News from San Antonio Church – May 23, 2021

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Weekly Bulletin May 23, 2021

by Terrie Evans

On this Sunday we honor the feast of the Pentecost, known as Whitsunday in Ireland and in the United Kingdom.  In the Roman Catholic Church, the Easter Season is now  over and the Paschal Candle will be removed from the  Sanctuary  after Mass today.  Celebrated on the 50th day from Easter Sunday to commemorate the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles and followers of Jesus Christ while  in Jerusalem for the Feast of Weeks.  The name Pentecost comes from the Greek Pentekoste which means 50 and it also refers to the Jewish Festival, the Feast of Weeks.  As stated in the Scriptures (Acts 2:3), the color red on the Altar  symbolizes joy and the fire of the Holy Spirit to remind us of the flames that appeared above the heads of the Disciples.  It is one of the great feasts of the Eastern Orthodox churches and a solemnity in the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church with Christian denominations  holding special liturgies on this day. The importance of Pentecost is shown  in the 3rd of the Glorious Mysteries of the Holy Rosary and is one of the stations of the Resurrection. 

Pentecost is still considered one of the greatest celebrations of the year in Germany and Romania.  In France, trumpets will be blown during services to recall the wind that accompanied the Descent of the Holy Spirit and in Italy, rose petals will fall from the ceilings of churches to recall the miracle of the fiery tongues on Pasqua Rosatum a tradition that started around 607 AD.  European churches built during the middle Ages were fitted with a Holy Ghost Hole, a small opening  in the roof for the entrance of the Holy Spirit to enter.  On Pentecost, a figure of a dove decorated with flowers would be lowered into the church while the narrative of the Pentecost was read.   In all denominations, Pentecost is seen as an opportunity to honor the role of the Holy Spirit in our lives and a way to celebrate the church.  On this day, special services, confirmations and the welcoming of the joyous season of  Spring is celebrated.  Red banners are hung is some churches to symbolize the movement of the mighty wind and the coming of the Holy Spirit and in some congregations, red handkerchiefs are handed out to be waved during their procession.   

There are many legends regarding Pentecost.  It is said that King Arthur always gathered his Knights at the round table for a feast and quest on Pentecost.  And every year an old German proverb is repeated, “ripe strawberries at Pentecost means a good wine crop”.  There is also a short film from Ireland called Pentecost about an 11 year old Altar boy.  The 2011 film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film.  It can be viewed by going to the Hamilton County Library website –  https://cincinnatilibrary.org/ .  Enter your search for the film Pentecost and follow the direction to view the film – https://cincinnatilibrary.kanopy.com/login?destination=node%2F1088007 . You can also go to Kanopy.com – https://www.kanopy.com/ and it will show you how to watch films through your library.

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