A message from Fr. Chris as we reach the end of Eastertide and enter 'Ordinary Time' once again...
Looking forward to ‘Ordinary Time’ On the 4th of June, we celebrated the Feast of Pentecost. A version of the feast we celebrate today as Pentecost already existed long before the time of Jesus. The word “Pentecost” was the name given to one of three principle feasts celebrated by the people of Israel. For them, the feast of Pentecost occurred 50 days after the Feast of Passover. The word ‘pentecost’ in fact means fifty. The Feast of Passover commemorated the deliverance of the Israelites from oppressive and cruel slavery at the hands of the Egyptians. God delivered his people Israel by protecting them from judgment through the covering of their households with the blood of a lamb that was slain. The Feast of Pentecost was an agricultural festival that began 7 weeks (or 50 days) after the Feast of Passover. This was a time for joy and thanksgiving to God for his blessing and provisions. Christians celebrate Jesus Christ as Passover. He is our Passover because He gave himself, his blood for the forgiveness and remission of our sins so that we might pass from its bondage into the freedom that we find in the promise of a personal relationship with God. Jesus Christ is our Pentecost, the one who baptizes us with the Holy Spirit filling us with joy and thanksgiving.
Pentecost marks the end of the Easter season. The Easter candle, which has been burning since Easter will be set aside and used only if there is a baptism. Next week we continue what is called 'Ordinary Time' which simply means that the joyous feasts have ended, and we go back to reading the Synoptic Gospels and hearing Jesus’s teachings and parables. Ordinary time continues until the Saturday before the First Sunday of Advent.
We look forward over the next couple of weeks to two main events: Trinity Sunday (Sunday 11th June) which celebrates the Christian doctrine of the Trinity, the three Persons of God: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and The Feast of Corpus Christi (Thursday 15th June, when we will hold an evening service at 7:30pm). In the Church of England this feast is also known as the Day of Thanksgiving for the Institution of Holy Communion.