On June 20 of this year 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. After the Gospel lesson he preached the following homily:
“Dear brothers and sisters in Christ! Today we celebrate the receiving of the Holy Spirit by the Apostles. After such receiving they became what they really meant to be: people chosen by God, filled with God’s power, able to work miracles, having special gifts and converting others to the discipleship of Christ. They became the true Church”.
“This is similar to what the nature is experiencing now, at this season. Everything is green and blooming. This is what nature is meant to be. Now it reaches the most fulfilling point”.
“Now we have to become what we are meant to be: the people of God, people filled with His grace. We have to become temples of the Holy Spirit. In order to become that, we have to acquire the Holy Spirit. How can we do that?”
“Holy Spirit is not acquired by knowledge. Knowledge and intellect are helpful but not necessary. Today’s Gospel shows that knowledgeable and learned people were unable to accept Jesus. Holy Apostle Paul says, “Where is the wise one? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made the wisdom of world foolish?” (1 Cor. 1, 20). Holy Apostles were not educated, some of them were plain fishermen. But today we sing that God revealed fishermen as wise sending them the Holy Spirit. Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, Holy Spirit is acquired by divine grace, by the gift of faith”.
“Holy Spirit is not acquired by skills or working experience. Skills are also helpful, especially to fulfill certain earthly goals. But what skills would you need to acquire the gift of the Holy Spirit? What experience could help us in that? Only the skills and experience in spiritual life”.
“To acquire the Holy Spirit we need faith, commitment to God and obedience to His holy will. We also need prayer. If we pray, live a spiritual life filled with faith, hope and love, then each of us and all of together are able to experience the true Pentecost. Either personal or our common Pentecost we would experience as the one Church of Christ. Then like the Holy Apostles we would be able to receive the Holy Spirit, to become the people of God, to become the temple of the Holy Spirit, His earthly dwelling”.
“Dear brothers and sisters in Christ! On that holy and great festal day let us ask the Lord to help us in our spiritual work, so by our life we may become worthy to receive the Holy Spirit. Let us pray and ask the very Holy Spirit, the Lord the Giver of Life to come and to dwell in us, to cleanse us of all impurity and to save our souls!”
During the Litany of Fervent Supplication, Fr. Igor proclaimed a petition beseeching the Lord to spare the faithful from the outbreak of the disease.
The choir piously performed the magnification of the feast along with the verses during the preparation for Holy Communion.
Following the Liturgy dismissal the Rector and the altar server performed the rite of Glorification singing the troparion, kontakion and magnification of the feast before the festal icon in the middle of the church. Then the Rector greeted the faithful on the great holy day. He also congratulated our men on the occasion of the Father’s Day. A traditional Polychronion (“Mnogaia leta!”) was performed.
After the Liturgy the Rector served Pentecostal Vespers with kneeling prayers. Following that service the Rector made some announcements.