Thursday, May 28, 2009


I hope you all have a glorious Ascension Day feast today!

I am putting up a Pentecost post a bit early in order to participate in an Anglican friend's liturgical blog carnival over at Homemaking Through the Church Year. Be sure to participate too!

This year, Pentecost falls on Sunday, June 7th for the Orthodox Church. It is celebrated every year 50 days after Pascha. On this day we commemorate the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the apostles. This event occurred on a Jewish feast called Pentecost and is seen as fulfilling the revelation of the Trinity.

We will be throwing a birthday party for the church this year, complete with special festal decorations and gifts 'of the Holy Spirit'.

For the decorations:
  • Greenery: The Eastern Rite Orthodox Liturgical colors for Pentecost are green, the symbolic color of the Holy Spirit, life and the wood of the cross(Western churches wear red on Pentecost). It is an old custom to decorate the churches (and homes) with lots and lots of greenery.
  • Dove Mobile: In some Catholic churches, a dove (real or a model) would literally be lowered down as trumpets sounded or choirs mimicked the sound of rustling wind, and as the dove descended, red rose petals would be strewn to symbolize the tongues of flame. So make a Dove Mobile with kids! We will be making one and I will document the event with instructions, but for now, why not look here and here or here for some inspiration.
Party Time-complete with cake and presents!
  • Fruits of the Holy Spirit Cake....: Don't forget the birthday cake!!! Use fruit filling or bake a fruit pie to represent the fruits of the Holy Spirit. Read the story of Pentecost in Acts prior to cutting the cake and sing "God grant you many years" to the church.
  • ....and presents: Finally, no birthday party is complete without presents. But these presents have a special twist. Give your children tiny gifts to symbolize the fruits of the Holy Spirit. I would suggest picking one fruit (or two) each year to focus on. For example, you might pick 'Generosity' and give your children little packets with things to give to a homeless person (like a hygiene kit). Or you might, for older children, choose self-control. Give them a favorite candy and if they can manage not to eat it for a week, then tell them they will get another candy. The gifts can be more light-hearted and fun too! You might give your child a gift and explain that it is for a kindness they performed earlier in the week, or for their patience during a certain event. Regardless, use this as an opportunity to explain some of the virtues/fruits of the Holy Spirit.
Happy Feasting!

1 comment:

The Clearys said...

Thanks for your suggestions! Our daughter's Godparents are having a Pentecost Party after church on Sunday and now I have a few great ideas on how to celebrate with them!