Sunday, June 29, 2008

Pentecost in Jerusalem.

According to the Julian Calendar, Pentecost Sunday fell on June 15th this year. Having already celebrated the feast under the stipulation of the Gregorian Calendar on May 11th, I took advantage of the opportunity to observe the Greek Orthodox celebration of Pentecost at the Church of the Anastasis - or, as it's known in the Latin West, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. This set of photos captures several elements of the celebration, from the procession around the Tomb of Christ to the kneeling prayers of Vespers to the procession of clergy outside the church after the liturgy (the procession, which included most of the lay faithful present, made its way to the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate nearby).

For those who may be curious, the hierarch in the center of the sixth photo is the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem, Theophilos III, whose name I can't write without thinking of the opening words of Acts: "In my first book, Theophilus . . ." Appropriately for Pentecost, the liturgy was international in character: the Orthodox pilgrims present came from around the world (with Slavs being especially numerous) and there were readings in Arabic and Russian as well as in Greek. There is something special about celebrating Pentecost in Jerusalem, and I suspect that I'll always remember my experience of the feast in the holy city. AMDG.


At 10/28/2009 2:42 PM, Blogger Music Musings said...

Those are beautiful pictures...thanks for sharing. I am sure that experience is something you'll always remember.


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