Wednesday, May 29, 2002

Archimandrite Ephrem of the Monastery of St Andrew the Apostle in Manchester England maintains Anastasis, an invaluable site which includes a wealth of newly translated liturgical material. Here is his rendition of the verses from Vespers which introduce today's commemoration of Mid-Pentecost, the halfway point between Pascha and the feast of Pentecost:

The mid-point of the days is here, which begin with the saving Resurrection and are sealed by the divine Pentecost. It shines for it shares the brilliance of them both and unites the two, and it is honoured for it reveals in advance the coming glory of the Master’s Assumption.

Sion heard and was glad, when the good tidings of the Resurrection were proclaimed. Her faithful offspring rejoiced when they saw him also washing away by the Spirit the stain of the murder of Christ. Keeping festival she makes ready the joyful mid-point of them both.

The abundant outpouring of the divine Spirit upon all is near, as it is written. The herald is the day that forms the half-way mark of the certain promise which was given by Christ to his Disciples after his death and burial and Resurrection, and shows the manifestation of the Comforter.