"Christ is Risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and upon those in the tombs bestowing Life."
~ Paschal Troparion
Church and school phone: (617) 787-7625
St Herman of Alaska Christian School
Pentecost: A Mystery Revealed in the Feast
When we celebrate a feast of the Church a door opens to us that increases our appreciation and participation in the spiritual dimension of it also. The fifty days after Pascha are days that offer a new vitality of life in Christ and a platform for a new beginning. The Lord rose, let us also rise from the things that steal our hope and vigor -- despondency and lethargy. The Lord Ascended and delivered our human nature to the right hand of the Father. Let us also ascend with our mind and our attention to the Lord and things above worldly cares.
During this time the Church has directed us not to kneel in Church as a way to remind us that Christ is Risen and life in renewed. We stand upright as sons and daughters of God, free from the heaviness of sin. We were prostrate and kneeling during Lent, remembering that we are prodigals son who returned to the merciful Father. Now our posture is upright proclaims victory proclaiming Christ's mercy and victory. At the the Pentecost “Kneeling” vespers we kneel again to call upon the Holy Spirit to renew us and our parish to serve the Lord with maximum strength and optimism.
“The sending down of the Holy Spirit to earth is so great a gift that it includes everything within it for the Christian. Without the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit we would not even receive the clear knowledge of the actions of the Son of God Himself on earth. Without the co-activity of the Holy Spirit the preaching of the Gospel would not have spread so quickly in the world, due to the many obstacles, insurmountable for the ordinary power of man. Without the life-creating Holy Spirit even the faithful in the name of Jesus Christ would be dead spiritually. We have the Word of God because the Holy Spirit spoke through the prophets and the apostles … Everyone entering into this holy society receives the rebirth into the new spiritual life, because the Holy Spirit, once having been poured out, permanently remains in the Church.” (Bulgakov, Manual for Servers).
For Pentecost it is a custom to fill the Church and our homes with greens and flowers. By this we are reminded of the Spirit Who is the giver of life. There are other Biblical connection that the greens make. When we see greenery we are reminded of the branches of the Oak of Mamre and the hospitality which Abraham and Sara showered on the Three Visitors, the three Lords as they were called, who represented the Trinity, in an Old Testament foreshadowing. Branches also remind us of the branches which were laid down at our Lord’s entry into Jerusalem. And the fresh herbage with its wonderful smells expresses the life-giving Holy Spirit Who brings forth fruit in us. Greens adorning our homes and Church tend to remind us of all this.
The descent of the Holy Spirit is the fulfillment of the Lord's labor and sacrifice. The disciples were glad and filled with power when the Holy Spirit descended on them. If God allows, we also will be blessed at the vigil of Pentecost. the Liturgy and Kneeling vespers, and the Liturgy on Monday.
Service Dates and Times
For service dates and times, please refer to the Calendar page.
Talks from the 2018 Women's Retreat
Fr. Maximos' talks from the 2018 Lenten Women's Retreat (along with a short biography) are now online. Listen to them or download them here.
~ Weekly Schedule ~
"Orthodox Faith and Life" Class (aka Orthodoxy 101): Saturdays at 4pm
Vigil: Saturdays at 5:30pm
Divine Liturgy: Sundays at 9:30am
Open Door Dinner: Mondays at 6pm
Tree of Life Bookstore: Sundays after Church and by appointment
St Herman's School: 8am–3pm Monday–Friday during the school year
Deaf Ministry: Amateur ASL interpreter at most church services
Please see the Monthly Calendar for Feast Days, other services, and events.
~ Clergy ~
Fr. Teodor Anastasoaie
Fr. Dcn. John Williamson
Fr. Dcn. Andrey Sukharev
Fr. Dcn. Tudor Sambeteanu