In the Octave of Pentecost

 

Pentacost Octave

Pentacost

 

From Ascension Thursday until Pentecost Sunday, the Apostles were gathered together in the Cenacle. Here they prayed over the nine days between the two great Feasts, giving rise to the first Novena.

It was after this time of prayer that this miraculous event occurred. The Holy Spirit proceeded from the Father and the Son and descended upon the Apostles, with tongues of fire.

*****

For Pentecost Sunday, Roger and I went to Holy Mass in an exquisite little chapel where the Traditional Mass is celebrated.

The Priest wore deep red velvet robes, embossed with gold, with the image of Christ symbolised as the pelican feeding her chicks with her own flesh. It was a sung Mass and all in all was very beautiful.

After Pentecost Sunday, I was prepared for the following days where we would continue to celebrate the descent of the Holy Spirit into the hearts of the Apostles and Our Blessed Lady – into the Heart of the Church, vivifying and bringing Her into birth.

Pentecost has an important link to the Jewish festival commemorating the receiving of God’s Law on Mount Sinai, fifty days after the Passover.

Pentecost echoes this Jewish festival, then, being also fifty days after Our Lord’s Resurrection on Easter night. It has always been a Feast of the highest order. Traditionally, it was known as Red Easter, Easter itself, being white.

As such, it was given upmost importance within the liturgical calendar, being after Easter, the greatest Feast of the liturgical year. It was therefore given an equally privileged octave and vigil.

This octave of Pentecost, is therefore of the greatest importance and until the change of the liturgy in the late nineteen-sixties was most joyously and celebratedly upheld.

Today, with the modern liturgy, we celebrate Sunday of Pentecost and then we are plummeted straight into what is known as Ordinary time.

This powerfully hit me on Monday. After the beautiful Mass mentioned above, I was met with a jolt, when our parish Priest began proceeding to the altar vested in green.

Oh, I realised, tears welling in my eyes, Easter is over and the gifts of the Holy Spirit forgotten.

For, within the traditional Liturgy, each day of the octave of Pentecost focuses on one of the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit – Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, Fortitude, Knowledge, Piety, and the Fear of God.

This not only enables us to receive fully the gifts of the Spirit, it allows us to become familiar with the Third Person of our Godhead. It helps us be more deeply touched by Him, as we enter into time after Pentecost, where the fruits of this Glorious Feast are harvested.

It is so important for us to contemplate these seven gifts of the Holy Spirit in this way. The daily liturgy helps us in our understanding of the Paraclete and how He works in our lives and in the life of the Church.

We are then naturally brought to Holy Trinity Sunday, which leads us gently into time after Pentecost, where the fruits of the Easter mystery work through our Church and in our daily lives.

Prayer of Invocation to the Holy Ghost

Come, O Holy Ghost, to grant me the gift of Wisdom, by which I may know how to direct all my actions to God, as to my last end, so that one day I may see Him in heaven.

Come, O Holy Ghost, grant me the gift of Understanding, by which I may be able to know what is good for my soul, and that Thou dwellest in me by Thy grace.

Come, O Holy Ghost, to grant me the gift of Counsel, by which I may choose in this life all that is good, and turn away quickly from all that may lead me into sin.

Come, O Holy Ghost, to grant me the gift of Fortitude, by which I may be able to overcome all the temptations of the devil, and be loyal to my faith in all the difficulties of my life.

Come, O Holy Ghost, to grant me the gift of Knowledge, by which I may be able to know God better, so as to fulfil more perfectly the object for which I have been made, namely, to love Him.

Come, O Holy Ghost, to grant me the gift of Piety, so that I may be more reverent and fervent in my prayers, at Holy Mass, and in the reception of the Sacraments of Penance and Holy Communion.

Come, O Holy Ghost, to grant me the gift of the Fear of the Lord, by which I may fear to offend Thee by wilful sin, and so endanger my soul to lose Thy Presence in this life and for eternity.

O Holy Spirit, make my soul Thy fit dwelling place. Whatever good I have, comes from Thee who are the Giver of all heavenly gifts. Stay with me always, for I desire to be Thy true child, and a faithful soldier of Jesus Christ. Give me the grace to persevere in doing what is right, and help me to act at all times with patience and charity. Let the angelic virtues of modesty and purity adorn the temple of my soul, since Thou wishest it to be Thine abode; and as Thou didst fill the soul of the Blessed Virgin with immense graces, fill mine also with Thy love.

Amen.

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