May, 2015 Page 1


Happy Easter!!! Alleluia! Christ is Risen! Alleluia!  There are no more joyous or powerful words in all creation. Many thanks to all those who participated and contributed so much time and energy to make all our Holy Week and Easter Day services such a meaningful and enriching time in our life in Christ. Now, as we wend our way through the Great Fifty Days of Easter, also called Eastertide, we approach two celebrations in our life of the Church.  On Sunday, May 10th, we will celebrate the Feast of the  Ascension (May 14) which is the transfer date for our patron namesake.  This is also Mother's Day.   The liturgical color for the day is white.  Forty days after the Resurrection, Christ appeared to his disciples one last time and then ascended into heaven.  Before he ascended, he assured them that he would not leave them abandoned, but would send the Holy Spirit to dwell in each of them.  But first, they had to wait ten days.

Then, fifty days after the Resurrection, his promise was fulfilled with the arrival of the Holy Spirit on the Feast of Pentecost.  The Greek word for Pentecost means "the fiftieth day." As the disciples gathered together, the Holy Spirit rushed into the room with a great gust of wind and something like "tongues of fire" descended upon each of them, setting their hearts and minds on fire.  They rushed out into the marketplace and began to proclaim the Good News of God's love to the world, being understood by people of all different languages.  Three thousand converts were baptized that day.

We celebrate Pentecost because it is the beginning of the Holy Spirit's indwelling in the followers of Christ, and it continues today as one of our Baptismal Feast Days in which we do baptisms or if we don't have any candidates for baptism, we renew our own baptismal vows.  Consequently, Pentecost is also known as  "Whitsunday" or White Sunday in reference to the white clothing worn by those who were baptized that day.  However, the liturgical color for the day is red, symbolizing both the biblical reference of "wind and flames" that came down from heaven as the Holy Spirit.  The other reason that we celebrate Pentecost is because it is the "birthday" of the Church.  It was on that day that the followers of Christ empowered by the Holy Spirit became a new entity--the Church.  I invite all of us to wear red that day to remind us of the tongues of flames that descended on them, as well as burned in our hearts and minds.

On the first Sunday after Pentecost, which is the last Sunday of May this year, we celebrate the Holy Trinity. Unlike other feasts in the church's liturgical calendar, Trinity Sunday centers on a doctrine rather than an event. It celebrates the unfathomable mystery of God's being as the Holy Trinity. It's a day of adoration and praise of the one , eternal and incomprehensible Triune God, (three persons in one God)-- the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. By the power of the Holy Spirit, Christians accept this incomprehensible mystery as a fundamental article of faith as proclaimed in the Apostle's Creed and the Nicene Creed. Since faith comes through the work of the Holy Spirit, it is appropriate that this glorious mystery is celebrated on the first Sunday after Pentecost. The liturgical color for Trinity Sunday is white, which represents the holiness and perfection of God.

May God bless all of you through the remainder of the season of Easter.

In Christ's love,