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

Happy 3rd Day of the Holy Spirit!

Image by Joe from Pixabay

As Children of Light, may we (with purpose and gratitude) strive to reflect the Holy Trinity’s Joyous, Gladsome Light- on all whom we meet today – and every day… The Three in One and One in Three!

The Holy Spirit has always been, is now and ever shall be, having neither beginning nor end, but one with the Father and the Son: life and life giving; goodness itself and source of goodness, through Whom the Father is made known and the Son is glorified, and is known by all: one power, one unity, one worship, of the Holy Trinity. ~ Pentecost Vespers

I praise the Godhead, unity in three persons, for the Father is light, the Son is light, and the Spirit is light; but the light remains undivided, shining forth in oneness of nature; yet in the three rays of the persons! ~ Matins, Sunday of the Cross

Come, O ye people, let us worship the Godhead in Three Hypostasis: the Son in the Father, with the Holy Spirit; for the Father timelessly begat the Son Who is Co-eternal and Equal in Majesty, and the Holy Spirit was in the Father, glorified together with the Son; One Might, One Essence, One Godhead. In worshipping Whom let us all say: O Holy God, Who madest all things by the Son, through the cooperation of the Holy Spirit; Holy Mighty, through Whom we have known the Father, and through Whom the Holy Spirit came into the world; Holy Immortal, the Comforting Spirit, Who proceedest from the Father, and restest in the Son: O Holy Trinity, glory be to Thee. ~ Dogmaticon of Great Vespers of Pentecost

Sung by the GG’s

When asked to explain the mystery of the Holy Trinity in a simple manner, 5th century St. Patrick of Ireland used a tiny shamrock (a low growing plant of the clover family) with its three lobed leaves on a single stem, to demonstrate how God the Father- God the Son- and God the Holy Spirit are the Holy Trinity; Three in One, One in Three… Undivided. St. Patrick wrote many hymns. Above is an excerpt from a beautiful, longer hymn. “I bind unto myself today, the Strong Name of the Trinity! By Invocation of the same, the Three in One, and One in Three!” 

May your fast-free week of the Afterfeast be peaceful and fruitful!

Apple Blossoms

Apple Blossom Scripture Art created by Juliana

Christ is Risen!

Happy Saint’s Day Irena! May God grant you many years!

Today is also the annual feast of the Wonderworking Icon of the Inexhaustible Cup (Chalice). The Icon’s Akathist to the Theotokos for help with the struggle of various addictions is here.

Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of thy wings.~ Psalm 17:8

He found him in a desert land, and in the waste howling wilderness; he led him about, he instructed him, he kept him as the apple of his eye. ~ Deuteronomy 32:10

Keep my commandments, and live; and my law as the apple of thine eye.~ Proverbs 7:2

The expression of being the apple of one’s eye comes from the Old Testament, and is translated from Hebrew as little man of his eye… the reflection one sees in the eye of another. In early English translations of the Bible, the phrase appears as apple of his eye. This is derived from the Old English word aeppel, meaning either apple and/or an eye’s pupil. The phrase developed into apple of one’s eye, retaining the original meaning of something being both highly cherished and greatly treasured.

May we blossom forth and wax fruitfully in Christ!

Truly He is Risen!

In the Form of a Dove

Beautiful Dome Painting on round canvas, by Marie Proe ~ Niagara Falls, New York

January 19/6

Greetings on Holy Theophany!

Christ is Baptised! In the Jordan!

Today’s Great Feast commemorates the baptism of Jesus Christ in the Jordan River by St. John the Baptist. Today the Heavens are opened. Today the Holy Spirit descends in the form of a dove. Today God the Father’s Voice from heaven declares Jesus Christ is His beloved Son. Today the Illuminating Light and Mystery of the Holy Trinity appears to the inhabited earth!

May blessings abound
With God’s gracious Love,
So let our hearts soar
On wings like a dove!

Good Day and Good Feast to you!

Epiphany Carol from Patmos, Greece.

Inexpressible Wonder

Our Garden’s Rosa Tropicana (Warm Coral) & English Lavender

It’s been said we may catch glimpses of the Holy Trinity’s Mystery more readily through the temple of our hearts, rather than by using our ineffective, logical minds. Beholding the beauty of God’s Creation – whether in the garden, or a child’s smile, quite simply takes my breath away. When our Heavenly Father already gives us countless aesthetic blessings to delight in, one can’t help but wonder… if this is just earth… how much more beauteous will our Heavenly Home be?! Amen!

You see the Trinity if you see love. ~ Blessed Augustine

Master how could I describe the vision of Your Face? How could I ever speak of the ineffable contemplation of Your Beauty? How could mere words contain One Whom the World could never contain? . . . suddenly You appeared from on high, shining greater than the Sun itself, shining brilliantly from the heavens down into my heart .. . . . What intoxication of the Light! What swirlings of fire! ~ St. Symeon the Theologian hymn

One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life to behold the beauty of the LORD and to enquire in his temple. ~ Psalm 27:4

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

March 30/17

I just received this joyful golden Lenten Lily (Daffodil) photo from a dear (anonymous) friend this morning, along with beautiful heart-warming greetings, which I’m allowed to share.

May you be Protected and Inspired by Real Gold – God’s Promises, and the Mystical Enlightenment of St. Patrick – today and always.

Another friend has sent me this about St. Patrick, written by the 7th century monk Muirchú from the Royal Irish Academy.

Today, St. Patrick’s Day March 30/17 (Julian), is also the second anniversary of the beginning of my Blisswood “Posts” section.

Thank you so much for visiting!

Through the holy prayers of St. Patrick may this day of your Lenten Journey, be particularly peaceful and fruitful.

With love in Christ.

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

With One Mind

The 3 casements on this ancient church wall in Turkey (2004), inspired construction of the 3 eastern facing windows in our own parish altar.

The Creed belongs only to those who live it. Faith and love, theology and life, are inseparable. In the Byzantine Liturgy, the Creed is introduced with the words, ‘Let us love one another, that with one mind we may confess father, Son, and Holy Spirit, Trinity one in essence and undivided.’ This exactly expresses the Orthodox attitude to Tradition. If we do not love one another, we cannot love God; and if we do not love God, we cannot make a true confession of faith and cannot enter into the inner spirit of Tradition, for there is no other way of knowing God than to love Him. ~ Kallistos Ware (The Orthodox Church)

Pentecost Greetings

Icon of the Holy Trinity St. Sophia Orthodox Church, Canada

Greetings on Great and Holy Pentecost!

Fifty days after Great and Holy Pascha, we celebrate the wonderful, joyful Great Feast of Pentecost. This important day commemorates the fulfillment of Christ’s promise to his disciples and the descent of the Holy Spirit upon them, and later…. on us. This day is often called the birthday of the Church. The disciples were gathered in prayer at Jerusalem, waiting as Christ had commanded… when a mighty wind was heard, and tongues of fire appeared over their heads. A multilingual crowd heard the disciples preaching about Christ… miraculously speaking to the multitudes in their various native languages.

Preparing for Pentecost, people clean and decorate their homes and icon corners with herbs and green tree branches, that symbolize rebirth of all life through the Holy Spirit.

Today Churches are decorated with flowers, and greenery. Fresh grasses and herbs are strewn on the floors. Everything is vibrant. Small floral bouquets are often held by the faithful at the Liturgy. Sometimes people take the flowers they held at church and afterwards place them in their home’s icon corner, or to the grave of a loved one, or give them to someone who is sick, or elderly.

The Holy Spirit is is the Giver of Life, and clergy wear green vestments in honour of the Holy Spirit. Parishioners also wear green or white in celebration.

It is also said to be traditionally (with a small “t”) windy at Pentecost, to remind us of Holy Spirit.

Today is the first of the Three Days of the Holy Spirit.

May you find and enjoy a delightful, refreshing breeze today!

The Holy Spirit is life and life, the noetic Source of life – the Spirit of wisdom, the Spirit of understanding, good upright, noetic, possessing dominion, cleansing transgressions: God and deifying, Fire and transcending fire, speaking, acting, distributing gifts, by Whom all the prophets and divine apostles and martyrs have been crowned. Strange is the report, strange is the sight – fire distributed in the bestowal of gifts. The Holy Spirit has always been, is now and ever shall be, having neither beginning nor end, but one with the Father and the Son: life and life giving; goodness itself and source of goodness, through Whom the Father is made known and the Son is glorified, and is known by all: one power, one unity, one worship, of the Holy Trinity. ~ Matins at Pentecost Vigil

…The closer we approach God, the closer we approach each other, just as the closer rays of light are to each other, the closer they are to the Sun. In the coming Kingdom of God there will be unity, mutual love and concord. The Holy Trinity remains eternally unchanging, all-perfect, united in essence and indivisible... The One, Indivisible Trinity ever remains the Trinity. The Father always remains the Father, the Son remains the Son, the Holy Spirit remains the Holy Spirit. Besides Their personal Properties, They all share all in common and in Unity. That is why the Holy Trinity is One God. ~ St. John Maximovitch of Shanghai and San Francisco

Theophany Greetings!

The Feast of the Theophany of Our Lord Jesus Christ is celebrated January 19/6. After Pascha and Pentecost, this is the next greatest Feast Day of the Orthodox Church.

Theophany means Manifestation of God, as Jesus Christ is God the Word, Incarnate.

When our Lord Jesus Christ is baptized by John in the River Jordan, Christ comes up from the water, the heavens open, and the Spirit of God descends like a dove upon Him. God’s voice from heaven proclaims, “This is My beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased.” The Holy Trinity is revealed. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit shine forth...

In the Gospel of St. Matthew, chapter 3, verses 1-6, and 11; and verses 13-17, we stand on the banks of the River Jordan and watch this miracle occur.

In the Gospel of St. John, chapter 1: verses 32-34, we see St. John the Baptist bearing witness that Christ is the Son of God.

Theophany reminds us of our own Baptism, for “As many as have been baptized into Christ, have put on Christ, Alleluia!” In the waters of Baptism, we are washed clean from our old life, and we put on the new life in Jesus Christ.

Today is also the Blessing of the Waters.

The feature picture reminds me of a family hike around some back lakes, many years ago on Theophany. Music from the service remained with me… in particular… “The Voice of the Lord is upon the waters, the God of Glory thundered, the Lord is upon many waters.” Upon rounding a bend in the trail, we encountered the lake shrouded in a blanket of dense mist. A sudden shaft of sunlight pierced through illuminating everything. The swirling fog dissolved as if blown away by a great breath. This exquisite memory remains close to my heart. Each year when hearing said phrase at service, for a moment, I return to that peaceful place.

I believe all bodies of water are particularly blessed with a special beauty upon this feast day! 

Troparion of the Feast (Tone 1)

When Thou, O Lord, wast baptised in the Jordan, the worship of the Trinity was made manifest! For the voice of the Father bare witness unto Thee, calling Thee His beloved Son! And the Spirit, in the form of a dove, confirmed His word as steadfast and sure. O Christ our God, Who hast appeared and enlightened the world, glory to Thee!

Kontakion of the Feast (Tone 4)

Thou hast appeared today to the inhabited earth, and Thy Light, O Lord, hath been signed upon us, who hymn Thee with understanding: Thou hast come, Thou hast appeared, O Light Unapproachable!

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