June 12, 2012
Brooklyn, NY: Pentecost in the Parish of our Lady "The Inexhaustible
Sunday, June 3, the parish of the Church of our Lady "The
Inexhaustible Chalice" on Brighton Beach in Brooklyn, NY celebrated
the feast of Holy Pentecost. Summer has arrived, nature is reborn,
and alongside the world’s awakening our spiritual lives begin anew.
After all, it was on the day of Pentecost that our Church was born,
and even the green color of the priests’ vestments on this day
becomes a symbol of the life bestowed upon us by the Pre-Eternal
Counsel of the Holy Trinity.
day, the Holy Spirit descended on the apostles and they were reborn.
They were transformed from fishermen tormented by fear into fearless
preachers, warriors for Christ, whose lot it would be to overturn
the whole universe.
out onto the roof of the building that the apostles came after the
Miracle of Pentecost. "And there appeared unto them cloven tongues
like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all
filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues,
as the Spirit gave them utterance" (Acts 2:3-4). This year, the
Brighton parish’s roof was Seaside Park, located on the corner of
Surf Avenue and Ocean Parkway. The Lord Himself adorned this temple
in the park: the grass, flowers, and clouds were all perfect for the
portable wooden iconostasis was set up on the park’s concrete
concert stage. The faithful gathered for the start of Liturgy, while
passersby stayed to stare in awe, and in most cases stayed until the
end of the service.
officials only granted permission to hold the service in the park on
the eve of the feast. As a result, we were unable to inform everyone
we would have liked about the service, although it turned out that,
when the service ended, 52 people had come to Holy Communion.
relatively large number of people gathered for rector Priest Vadim
Arefiew’s sermon: parishioners, mothers and children wandering the
park, and their African-American and Mexican neighbors. Far from
everyone present understood Russian, but all were captivated by the
priest’s words. Perhaps it was, in honor of the Miracle of
Pentecost, "...because that every man heard them speak in his own
language" (Acts 2:6).
miracle took place – three easily distinguishable crosses appeared
in the clouds in the sky during confession, which aroused a pious
commotion among the faithful.
the Liturgy, Vespers was served, during which stichers were sung
glorifying the Holy Spirit, and three prayers were read for the
Church, for the salvation of all those praying in church, and for
the repose of the souls of all the departed, as well as those "held
captive in Hades." During the reading of these prayers, parishioners
stood on their knees in the park’s grass and flowers. These flowers
were a powerful reminder that, under the influence of God’s grace,
human souls bloom with the fruit of the virtues.
church building itself in Brighton, the assistant rector, Priest
Paul Ivanov, celebrated the Divine Liturgy simultaneously. In that
church, which can hold 30 people, several hundred parishioners
gathered. For those who were unable to fit inside the church, the
services were broadcast over speaker into the church courtyard. Over
150 people came up to Communion.
radiant feasts as Pentecost Sunday, in addition to the shared joy,
also make painfully clear the main problem facing the Church of our
Lady "The Inexhaustible Chalice" ‒ the parish needs a larger church.