Great Vespers, Matins, Great Prokimenon.
On the fiftieth day after Easter, all Christian Churches celebrate the feast of Pentecost. They commemorate the pouring out of the Spirit of Jesus onto his disciples, when on the morning of the Jewish feast of Pentecost the Apostles saw descending on them tongues of fire. On this day Christians live more than the mere memory of a past event. It is for them a fulfillment of the ancient promises made by God to Abraham. The bestowal of the Holy Spirit, announced by Jesus before His Passion and Resurrection, is the first fruits of the universal blessing promised by God and now extended to the entire world. The Holy Spirit is both the object of the promise and object of the fervent supplication of Christians: He is the only drink that can quench their thirst for God. This is why the liturgical celebration of this foundational event of the Christian life is not a mere commemoration: it is a sacramental act – a ‘memorial’ – which marks, evokes and intensifies the coming of the Holy Spirit into the community brought together in Jesus’ name.
This recording includes above all extensive parts of the vigil of Pentecost Sunday as celebrated in the Byzantine-Slav tradition.
Playing time: 77’24
Dir.: P. Thomas Pott
Booklet: Slavonic, French, English, German.
Introduction: French, Dutch, English, German.
The community of Chevetogne was founded in 1925 by a pioneer of ecumenism in the Roman Catholic Church, Dom Lambert Beauduin. Ever since its foundation the Abbey strives to be a center of prayer, of meeting and theological study.
The monks are liturgically organized in two groups, one celebrating according to the Western tradition, the other according to the Eastern Byzantine tradition. This has been the fundamental option from the very beginning, the two rites having been adopted for ecumenical reasons, in view of the reconcialiation between the christian East and West. In this way the community wishes to embody the primacy of prayer. It is prayer that unites every person, through a laborous path of conversion, as it prepares our communities and Churches to receive fully the gift of unity.
Truly if it is necessary to know one another before there can be mutual appreciation, the first step to reconciliation is to learn from the other who he is. From the very beginning the community of Chevetogne has been committed to learning from the Christian East, particularly from the Russian Orthodox Church.
The Liturgy is celebrated mainly in Slavonic, and sometimes in Greek.
Close relations with the Oriental Orthodox Churches, with the Anglican Communion and the Protestant Churches allow the monks in their daily prayer to be with all the disciples of Christ in the common supplication for the communion between the Churches.