Weekly News – Pentecost-Trinity

Dear brothers and sisters,

S prazdnikom! Greetings for the feast of Pentecost-Trinity, and heartfelt thanks for those who worked to make our celebration in Cardiff such a wonderful and joyful occasion.

The abundance of flowers and greenery, made church feel very festive, and we are indebted to our sisters for their hard work in ensuring that everyone had flowers to hold during vespers, and also to those who brought birch and other greenery. It was wonderful to see people so happy and buoyant, despite the long services. Thanks also to Georgina, who – in addition to the new analoy covers – has made coloured top cloths in the various liturgical colours of the Church’s year, with green ones matching our vestments, today.

Having both Olga and Edmund on the kliros brought confidence to our singers, and having Hierodeacon Avraamy back from his summer vacation was timely, with his soaring voice adding greatly to the feast, especially with those wonderful words of the Great Prokeimenon: “Who so great a god as our God? Thou art the God Who workest wonders!”

As I observed in the homily, the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the disciples in the upper room, was only the beginning of Pentecost in the Church, and the ongoing operation of the Holy Spirit in its life – especially in the Holy Mysteries – is the ongoing indwelling of the Holy Spirit and the continuation of the events of the birthday of the Church, with the sound of rushing wind and the tongues of fire resting upon the holy apostles.

In the aposticha of vespers, we heard –

“Now, the comforting Spirit hath been poured on all flesh; for, starting with the rank of the Apostles, He extended grace through the communion of believers, certifying His effective presence by the distribution of tongues to the Disciples in fiery likeness for the praise and glory of God. Wherefore, being noetically illumined with them and confirmed in the steadfast Faith, we beseech the Holy Spirit to save our souls.”

The pouring forth of the Holy Spirit started with the rank of the Apostles, but subsequently continues in each generation of the Church, and the whole communion of believers. By our baptism and chrismation, by our restoration in confession, by the spiritual food of the Saviour’s Body and Blood, and through each and all of the Holy Mysteries, we receive that noetic illumination and confirmation of Faith, and are joined to that first Pentecost in the upper room: not by being passive bystanders, but being active participants in the life of the Holy Spirit in the Church, and welcoming the Heavenly King, the Comforter and Spirit of Truth to enter, abide in us, cleanse us and heal us.

This will have been Father Mark’s last Great Feast as a Deacon, as we look forward to the Grace of the Holy Spirit, through the hands of our bishop – as a successor of the Apostles in the upper room – conferring the Grace and dignity of the sacred priesthood. As I looked at my old deacon’s stikhar, I wondered who will wear it next, and be called to serve by the Grace of the Holy Spirit!

Let us all actively labour for the Grace of the Holy Spirit, heeding St Seraphim, recognising the acquisition of the Holy Spirit as the most pressing and important thing in our lives, doing this above all by prayer.

Having posted prayer-resources on-line, may I commend them to parishioners for their spiritual praxis and prayer-life in these days of Pentecost.

A Canon to the Holy Spirit composed by Theophanes the Monk may be found here in English: https://russianorthodoxchurchcardiff.com/a-canon-to-the-holy-spirit-by-theophanes

… and St Maximos the Greek’s canon to the Holy Paraclete, may be found here: https://russianorthodoxchurchcardiff.com/a-canon-to-the-divine-worshipful-all-holy-spirit-the-paraclete

The corresponding Slavonic texts may be found here:


and http://hramnagorke.ru/dialog/index.php?topic=1164.0;wap2

After the joy of the feast in Cardiff, I have travelled to Bath, where we will have our end-of-month gathering of West of England parishioners, sanctified by prayer on the Day of the Holy Spirit, with time for spiritual conversation and fellowship.

In Cardiff, we are now very much enjoying the hospitality of the Oratory Church, having headed to Swinton Street last week for the akathist to Our Lady of Walsingham on Tuesday, and Vespers/confessions on Thursday and Saturday – with the privilege of being able to pray before the relics of St Alban and venerate them after each service.

The akathist hymn will be chanted in St Alban’s Church on Tuesday at the slightly later time of 15:00, and vespers will be chanted at the same time on Thursday and Saturday, with confessions as needed after each service. If anyone needs to confess on Thursday evening, may I have notification as soon as possible. As Sister Marie is away for a few weeks, I have to prearrange using Nazareth House with Sister Anna, and do not want this to be last minute.

Having discussed the issue of parish elections with our chancellor, I can confirm that Bishop Irenei will discuss issues of parish governance over the days surrounding the ordination of Deacon Mark, next month, and that he may bless Father Paul to oversee the conclusion of the election process, if required.

Remember that this week is fast-free, before we begin the Apostles’ Fast on

In Christ – Hieromonk Mark

Posted in Newsletter, Parish News.