50 days after Great and Holy Pascha, we celebrate another wonderful feast: the feast of Pentecost. This important feast commemorates the fulfillment of Christ’s promise to his disciples: the descent of the Holy Spirit on them. The apostles were then able to go out into Jerusalem and speak to all the people there about Christ: even though they did not speak the people’s languages! Because of that, this day is often called “the birthday of the Church.” This feast is special for several reasons, including the reaffirmation of the Holy Trinity as an entity and the opportunity that Christians have to be unify the world, “undoing” of the separation of languages that happened at Babel, and beginning the Church.
Here are some resources to help us and our families to learn more about Pentecost:
- In order to teach more about Pentecost to our children, it is important that we understand the feast, ourselves. These articles are very helpful, and full of information about Pentecost. Check them out at http://www.goarch.org/special/listen_learn_share/pentecost/index_html ;http://oca.org/orthodoxy/the-orthodox-faith/worship/the-church-year/pentecost-the-descent-of-the-holy-spirit; and http://holycrossoca.org/newslet/0906.html.
- We can read to our children about the feast. “The Feast of Pentecost” from the 12 Feasts series by Mother Melania, can be found at http://www.orthodoxmarketplace.com/childrens-products/9782888212433-mother-melania-pentecost-the-feast-of-twelve-great-feasts-for-children.html. Or we can listen to Dr. Chrissi Hart read the book at http://www.ancientfaith.com/podcasts/grapevine/readings_from_under_the_grapevine_program_7
- We can study the icon of the feast http://iconreader.wordpress.com/2011/06/14/pentecost-icon-as-an-icon-of-the-church/ or read about it at http://www.ancientfaith.com/podcasts/livingfaith/the_feast_of_pentecost. We can hear Fr. Noah Buschelli’s child-friendly explanation of the icon at http://www.ancientfaith.com/podcasts/letthechildren/pentecost.
- We can find ways to celebrate Pentecost as a family. We can brainstorm together, or glean from others’ celebrations! Here’s a suggestion of a place to start getting ideas for a family celebration of Pentecost: http://charmingthebirdsfromthetrees.blogspot.com/2010/05/celebrating-pentecost-with-children.html.
This feast is celebrated for eight days. Let us find ways during those days to learn with our children more about the Feast of Pentecost, celebrate the Church’s birthday, and live in the reality of the presence of the Holy Trinity in our lives!