Synaxis of the Holy, Glorious and All-Praised Twelve Apostles
Commemorated on June 30
The Father is my hope, the Son my refuge, the Holy Spirit my protection. Holy Trinity, glory to you.
St. Nicholai Velimirovich
Living water means the Holy Spirit, as the Evangelist himself explains: He spake here of the Spirit.Thus, the Holy Spirit comes to abide in the one who believes in the Son of God, and spiritual, life-bearing rivers shall flow from his belly.
So also some people from a country far from God, iced-over and darkened by sin, did not believe the apostles when they proclaimed the good news about the living God in the heavens, about the Father, Who calls to Himself all who desire to call themselves His children; about the Son of God, Who appeared in the world as a Man, lived among people, suffered for people, arose in power and ascended in glory; about the Holy Spirit, Who descended upon them and conferred upon them heavenly gifts; about our bright and deathless fatherland in the heavens, from which sin alone separated us; about the purity of life that is demanded of us so that we might return to this heavenly fatherland of ours and become co-servants and brothers to the angels in eternal life. Others believed this joyful news, while others did not. From the divine apostles flowed rivers of living water across the whole world. Others came and drank their fill of this living water, while others did not. The apostles walked among people like gods, working miracles, healing all sicknesses and every infirmity, preaching repentance and forgiveness of sins. Some received them rejoicing, while others rejected them, angrily and mockingly. Those who accepted them also experienced communion with the Holy Spirit and the action of the Holy Spirit in them. And so the holy nation grew, and God’s Church spread and became established in the world. The seed grew and bore fruit. Thus was the house of truth, the cornerstone of which is our Lord Jesus Christ, sanctified by the All-Holy Spirit, spread to the four corners of the world, and its rooftop rose to the greatest heights of heaven.
As we celebrate today the feast of the Holy Spirit, which out of boundless love for God the Son and with boundless joy and obedience willed to descend upon earth and take into Its omnipotent hands the work of man’s salvation, let us also remember in grateful hymns the Most Holy Virgin Mary, upon whom the Holy Spirit descended earlier than It did to the apostles. God the Spirit descended upon the apostles as upon the Church, as upon the unanimous community of saints; but upon the Mother of God it descended as to a specially chosen person. The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee (Lk. 1:35), announced the Archangel Gabriel to the Most Holy Virgin. And by the power of the Holy Spirit, she gave birth to a most beautiful Fruit, from Whom both heaven and earth are fragrant, and by Whom are nourished all the faithful from beginning to end. O Most Holy and Most Pure Theotokos, dawn and cradle of our salvation, our image of humility and obedience, Mediator and Prayerful Intercessor before the throne of God—pray unceasingly with the holy apostles for us!
O Heavenly King, Comforter, Spirit of truth, come also to us and abide in us, and remain in us as strength, light, and warmth, as our life and joy! Cleanse us of all impurity, and save our souls, O Good One! Fill our hearts with joy and our lips with hymns, that we may glorify and magnify Thee with the Father and the Son—the Trinity One in Essence and Undivided, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.
Tone 2. Model Melody. By Andrew of Crete.
With what beauties of hymnody should we sing the praise of Peter and Paul? The wings of the knowledge of God, who flew through the ends of the earth and were lifted up high to heaven; the hands of the Gospel of grace, the feet of the truth of the proclamation, the rivers of wisdom, the arms of the Cross, through which he has cast down the arrogance of demons, Christ our God, who has great mercy.