PODCAzT 60: Pentecost customs; St. Ambrose on the dew of the Holy Spirit

Today is Friday in the Octave of Pentecost, or at least it ought to be in in the Novus Ordo as it is in the older, Traditional Roman Calendar. 

This is the fifth PODCAzT for the Pentecost Octave. 

Thanks to your feedback for the last couple days.  Stats dropped yesterday, so this may be the last one.

Today we will look at some customs associated with Pentecost, very beautiful.  These customs informed the rhythm of people’s lives for centuries.

Then we will drill into the image of the dew of the Holy Spirit (which some bishops sadly think people are too thick to understand and therefore want to eliminate the image from liturgical translations…).  To help we enlist the help of a very wise Bishop, the great Ambrose of Milan (+397) who always tried to explain hard things to his people rather than make them out to be too stupid to get the point.  Ambrose wrote a work On the Holy Spirit in which he explains the dew that descended on Gideon’s fleece in the Book of Judges.  So, we will hear Judges 6 and 7 and then Ambrose allegorical commentary.  Fascinating stuff, I can tell you.

This reading from Scripture and the patristic commentary, gives you a sense of how some of the Father’s worked with Scripture and how their reflections can be useful for us today.

Of course, I have lots of comments along the way.

For music,
we have an antiphon for Pentecost in Gregorian chant, and a bitter sweet song Dancing at Whitsun, a folk song, which speaks of the rhythm of our lives and the challenges we endure.  There is a Fastasia super Kom, Heiliger Geist BWV 651 by J.S. Bach on the pipe organ, which Holy Church recommends above all other instruments.  We hear a haunting Byzantine Communion for mid-Pentecost, in other words this very week and at the end a real change of pace, which you can listen to yourselves.

Again, your the listening stats and your feedback will determine if I make another tomorrow.



About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Do stats include downloads or just plays off the website? I download the files to transfer to my INNO for later play.

  2. Wholly: I can see the number of plays via the embedded player and the downloads. However, somewhere along the line, my plugin stopped counting the number of plays and downloads through iTunes. This leave me a bit blind, because once upon a time I was getting several hundred downloads on the iTunes feed alone.

  3. Londoner says:

    Hi Father, please continue with these! Thank you for all your hard work. I am so happy to have solid teaching like this throughout the week.

  4. Lacrimarum Valle says:

    Another beautiful podcast, Fr Z!

    Given all that you have told us today, how on earth can this be considered “Ordinary Time”? Shame!

  5. Maria says:

    I’ve only recently found your web site and more recently still the podcasts. It took me a while to figure out how to use my kids’ discarded mp3 player to download them. I find the podcasts really engaging and instructive. Food for thought and food for the soul. Please keep them coming, if possible. Thanks, Father.

  6. SuzyQ says:

    Thank you!! :) Hope to listen to another one tomorrow.

  7. Coletta says:

    Thank you, Father Z. I looked forward to coming home this evening to listen to the next Pentecost Podcazt. I love your bird pics too. They have little attitudes don’t they!

  8. Father Z: I wonder whether I’m the only one who has downloaded and burned to CD each and every one of your 60 podcazts so far. Not only do I listen to them while traveling (as well as at home) but so does a priest I share them with, who drives a lot between his widespread Masses in Latin, English, Spanish, and French.

  9. Penny Dieter says:

    Dear Father Z,
    Thank you so much for the Podcasts. I especially like the music. I got an Ipod for Mother’ Day just so I could listen to your talks. I look forward to listening to them every evening after work. Thank you for all
    you do.


  10. terry malone says:

    The Pentecost podcasts are most edifying.
    Your heavenly reward has just been reassessed.
    God Bless Fr. Z.
    Los Angeles, CA [by way of] Vancouver, BC

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