubled times.
All services from Pascha Sunday to Pentecost can be found in the “Pentecostarion Service Book“.