Sacraments and Services

May the 7th 2017 marked the beginning of a new series of talks which have been organized by the Central Youth Committee of South Australia that aim at exploring the different periods of the ecclesiastical year, liturgical themes, sacraments and services of the Orthodox Church. 



From Resurrection Sunday we begin a new period in the ecclesiastical year. Liturgically speaking we enter into the period of Pentecost or Pentecostarion. The word, Pentecost means “the fiftieth” and is used to designate the great event of the Outpouring of the Holy Spirit (Epiphoitesis) upon the Apostles and the Church on the 50th day after the Resurrection of Christ, just ten days after His Ascension into Heaven. During this period the Church uses the service book called 'Pentecostarion'; which is the service book of the Orthodox Church that provides the texts for the divine services from Resurrection Sunday until the Sunday of All Saints.

The central theme of the Pentecostarion is that, through the resurrection and ascension, the Holy
Spirit is bestowed upon the Church to transform the world. It is God’s plan that the “rivers of
living water will flow from within” the believer. The Holy Spirit is not given in order to remain
stagnant in us but to flow out and bring life to the world.

That this overflowing of the Spirit has in fact occurred is the reason for the final observance of the Pentecostarion, the Sunday of All Saints. The saints are proof that the Holy Spirit has been bestowed and has transformed people of every generation since Pentecost. They in turn have allowed this living water to touch us as well through their intercessions and through the power manifested in their relics and icons. The Holy Spirit is meant to flow through us as well inasmuch as we too have received Him in baptism. We are thus continually called to become who we are, as many Fathers have put it: sharers in God’s grace in whatever measure each person receives. May the Holy Spirit "the Treasury of Blessings and Giver of Life - come and abide in us all, and cleanse us from all impurity" and fill our lives with meaning, love, faith and hope.