Past Pentecost Posts

Parish’s Old Chapel at the Great Feast of Pentecost, circa 2002.

Blessed Feast!

Greetings on tomorrow’s Great Feast of Pentecost, the 50th day after Pascha, and the Church’s Birthday!

Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, Amen!

I’ve noticed over the years, that on Pentecost, and the following day (Holy Spirit Day), it seems breezier than usual outside. The trees, flowers and grasses sway and dance in the gentle winds. The Breath of the Holy Spirit, the Giver of Life, tangibly encircles all. At Pentecost, the sun shines brighter. More golden. Today the birds sing sweeter, and a wordless song of gratitude bubbles up from within, like a silver fountain of shining joy.

Greetings on Pentecost

Pentecost Greetings

Pentecost! The Earth’s Name’s Day!

Pentecost Rose & Traditions (and how to make…)

Mosaic of Life

Day of the Holy Spirit

Happy Holy Spirit Day

I Believe

Happy 3rd Day of the Holy Spirit!

Blessed art Thou, Christ our God, Who hast shown forth the fishermen as supremely wise, by sending down upon them the Holy Spirit, and through them, didst draw the world into Thy net. O Lover of mankind, glory be to Thee. ~ Troparion of Pentecost

O Heavenly King, Comforter, Spirit of Truth, Who art everywhere present and fillest all things, Treasury of good things, and Giver of life: come and take up Thine abode in us, and cleanse us from every stain, and save our souls, O Good One! ~ Trisagion Prayers

The Lord grant thee according to thy heart, and all thy purposes fulfill. ~ From 2nd Antiphon at Pentecost

Shiny and New

Cleansing rain makes all seem shiny and new again! ~ Kilauea, Kauai 2023

Let my teaching drop as the rain,
My speech distill as the dew,
As raindrops on the tender herb,
And as showers on the grass.
~ Deuteronomy 32:2

Praise the Lord from the heavens;
Praise Him in the heights!
Praise Him, all His angels;
Praise Him, all His hosts!
Praise Him, sun and moon;
Praise Him, all you stars of light!
Praise Him, you heavens of heavens,
And you waters above the heavens!
~ Psalm 148:1-4

Praise the Lord… Even when its raining!

I love seeing raindrops spill off leaves and bead onto flowers like great globes of iridescent jewels! This beauty is reminiscent of Hope. For, amid afflictions and perhaps stresses of daily life, rest assured – our contrite tears that may fall, are gathered by angels and laid before our Creator’s Feet… Those same Precious Feet which trod Eden’s dusky paths – still fragrant with Petals from Paradise.

It’s said somewhere that we first need the rain before a rainbow appears.

Rain may fall as a gentle mist, or it can be bitingly painful. But, when God’s Beautiful Promise in the sky appears, when that rainbow holds out its shining hand to you, take it… And walk joyfully into the Sonshine of Divine Consolation.

It’s so easy to praise the Lord! For, God’s cleansing LOVE truly makes everything shiny and new again!


Pentecost! The Earth’s Name’s Day!

Image by Anja from Pixabay

The Great Feast of Pentecost ~ Holy Trinity Sunday!

Greeting you with resplendent joy! Happy Feast Day!

Today is the Church’s Birthday and we also celebrate that at our own baptisms, we received the Seal of the Gift of the Holy Spirit in the Sacrament of Chrismation, and have become participants in the Church’s Life of Grace!

Previous Blisswood Pentecost Posts:
Pentecost Greetings (Preparing for Pentecost)
Pentecost Rose and Traditions (Associated colours, making a Braided Grass Cross, creating a simple floral bouquet to bring/hold at Church)
Greetings on Pentecost (Troparion of Pentecost and excerpts from the beautiful Pentecost Vespers Kneeling Prayers )
Mosaic of Life
Day of the Holy Spirit
Happy Holy Spirit Day
I Believe

Virtual Tour of Holy Trinity Orthodox Church (Vancouver BC) decorated with nature’s greenery for Pentecost.

Greetings on the Feast, and Happy Whitsuntide during the Afterfeast & Fast-Free Week until next Saturday!

Pentecost – Also known as Whitsun means literally “White Sunday” from the fact that many were baptized on this feast and thus dressed in white baptismal gowns, but perhaps also from the white light of the Holy Spirit. In Somerset, “God’s Land”, it was customary for women to wear white ribbons in their shoes, or at least carry a white flower, perhaps a daisy. It was a great feast and bells which were rung on this day were decorated with red ribbons to remind the faithful of the tongues of fire of the Holy Spirit. The main dish this day was veal, in other words, the Biblical “fatted calf”, with gooseberry pie… Indeed an old rhyme says: “For gooseberry tart at Whitsuntide, trim old wood out ‘ere Christmastide”. ~ Old English Pentecost Traditions

A little chapel at Pentecost 2004

The Earth’s Name’s Day
~ Vasily Nikiforov-Volgin
(1900-1941)
The birch trees under our window murmured of the coming of the Holy Trinity. Sitting under their canopy, merging with the waves of their glittering leaves, I close my eyes tightly and imagined a path of shimmering light, just like on a river at sunrise; and along this path, in the form of three angels in white raiment, walks the Holy Trinity.
On the eve of the holiday my mother said, “Tomorrow is the earth’s name’s day!”
“How is that?” I asked.

“Because tomorrow, my son, is Holy Trinity Day. Tomorrow, the Holy Spirit walks upon the earth, and decorates the earth with the most beautiful field flowers and thick green grass. That is why on Trinity Day the earth always looks so bedecked and merry, like a name’s day celebrant!”
“The earth’s name’s day!” These extraordinary words sounded so wonderful, that my whole heart was illumined…
In the early morning, the arrival of the Holy Trinity at our village came in the form of the rising sun’s rays, which filled our little room with a delicate radiance. Mother lit the lampada in front of the icons murmuring, “O most Holy Trinity, save us….” Over the earth, which was celebrating its name’s day, the sun spilled its rays in thick and fragrant waves. The church crowned the earth’s name’s day with wondrous words, hymns and long mysterious prayers, during which we stood on our knees, and the floor was covered with flowers and fresh grass. I picked up blades of grass from the floor, rubbed them between my palms and, breathing in their fragrant smell, I sensed with all my heart: how wonderful it is to be alive on the earth’s name’s day!

The Lord grant thee according to thy heart, and all thy purposes fulfill.
~ From 2nd Antiphon at Pentecost

September Yearnings

Image by brigachtal from Pixabay

Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad; let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof. Let the field be joyful, and all that is therein: then shall all the trees of the wood rejoice ~ Psalm 96:11-12

Each September, and like clockwork – I literally ache to travel somewhere… anywhere… if only for a few days.

New destinations are required to be off the beaten track. They must include either deserted peaceful beaches backed by pristine nature, or jaunts to lofty mountains nestled by mysterious woodland streams.

Internal summonings such as these are particularly hard to resist, especially with wild geese flying overhead to distant warmer climes.

Today I’m a bit torn between completing weekend chores or planning an upcoming jaunt. With God’s help, I can do both, and manage to be back in plenty of time to celebrate the wonderful upcoming September Feast Days! [Nativity of the Theotokos (September 21/8) and Exaltation of the Cross (September 27/14)]

We shall see what opportunity God provides. And if not this year, then God willing, maybe a mystery tour next year!

Meanwhile, the end of summer beauty abides close to home. Bees buzz busily on patio flowers, and briny ocean breezes beckon. Joyful birdsong abounds everywhere.

This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvellous in our eyes. This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. ~ Psalm 118: 23-24

These warm, and hazy September days bring my favourite poem to mind. I hope you enjoy it too!

I Meant to Do My Work Today

I meant to do my work today –
But a brown bird sang in the apple tree,
And a butterfly flitted across the field,
And all the leaves were calling me.

And the wind went sighing over the land,
Tossing the grasses to and fro,
And a rainbow held out its shining hand –
So what could I do but laugh and go?

~ Richard Le Gallienne (1866-1947)

This poem is in the public domain.

Bright Greenery

Our Potted Patio Garden Flowers, Herbs, and Veggies Blossom Forth!

As the earth, long awaiting moistening and at last receiving it in abundance, suddenly is covered by tender and bright greenery, so also the heart, exhausted by dryness, and afterwards revived by tears, emits from itself a multitude of spiritual thoughts and feelings, adorned by the common flower of humility.~ St. Ignatius Brianchaninov

If our thoughts are kind, peaceful, and quiet, turned only to the good, then we also influence ourselves and radiate peace all around us – in our family, the whole country, everywhere. This is true not only here on earth, but in the cosmos as well. When we labour in the fields of the Lord, we create harmony. Divine harmony, peace, and quiet spread everywhere.~ Elder Thaddeus of Vitnovica

Be Still

Camellias Bloom by Church Wall

In floral language, the Camellia Japonica is considered a symbol of purity.

I want creation to penetrate you with so much admiration that everywhere, wherever you may be, the least plant may bring to you the clear remembrance of the Creator. If you see the grass of the fields, think of human nature, and remember the comparison of the wise Isaiah. “All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field.” ~ St. Basil the Great

The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever. ~ Isaiah 40:8

Be still, and know that I am God… ~ Psalm 46:10

Silence is the mystery of the age to come. ~ St Isaac of Syria

May your Lenten Journey be quiet, peaceful, and fruitful.

Splendour of Three

Spring, flowers, and sunshine… Brighter days ahead!

No sooner do I conceive of the one than I am illumined by the splendour of the three; no sooner do I distinguish them than I am carried back to the one. When I think of any one of the three I think of him as the whole, and my eyes are filled, and the greater part of what I am thinking escapes me. I cannot grasp the greatness of that one so as to attribute a greater greatness to the rest. When I contemplate the three together, I see but one torch, and cannot divide or measure out the undivided light. ~ St. Gregory the Theologian

How Glorious is God
How great our Lord on high in Zion,
Our mortal tongue cannot convey;
Beneath His throne the stardust flying,
Is one with windswept grasses’ sway.
Throughout the Universe His glory
By day and night is bright and holy.
O Lord, Thy Lamb of golden haloes
Reflects Thy face for our eyes;
With psalter-sounds we send our prayers,
Like smoke from censers, to the skies.
Accept, Lord God, from Thy creation
Incense and songs of adoration.
Thy radiance to us revealing,
Thy love transcends a father’s care;
While feeding us, our ailments healing,
Thou showest us Thy Kingdom fair.
Sweet mercy Thou to sinners sendest –
Their hunger with Thy substance endest.

By M.M Kheraskov (1733-1807); English Translation by Alexander F. Beck

As Showers on the Grass

Freezing Rain Drops Bead Ornamental Grass

Give ear, O ye heavens, and I will speak; and hear, O earth, the words of my mouth. My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distil as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass: Because I will publish the name of the Lord: ascribe ye greatness unto our God. He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he. ~ Deuteronomy 32: 1-4

He shall come down like rain upon the mown grass as the dew that waters the earth. ~ Psalm 72:6

Therefore, if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? ~ St. Matthew 6:30

For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withers, and its flower falls away, but the word of the Lord endures for ever… ~ 1 Peter 1:25-25

Wrapped in Light

Inspiring local sunset accompanied with a natural quartet of peaceful, lapping waves, tangy seabreezes, soft rustling cliff grasses, and the yodeling of gulls flying home to roost for the night.

Bless the Lord, O my soul. O Lord my God, thou art very great; thou art clothed with honour and majesty. Who coverest thyself with light as with a garment: who stretchest out the heavens like a curtain: Who layeth the beams of his chambers in the waters: who maketh the clouds his chariot: who walketh upon the wings of the wind: Who maketh his angels spirits; his ministers a flaming fire: Who laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not be removed for ever. Thou coverest it with the deep as with a garment: the waters stood above the mountains. ~ Psalm 104:1-6

The word inspire comes from Middle English enspire, derived from the Latin inspirare, which means to breathe or blow breath into. Inspire was originally used in the sense of divinity imparting a truth or idea to someone.

Watching the sunset above inspired my soul with a few recollective breaths of memory verse, from Psalm 104.

Echoes of Eden

Arbutus tree and wild golden yarrow flowers overlooking Finlayson Arm, BC. (Old English name for Yarrow was “Our Saviour’s Back.”)

I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth. ~ Psalm 121: 1-2

Let the sea roar, and the fullness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein. Let the rivers clap their hands: let the hills be joyful together before the Lord; for he cometh to judge the earth: with righteousness shall he judge the world, and the people with equity. ~ Psalm 98: 7-9

I want creation to penetrate you with so much admiration that everywhere, wherever you may be, the least plant may bring to you the clear remembrance of the Creator. A single plant, a blade of grass, or one speck of dust is sufficient to occupy all your intelligence in beholding the art with which it has been made. ~ St. Basil the Great

The whole earth is a living icon of the face of God. ~ St. John of Damascus

Some people, to discover God, read books. But there is a great book: the very appearance of created things. Look above you! Look below you! Note it. Read it. God, Whom you want to discover, never wrote that book with ink. Instead, He set before your eyes the things He had made. Can you ask for a louder voice than that? ~ St. Augustine

God speaks to us through nature. We may hear His still, small voice, in the seas, the rivers, the mountains and hills; in refreshing breezes and warm sunshine. Long ago, God placed us in the Garden, to tend it, to dress it, and to keep it. Continuing the privilege of being His stewards of the land, we recognize the immense importance of protecting God’s wondrous Gift of Nature. Sometimes we may receive an unexpected blessing, and folded like petals close beneath our hearts, we are sweetly swathed in the unfading Echoes of Eden.

From creation, learn to admire the Lord! Indeed the magnitude and beauty of creation display a God who is the artificer of the universe. He has made the mode of creation to be our best teacher. ~ St. John Chrysostom

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