OLDIE PODCAzT: Friday in the Octave of Pentecost

OLDIE PODCAzT: Friday in the Octave of Pentecost

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.

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 Fanstasia 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.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. asperges says:

    Lovely podcast, thank you, Father. Just returned from Holy Mass for Sat Ember Day. Beautiful. Now today, Paschaltide can end after None. You should start a movement for the restoration of the Pentecost Octave. It makes no sense to limit such an important a feast to one brief mention and then that’s it. Surely the next brick to be laid.

    As a child, I remember some odd traditions for Whit: always new clothes, which were not to be worn before Whitsunday. New or not, they changed at Whit. In the north of England in particular, there were also Whit walks, which, although not religious per se sometimes included a procession from church(es).

    These were all echos of former times and traditions. In the 70s the government re-vamped our bank holidays and the old Whit Monday holiday became the last Monday in May, making no sense whatever since most of Continental Europe with whom we do business, still keeps the original holiday – thus losing two days trading instead of one. Madness. So the folk memory of Whit has now almost been lost.

  2. AnAmericanMother says:

    . . . But the ladies remember at Whitsun . . .
    John Austin Marshall wrote it as a reply to folks who were fussing about ladies dancing Morris. It wound up saying something different (and more important) than he intended. Maddy Prior sings it best.

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