St. John The Divine Orthodox Church Welcomes You!
Faces of St. John The Divine
A Note From Fr. Constantine
The church celebrated Pentecost for Pentecost is the Church’s birthday! We chant “Who is so great a God as our God? You are the God who alone performs wonders.” Every year I look forward to hearing these uplifting prayers while I listen to the wonders of God.
‘On this day of the feast of Pentecost, You have revealed to us the mystery of the Holy Trinity, one in essence, coeternal, undivided and yet distinct. Through the descent of your Holy and Life-Giving Spirit in the form of tongues of fire, You poured out faith upon your apostles and made them witnesses and teachers of the Word of God.’
In this prayer, we hear how the Holy Spirit appeared as tongues of fire. Too often, He is typecast as a gentle dove; I like to remember that the Holy Spirit also appears as fire and is as powerful as the wind. The prayers to the Holy Spirit ask that He enlighten us as He did the Apostles:
‘O Splendour of the Father, Image of his essence, of his immutable and unchangeable nature, Fountain of Wisdom and Grace: enlighten the intelligence of a poor sinner. Teach me how and for whom to pray, oh, teach me, for You know how great a sinner I am: your love will overcome the enormity of my sins’
‘Guide my life along your ways. Show me the road that I must walk; grant wisdom to my soul and understanding to my ignorance; cover my deeds with the spirit of fear; Let your Spirit support my stumbling mind, that I may be made worthy to do as You will, and accomplish whatever is good for my salvation.’
‘Let me be constantly aware of your presence and of your future coming in glory, protect me against the corrupting pleasures of the world and strengthen me in the hope of the treasures to come, O Master, for You said: “Whatever you ask in my name, you shall receive from God the Father” who is from all eternity.’
‘Wherefore on this day of the descent of the Holy Spirit, I, a poor sinner, cast myself down before your goodness: grant me whatever is good for my salvation.’
These prayers remind us that the Trinity is involved with our salvation and not just the Son Jesus Christ.
‘There is, therefore, O Lord, no death unto Thy servants, when we go forth from the body and come unto Thee, our God, but a change from things most sorrowful unto things most beneficial and most sweet, and rest and joy.’
The prayers end with an ever-lasting expectation of salvation; the trampling down death by death is made vivid and the fear of death is abolished! No wonder I, like many others, look forward to hearing these prayers!