This month after the excitement of Easter we reach new heights as we mark Pentecost, the coming of the Holy Spirit among the apostles and followers of Jesus. Celebrated 50 days after Easter (including the day of Easter itself), the name of the Feast comes from the Greek Pentēkostē, which literally means “the 50th day.”
The events of the day are foretold by Jesus in the first chapter of the Acts of the Apostles, just before his Ascension. While his followers were with the risen Christ, he tells them, “John baptised with water, but you will be baptised with the Holy Spirit not many days from now” (Acts 1:5, NRSV). He goes on to say to them, “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8). The followers would not wait long for the promised Spirit. The author of Acts, traditionally believed to be St Luke, recounts: “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. Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem. And at this sound the crowd gathered and was bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in the native language of each” (Acts 2:1-6). We celebrate Pentecost as the inauguration of the Church’s mission in the world. Empowered by the gift of the Holy Spirit, we are to go out into our neighbourhoods and the wider world, to Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, Marylebone and to the ends of the earth—witnessing to the risen Christ. God give us the courage so to do.
There are two other major Feasts in June. The first being Corpus Christi, which we shall observe on Sunday 23rd June at which Fr Simon will preach. The festival of Corpus Christi celebrates the Eucharist as the body of Christ. This jubilant festival is celebrated by Christians to proclaim the truth of the Mass in which by faith we receive the body and blood of Christ during Mass.
Then on the 28th we will observe a Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. This is one of the most widely practiced and well-known devotions, taking Jesus' physical heart as the representation of his divine love for humanity. The devotion especially emphasises the unmitigated love, compassion, and long-suffering of the heart of Christ towards humanity. Mass will be said at 6pm, please join us!
Fr Gerald and I would like you to join us for drinks on the 25th. We want to tell you about our plans for St Cyp's and we also want to speak with you about our perilous financial state. Please join us at Wyndham St at 7pm. For further detail please call the Parish Office.
You may also be interested to know about a performance of 'The Dream of Gerontius' at Southwark Cathedral on the 22nd June. The combined choirs of Arcabus, the Barnes Choir and Epsom Choral Society will be led by our very own director of Music, Julian Collings, the organist will be our occasional organist, Peter Jaekel. Admission is £20 & £15 (+usual concessions) and may be booked at www.gerontius.org.uk
Our neighbours down the road St Matthew's Church are hosting the Westminster Festival of Liturgy and music form Thursday 13th - Sunday 16th June. The inaugural festival of liturgy and music: Intimations of Glory! Events and services will be held at Westminster Abbey, Westminster Cathedral, St Mary le Strand and St Matthew's Westminster. Further details may be found at www.stmw.org/festival.html