Thursday, June 8, 2017

Pentecost in the Old Testament, and an Octave Greeting

Pre-Vatican II the Church celebrated a Pentecost Octave, of which today is the fifth day. Since I use the 1962 breviary, it is especially sweet to savor these days of the sending of the Holy Spirit by the Father and the Son, and consider the Apostles speaking in various languages.

In the OF we have this week readings from the book of Tobit which mention Pentecost! Here is what The Jerusalem Bible (1966) says on that feast, succinctly, the second of the three principle feasts of the Pentateuch.

"The feast of Harvest, called 'feast of Weeks' in Ex 34:22; it was held seven weeks, Dt 16:9, or fifty days, Lv 23:16, after the Passover (hence its Greek name 'Pentecost', Tb 2:1) and marked the end of the wheat harvest; at a later date it also commemorated the giving of the Law on Sinai."
Exodus 23 note d.2.

And, we must add, the descent of the Holy Spirit!

Here are a couple of suggested Christian greetings for this Octave.

[Filius] mittit Spiritum sanctum. Alleluia!

V. Loquebantur variis linguis Apostoli, Alleluia!
R. Magnalia Dei, Alleluia!
Lauds, None, and Vespers, Octave of Pentecost, and Alleluia verse of Feria Secunda infra Octavam Pentecostes. (EF)

P.S. Though the Pentecost Octave is suppressed in the OF, I am using the Pentecost sequence (which is in our missalettes, hurrah!) as a post communion meditation; challenging but very moving with its shadowy melody.
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