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Sunday, May 27, 2012
Pentecost...... Happy Birthday to the Church
Wind, fire and speech being the main theme of today.
'The Vigil of Pentecost is traditionally a day of fasting. This requirement has been done away with in the most recent Code of Canon Law, but many traditional Catholics fast anyway. The Feast itself -- a day also known as "Whitsunday" -- is considered a sort of "birthday" for the Church and marks the beginning of the week known as Whitsuntide. Vestments on Whitsunday are red, but the name "Whitsunday" comes from "White Sunday" because, at one time, those who entered the Church at Easter would once again wear their white robes today.
Pentecost is the second greatest Feast of the liturgical year -- the first being Easter -- and takes place 50 days (7 weeks) after Easter (the earliest possible date for this Feast is 10 May). This day celebrates the coming of the Holy Ghost upon the disciples and Our Lady and, in a sense, the reversal of the story of the Tower of Babel in that the the Apostles were given the gift of tongues by which they could preach and be understood by anyone in any language -- a demonstration of the Church's true catholicity.' From Fisheaters
Moran and Trahaearn's back to back birthdays being the latest over the last few days, I was just so not ready to celebrate this most important day with much enthusiasm at all.
In fact I was exhausted by the thought of putting together another day of food and activities. If you look at our past experiences (this is a fairly typical day for us) you may see why it just wasn't on the agenda for me this year. Even the thought of some of the other activities from our plans just seemed way to much for me to imagine putting into practice.
The children did not even ask about the things we usually do to celebrate Pentecost and this has my thought racing with ideas and the celebration of feast days in general.
I was so thankful we had a balloon pump to blow up all the ones we played with as there were quite a lot.
It was enough to get them thinking on why this day was so important and Myffy was the one who put it so succinctly when I asked her what today was......by saying 'It is the Spirit day'. I think she gets it, which is part of the point of these celebrations in our home.
Of course it did not take her long to work out it could be just as fun to tie them to her bike and ride along with them too.
Some symbolism of this day~ doves, the liturgical color red representing the Holy Ghost, the color white representing the white robes of the Catechumens, red and/or white flowers, lots of greenery to symbolize life (the color green represents hope and life and, in Eastern Churches, the Holy Ghost), fire, the number three representing the Theological Virtues given to us by the Holy Ghost, the number seven representing the Gifts of the Holy Ghost, the number 12 representing the Fruits of the Holy Ghost, etc., -- all of these symbols could be incorporated into the day. The columbine flower (see right) has been used to decorate on Pentecost and its octave. The petals of the flowers are dove-shaped, whence comes its name -- after "columba," the Latin word for "dove."
In medieval times, families in many parts of Europe would suspend a carved and painted wooden dove over their dining table. Such a custom could be easily revived for the throughout the Octave of the Pentecost -- and imagine that dining room table covered with a white tablecloth, sprinkled with red rose petals, and with a vase of columbine at its center.
This beautiful Hymn is so full of the symbolism of today~
Come, Holy Spirit, come
Come, Holy Spirit, come!
And from Thy celestial home
Shed a ray of light divine!
Come Father of the poor!
Come source of all our store!
Come within our bosoms shine!
Thou, of comforters the best;
Thou, the soul's most welcome guest;
Sweet refreshment here below;
In our labor, rest most sweet;
Grateful coolness in the heat,
Solace in the midst of woe.
O most blessed Light divine
Shine within these hearts of Thine.
And our inmost being fill!
Where you are not, man has naught,
Nothing good in deed or thought,
Nothing free from taint of ill.
Heal our wounds, our strength renew;
On our dryness pour Thy dew;
Wash the stains of guilt away:
Bend the stubborn heart and will;
Melt the frozen, warm the chill;
Guide the steps that go astray.
On the faithful who adore
And confess you, evermore
In your sev'nfold gift descend;
Give them virtue's sure reward;
Give them Thy salvation, Lord;
Give them joys that never end.
The Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit~
Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, Fortitude, Knowledge, Piety, Fear of the Lord
The Twelve Fruits of the Holy Spirit~
Charity, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Generosity, Gentleness, Faithfulness, Modesty, Self Control and Chastity.
May the beauty and grace of the Holy Spirit fill you today and always!
Joining in the Link up at Catholic Cuisine
Blessings to you and your homes,