On June 4 all Orthodox Christians celebrated Pentecost, the feast of the Most Holy Trinity. Our St. George parish family had a beautiful celebration in our temple. The church was nicely adorned with greenery. Our Rector, Archpriest Igor Tarasov served the Divine Liturgy.
Following the Gospel lesson he preached a homily in English. In that homily the Rector pointed out that in all areas of human life we need an experience. Same is with spiritual life. We must experience God’s presence, His love and grace. This had been experienced by the Holy Apostles when they became worthy of the Descent of the Holy Spirit. The event of Pentecost described in the Epistle lesson was a very impressive experience of coming of the Divine Comforter.
God cannot be fully expressed. In fact, a God fully defined is no God, but He can be experienced. He expressed Himself once in the Person of Jesus. The purpose of that expression was that He might be experienced in the lives of His people as Emmanuel – God with us. No one can prove to you that Christ is the Son of God. We have to find out for ourselves. It’s like love – you can only love by experience, not by reading it in a book.
This is why the Scripture says, “Come and see” (when the Disciples found Christ and one of them said it to another) (Jn. 1, 46), or as the Samaritan woman said to her neighbors, “Come, see a Man who told me all things that I ever did” (Jn. 4, 29), or as the Psalm says, “Taste and see that the Lord is good” (Ps. 33, 8). We have to see, taste or experience God in order to have a true faith. Every Liturgy from this day of Pentecost and until the next Pascha we sing, “We have seen the true Light, we have received the Heavenly Spirit, we have found the true faith, we worship the undivided Trinity”. We have seen, we have received, we had an experience, thus we are able to worship the Holy Trinity.
The choir piously performed the hymns of the feast during the preparation for Holy Communion.
Following the Liturgy dismissal the Rector preached a short sermon in Russian stressing the main thoughts of his English homily.
After the Liturgy the Rector served Pentecostal Vespers with kneeling prayers.