Pastoral Letter for Pentecost Sunday

The Descent of the Holy Spirit

Pentecost Sunday, 2001

' - - 2001

TO THE CLERGY, RELGIOUS AND FAITHFUL OF THE UKRAINIAN AUTOCEPHALOUS ORTHODOX CHURCH IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: GRACE AND PEACE IN THE HOLY SPIRIT AT THE FEAST OF PENTECOST:

Glory to Jesus Christ!

!

We are happy to greet you on this solemn occasion of Pentecost. This holyday has always played an important role in the spiritual life of our Ukrainian people because of its deep biblical roots, the significance of the day in relation to the birth of the church and the placement of the celebration at the transition point between spring and summer. One of the ancient names for this holyday in Kyiv-Rus was "Rusaliya" indicating that there was a festival which celebrated the arrival of warm weather and the season for the cultivation of crops.

As spring gives way to the summer months, we have another reminder of the hand of God in our lives, as the green leaves of the trees grace our neighborhoods. This new life is also seen by our faith as the result of the birth of the church and the activity of the Holy Spirit, guiding Christians throughout the centuries. We express this belief by decorating our churches and homes with green branches, signs of the new life that Pentecost celebrates.

When the Holy Spirit filled the disciples of Jesus on that fiftieth day after Easter, Christians were able to identify the actions of each person of the Holy Trinity, the Father, creator and sustainer of everything in the universe, Jesus, the Son, sent to lead us back to the Father, and the Holy Spirit, who provides the nourishment and inspiration for a life that will really help us grow closer to God. Christians are unique for their understanding of God in three distinct but equal persons. It is to this mystery of faith that your beautiful church is dedicated and which you celebrate today with great joy.

On this important holyday, you can all take great pride in the accomplishments which have helped you have maintain your churches as the place where both your faith and heritage have been preserved and have prospered. The cornerstone and structure you have provided will guide your parishes, along with their future pastors and parishioners, in serving many more generations faithful who seek spiritual solace in them. As we celebrate the anniversary of the birth of the church, we also acknowledge the labors of every parish church in serving as individual "powerhouses of prayer" in which the faith is nurtured and out of which it grows and flourishes and is transmitted to others.

We are glad for the opportunity to offer you our special blessings on this important day and pledge our continued ministry to each of you as your shepherds and coworkers in Christ.

With the bestowal of our Archepiscopal Blessings upon the you and your families and loved ones, and with our kind personal regards to you all, we remain,

In God's Love,

The Holy Spirit in the form of a dove +Metropolitan Stephan
Archbishop of New York
Primate

+Archbishop Michael
Archbishop of Cleveland
Coadjutor to the Primate

+Metropolitan Alexis
Archbishop of Washington

+Archbishop Mykola
Archbishop of Berlin-Brandenburg
Apostolic Exarch of Western Europe

+Archbishop Kallistos
Bishop of Toulon
Eparch of France, Spain & Italy

+Bishop Danylo
Auxiliary Bishop of Cleveland


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