The Feast of Mid-Pentecost

For too many of us, perhaps, the weeks following the radiant Feast of the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ are a time of relaxation and even of indulgence; the rigors of the Fast being ended, the body revels while the spirit grows weak. But if this is unfortunately so, it is our own fault and not the fault of the Holy Church; for she never ceases to draw our minds upward and instruct us as to what thoughts and actions are appropriate for Orthodox Christians in this holy season.

Each Sunday after Easter has a special name drawn from the appointed Gospel reading; between Easter and the Ascension there are the Sundays of St. Thomas, of the Myrrh bearers, of the Paralytic, of the Samaritan Woman, of the Blind Man. Another special feast, to which too little attention is usually paid, occurs on the Wednesday of the fourth week after Easter and is called “Mid-Pentecost.” This feast commemorates the event in the life of the Savior when, in the middle of the Old Testament Feast of Tabernacles, He taught in the Temple concerning His being sent from God and concerning the living water of the gifts of the Holy Spirit which all those who thirst may receive from Him (St. John 7:14-39).

As celebrated by Orthodox Christians, this feast occurs exactly midway between Easter and Pentecost and serves as a link between them. It continues the celebration of our Lord’s Resurrection, emphasizing His Divine nature and glory; for it was proper to no one but to God to conquer death. At the same time it reminds us of the approaching Descent of the Holy Spirit and prepares us for it, teaching us to find in Christ our God the Source of life and grace, He Who sends the Holy Spirit (St. John 16:7), and to become ourselves not merely recipients, but even givers of the gifts of the Holy Spirit: “He that believeth on Me, as the Scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water” (St. John 7:38).

Faith has grown weak in our day, and few live up to this teaching: but even for the weakest there is at least one lesson to be learned from the teaching of this feast of Mid-Pentecost: thirst. Even while feasting on the good things of this earth that are permitted to us in this joyful season, we should yet thirst for what lies above the earth, for the Holy Spirit Whose coming we await even while we enjoy the presence among us of the Risen Lord. Thus we sing in the Troparion of the feast:

Troparion of the feast, Tone 8

Having come to the middle of the feast,
refresh my thirsty soul with the streams of piety;
for Thou, O Savior, didst say to all:
Let him who thirsts come to Me and drink.
O Christ our God, Source of Life, glory to Thee.

Hieromonk Seraphim (Rose)
(Euguene Rose, lay sermon) 1965


See also
Seeker of the Truth. In Memory of Hieromonk Seraphim (Rose) Seeker of the Truth. In Memory of Hieromonk Seraphim (Rose)
Archpriest Vladimir Vigilyansky, Archpriest Andrei Tkachev, Hieromonk Symeon (Tomachinsky)
Seeker of the Truth. In Memory of Hieromonk Seraphim (Rose) Seeker of the Truth. In Memory of Hieromonk Seraphim (Rose)
Archpriest Vladimir Vigilyansky, Archpriest Andrei Tkachev, Hieromonk Symeon (Tomachinsky)
Books by Father Seraphim (Rose) played a very important role during the period of my life when I was coming into the Church. When I read during the early 1980s in samizdat Orthodoxy and the Religion of the Future and Signs of the End Times, I was stunned by his ability to connect and place into Christian context the scattered and multi-faceted phenomena of modern times. He taught me that that the history of mankind, indeed the very life of every person is filled with meaning.
About Holy Water About Holy Water
St. John of Shanghai
About Holy Water About Holy Water
St. John of Shanghai
On Theophany, that is, the Day of the Lord's Baptism, every year a great miracle is performed. The Holy Spirit, coming down upon the water, changes its natural properties. It becomes incorrupt, that is it does not spoil, remains transparent and fresh for many years, receives the grace to heal illnesses, to drive away demons and every evil power, to preserve people and their dwellings from every danger, to sanctify various objects whether for church or home use.
The Feast of Mid-Pentecost and the Pentecostarion The Feast of Mid-Pentecost and the Pentecostarion The Feast of Mid-Pentecost and the Pentecostarion The Feast of Mid-Pentecost and the Pentecostarion
The fifty days following Pascha until the Feast of Pentecost are known as the period of the Pentecostarion in the Orthodox Church. At the mid-point between these great feasts of Pascha and Pentecost, on the twenty-fifth day which is always a Wedneday, is one of the most beloved feasts for the most devout Orthodox Christians known quit simply as Mid-Pentecost. Mid-Pentecost is to the Pentecostarion what the Third Sunday of Great Lent which honors the Holy Cross is to the period of Great Lent. It is a day which helps us focus on the central theme of the entire period.
Mary5/31/2024 6:51 am
I’m not sure how Fr. Seraphim Rose (and since he was a legit hieromonk, he should always be addressed as such) has anything to do with Gnosticism. As for onerous confession practices like the Roman Catholics , that’s the Russian church’s doing, and not Fr. Seraphim Rose’s fault!
Patrick5/4/2018 5:51 pm
Gnosticism, while not monolithic, essentially teaches that YHWH is a malevolent creator-god, assisted by demons intent on subjecting humans to enslavement. The Sethian Gnostics taught that this YHWH is the god of the Old Testament and that Jesus was sent by the "God above all gods" into this lower realm to save YHWH's creatures because they bear the divine spark when YHWH breathed life into them. Fr. Seraphim Rose teaches NOTHING like this. NOTHING. To slander someone who has reposed is unchristian, especially by suggesting that they are guilty of teaching heresies. There are those that have read the Philokalia and suffered a mental breakdown. Is it bad too?
Pesv'a Irene Matta MTh 5/8/2015 6:18 am
In the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ Who is Risen, routing Satan and Hades, crushing Death by His Death: we implore you all to flee from the neo-gnostic teachings of this Seraphim Rose which has caused such upheaval in the Faith here in America. "By their fruits ye shall know them"...we have seen the despondency in those who are enslaved under the overbearing requirements for continual "confession" of the smallest details of thoughts lest the demons have some ground to accuse us! Away with such Scribes who lay heavy burdens on God's children! His children follow our God and Savior knowing and trusting in His great mercy and defeat of our enemy and from the bondage to all fear, including fear of death. Please dear fathers in Christ, we implore you to examine these Latinist incursions dating from the times of the Jesuits under Czar Peter. These gnostic myths (dualistic pagan teachings) denying the efficacy of the Resurrection power of the Lord Jesus Christ and simply have no place in our Holy Orthodox Church. We have experienced their dark souls and teachings. May the Lord Jesus Christ deliver us from His enemies !!
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