A daily study of the Network’s diverse faiths
The Apodosis of Holy Pentecost. The six-day Afterfeast of the Christian Orthodox Churches Sunday 20 June Great Feast of Holy Pentecost ends on the following Saturday, at the end of the fast-free week following Holy Pentecost. There is an Afterfeast for each major Feast on the Church calendar, a period of extended celebration for the Church to give an opportunity to celebrate the beauty of the Feast, particularly with the Apodosis (ἀπόδοσις, отдание, leavetaking, conclusion) celebrated on the final day. In the Church, the leavetaking has most elements of the festal services of the Feast. The Octave of a Feast is similar in the Western rite but in the Orthodox Church the period, as in the present case, may not be eight days. Holy Pentecost is often seen as the birthday of the Church, since it is when the Disciples of Jesus first proclaimed the Gospel after the Holy Spirit descended on them on the eighth Sunday, the fiftieth day, after the 2 May Great and Holy Feast of Pascha (Easter), the descent of the Holy Spirit completing the Trinity of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, the basis of Christian theology. On Pentecost, grace is rained down on parched souls and bodies so that they may be fruitful: “If any man thirst, let him come unto Me and drink”. The Sunday 27 June Feast of All Saints is for those who partook of the waters of piety and harvested the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Image: goarch.org.
Prayer Blessed are You, O Christ our God, who made fishermen all-wise, sending upon them the Holy Spirit and, through them, netting the world. O Loving One, glory to You. When the Most High came down and confounded the tongues of men at the Tower of Babel with the multiplicity of languages, He divided the Nations but when He dispensed the Tongues of Fire, He called all to unity and with one voice we glorify the Most Holy Spirit. Amen
Blessed Raymond Llull TOSF (c1235-1315). Franciscan Feast Day commemorating death of Mallorcan Western Medieval philosophical scholar who dedicated his life to working for the conversion of the Muslims in North Africa. He became a Secular Franciscan and founded a college where missionaries could learn the Arabic they would need in the missions. Retiring to solitude, he spent nine years as a hermit. During that time he wrote on all branches of knowledge and earned the title of Enlightened Doctor (Doctor Illuminatus). Raymond travelled throughout Europe to interest Popes, Kings and Princes in establishing special colleges to prepare future missionaries. He achieved his goal in 1311, when the Council of Vienne ordered the creation of chairs of Hebrew, Arabic and Chaldean at the universities of Bologna, Oxford, Paris and Salamanca. In 1314, at the age of 79, Raymond went to North Africa to be a missionary himself. An angry crowd of Muslims stoned him in the city of Bougie (Béjaïa) and Genoese merchants took him back to Mallorca, where he died. Three hundred years later, Raymond’s work began to have an influence in the Americas when the Spanish set up missionary colleges to aid the work of spreading the gospel in the New World. Venerated in Roman Catholic Church (Third Order of St. Francis). Liturgical Feast Day 30 June. Image: monskop.org.
Jeremiah, Prophet of Judgment and of Hope. Lutheran Commemoration of one of the major prophets of the Bible in the Sixth Century BCE, his life and sayings being collected in the biblical book that bears his name. His prophecies, amongst the most stark and pessimistic in biblical literature, were aimed to be a rebuke to Jews who had surrendered to idolatry and depravity. The English word jeremiad (complaint, lamentation) is a derivation of the prophet’s name. Jeremiah’s tragic message is conveyed by both his prophecies and the account of Jerusalem’s destruction, but he also gives his people hope with promises that returning to God shall lead to divine blessings and that God will ultimately honour his covenant with the Jewish people. The later chapters of the Book of Jeremiah reiterate God’s promise to redeem the people of Israel and restore them to their ancient land. Jeremiah lived at a time of deep upheaval in Jewish history, most significantly the destruction of the First Temple in 586 BCE, recounted in the Book of Lamentations and read on the fast day of the 18 July Tisha B’av Jewish day of disasters, and the exile of the Jewish people to Babylonia. Much of the Book of Jeremiah is a lengthy tirade against the people for their faithlessness, with ominous warnings of the destruction to come if they did not mend their ways. Jeremiah being scorned by the people to whom he preached, arrested, beaten and left in a pit. King Zedekiah, the last ruler of Judah, had him imprisoned for warning of the fall of Jerusalem and eventually Jeremiah was exiled to Egypt, where he died. Image: loandbeholdbible.com.