Sunday, May 30, 2004

Two important commemorations this week: today and tomorrow
Pentecost
Троица* or Сошествие Святаго Духа if you're feeling Russian. Remembering when Christ, ascended to heaven, sent the Holy Ghost to the apostles as He had promised. The birthday of the church Catholic, so happy birthday!

This is a day of at least three colours in the church - in the Roman Rite it's red for the fire and love of the Holy Ghost (also used for martyrs - blood), in English traditionally it's called Whitsunday because in ancient times it was the last day the newly baptized wore their white robes, and the Russians start using green vestments, as indeed Western Catholics do after Pentecost - that's where the Russians got the idea, from Poland. Interestingly there is crossover the other way - Poles call today and Whitsuntide Zielone Swiatki, the green holidays.

US Memorial Day
Dona eis requiem. The lives of soldiers are too valuable to waste on wars that aren't necessary to defend one's home.

*This is Russian Orthodox 'Trinity Sunday', not to be confused with the Western Catholic Trinity Sunday next week. Interestingly the Book of Common Prayer counts Sundays after Trinity, a feast started by a mediæval Pope, and not after Pentecost, a feast in the Bible, because the Sarum Use of the Roman Rite in mediæval England counted them that way.

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