This Sunday will mark the day of Pentecost

This Sunday will mark the day of Pentecost, known in Armenian as Հոգեգալուստ/Hokekalusd . It is always celebrated on the fiftieth day after Easter Sunday (i.e. Jesus’s Resurrection) when His disciples would have been celebrating the Jewish Festival of Weeks (Shavuot). An important celebration within the Christian calendar and a popular day for baptisms in all denominations and non-denominational Churches alike. The occasion of Pentecost can be found in the book of Acts:

When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability. (Acts 2:1-4)

It is the Holy Spirit who takes centre stage during this event; Հոգեգալուստ/Hokekalusd literally means, ‘the coming of the Spirit’. Pentecost has been viewed as the birth of the Christian Church itself because this was the moment when the Holy Spirit descended upon the Apostles and gave them the ability to speak in many tongues. Jesus had promised that his disciples would “be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now” (Acts 1:5) and thus His divine message was fulfilled. 

Pentecost falls during the Jewish feast of Shavuot and in Judaism it is a time for commemorating the revelation of the Torah to Moses on Mount Sinai. However, the Christian message turns this traditional interpretation on its head in illustrating that it is not by Jewish law (Halakhah) that salvation is possible but through faith in and adherence to Christ.

Pentecost is celebrated solemnly in the Armenian Orthodox Church. During the service a special prayer of Adoration to the Holy Trinity, on the Feast of Pentecost by St. John of Chrysostom, is recited. According to tradition, those within the congregation receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit during baptism by the anointing of Holy Myron. As the prayer reads: “to the Father with our nature, at the fulfilment of all good things and at the completion of all the mysteries, he sent you, the Renewer, the life-giving Holy Spirit, as the Comforter [Jn 14:16, 26] for those in sorrow. You, O inaccessible One, came down, God from God the Father, and came into the upper room from heaven, and filled with ineffable joy and grace your chosen ones, whom you sent as a proclamation of the Word of life throughout the entire earth. They filled the universe with your full knowledge, Lord, and introduced the whole world to the one Godhead, abolishing the worship of useless idols. Through the holy font they gave birth to the Gentiles, for adoption by the heavenly Father, and they made them all worshippers of the all-Holy Trinity”. Please click here to read the full text of the prayer. (Source:https://armenianchurchmusic.org/ )