Select Page

The Rites and Hymns of Pentecost

As Fr. Tadros explains, “When the Only-begotten Son paid the price ‎for her salvation, He ascended to heaven to prepare a place for her. He sent His ‎Holy Spirit to dwell in her, offering her existence, guidance, sanctification and ‎adornment as the Heavenly Bride. In this feast, the church chants hymns, ‎being joyful with the resurrection of Christ, His ascension and the dwelling of ‎His Holy Spirit in her, thus she connects the three feasts in one whole ‎unity.”‎

The Vespers Raising of Incense follows that of all the major feasts. ‎The only additions to the normal service are the Verses of the Cymbals for the ‎Feast of the Pentecost, the doxologies for the feasts of Resurrection and ‎Pentecost, the joyful psalm and its festal response, the joyful response to the ‎Holy Gospel, and the concluding Canon of the feast.‎

During Morning Raising of Incense (Matins), the same structure as ‎Vespers with the Litanies of the Sick and the Offerings. After the priest prays, Efnoti nai nan (O God have mercy on us), they chant the major hymn of Kyrie Eleison three times and “Ya kol el-sefof,” followed by the normal ‎procession with the special hymns for Pentecost added. ‎

Since the Holy Spirit fell upon the disciples during the third hour, the ‎Liturgy of the Word begins without the conclusion of praying the Third Hour ‎in the Agpeya, immediately following the psalms of the Third Hour. ‎

Then, the Lamb is offered while Kyrie Eleison is chanted 41 times, ‎followed by “Holy, Holy, Holy” and the Offering’s Alleluia hymn (Alle el-‎qorban). The Liturgy continues as usual, with Alleluia: vay be bi, ‎Tai shori and Hiten ni (as was for the Feast of Resurrection and ‎Ascension). The Praxis Response of the Feast of the Pentecost is chanted, ‎followed by the Praxis reading.‎

The reading of the Acts is of special importance on this day, since it ‎describes the history of the day of Pentecost in the greatest detail within the ‎Bible. The tradition of reading this passage dates back to the time of ‎Tertullian.‎ ‎ This tradition still continues in the Greek Orthodox Church as ‎well.‎

The Gospel and Litanies (pieces) of the third hour are prayed after the ‎reading from the Acts of the Apostles.‎ ‎ For after we read of the decent of the ‎Apostles on that day, then we pray for the same blessing and grace bestowed ‎on them through these litanies. After the reading, they chant the Hymn of the ‎Descent of the Holy Spirit, Pi epnevma

The Synexarium is not read on this day, as typical for the Holy Fifty ‎Days. During this time, the Church focuses on the Lord Jesus Christ alone. ‎The rest of the liturgy hymns and prayers continue as it was celebrated in the ‎Feast of the Ascension. During communion, Psalm 150 is chanted in a joyful ‎tune, which is followed by the hymn Acwmen. In the conclusion, the ‎Concluding Canon of the Feast of the Pentecost is chanted.‎

Posted by Fr. Moses Samaan

April 9, 2009