The Feast of Mid-Pentecost

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On Wednesday of the fourth week after Pascha, we celebrate the Feast of Mid-Pentecost. This day unites two great feasts—Pascha and Pentecost. On this day we remember how, on the mid-feast of the Jewish Sukkot (the feast of Tabernacles), the Lord entered the Jerusalem Temple (Jn. 7), and revealed the teaching about Himself as the Messiah, after which He called out, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink (Jn. 7:37). In the hymns of Mid-Pentecost we now glorify the Resurrection of Christ, now are reminded of the coming feast of Pentecost, when the Risen Lord sent down the Holy Spirit upon His disciples. In the image of this water, which the Lord offers all who thirst to drink, is this very grace of the Holy Spirit, which abundantly waters and quenches the thirst of those who believe in Christ as the Messiah and Redeemer of the world. On the day of Mid-Pentecost we serve Great Vespers with the Old Testament readings—the Paremeia, but we read the ordinary Kathisma instead of “Blessed is the man”. We sing the troparion: Having come to the middle of the feast, refresh my thirsting soul with the streams of piety. For Thou, O Savior, didst cry to all, whoever thirsts, come to Me and drink! O Christ God, Source of Life, glory be to Thee!

There is no Polyeleos at Matins, only the Great Doxology. The Katavasia on the day of the feast and on the leave-taking of the feast is not the Paschal one, but, “Thou Who didst turn the waters of the sea into dry land.” At the Matins and Liturgy, instead of “More honorable than the Cherubim” and “It is truly meet”, we sing the irmos: “Virginity is alien to motherhood…” On the feast day itself, we have a cross procession to the wells, and a lesser blessing of the waters. Mid-Pentecost is celebrated for eight days and its Apodosis is on Wednesday of the fifth week. At the Apodosis we also sing, “Virginity is alien to motherhood…” instead of “It is truly Meet”. There is no forefeast for Mid-Pentecost.

Archbishop Averky (Taushev)
Translation by


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