Sunday, June 3, 2012

Orthodox Wear Green for Pentecost, Not Just St Patty's Day!

In our Faith, we symbolize a great deal to help bring understanding of why we have gathered together to pray and how to better participate during certain feasts throughout the Life of the Church.

One such way of symbolism is the use of color to recognize certain features of a feast in the Liturgical Life of our Faith. The color "green" is used during the Great Feast of Pentecost (50 days after the Resurrection of our Lord) - the Descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles.

For more information regarding this Feast and the Icon of the Descent of the Holy Spirit, please visit the following links:
     - Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese website
     - Greek Orthodox Christian Archdiocese website

The clergy vestments, altar cloths, candle holders, etc. during the Pentecostal season are green. At Pentecost, we decorate our churches with flowers and green branches - for the Church "never grows old, but is always young." It is an evergreen, ever-living Tree of grace and life, of joy and comfort. For the Holy Spirit - "the Treasury of Blessings and Giver of Life - comes and abides in us, and cleanses us from all impurity," and fills our life with meaning: faith, hope, and love.

Image Source

Image Source

Image Source

The Great Feast of Pentecost is followed by a fast-free week; a great season of rejoicing that the Holy Spirit has descended upon the Apostles and revealed to them the Mystery of the Salvation through the Church. That same Holy Spirit remains within the Church throughout the ages, guiding it "into all truth" (John 16:13).

"O heavenly King, the Comforter, the Spirit of Truth, Who art in all places and fillest all things, Treasury of good things, and Giver of life, come and dwell in us, and cleanse us from every stain, and save our souls, O Gracious Lord."

In commemoration of this Great Feast in the Life of the Church, I suggest a simple way to bring this celebration of Pentecost "home" with you - during this week, wear GREEN!

- A Day in the Life of the Youth Director

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