June 6, 2014
Bishop Patrick J. Zurek will preside at an Extended Vigil of Pentecost Service Friday, June 6 at 7:00pm at St. Laurence Church, 2300 North Spring.
On Jan. 16, 1988, the Congregation for Divine Worship issued Paschale Solemnitatis, the Circular Letter Concerning the Preparation and Celebration of the Easter Feasts.
For the Vigil of Pentecost, number 107 of that Letter encourages “the prolonged celebration of Mass in the form of a Vigil, whose character is not baptismal as in the Easter Vigil, but is one of urgent prayer, after the example of the apostles and disciples, who persevered together in prayer with Mary, the Mother of Jesus, as they awaited the Holy Spirit.”
“The Holy Spirit is the soul of the Church; without the Spirit, the Church would not be,” said Bishop Zurek. “In fact, we know from the Pentecost event that the Church was born on Pentecost, born through the gift of the Spirit. It was born through all the varying charisms given to the Church as a whole and to individual people in various ways. It is most appropriate, I think, to come together and pray, before that great feast, for the blessings of the Spirit in our churches in the Diocese of Amarillo, which includes the panhandle itself.
“In Scripture, St. Luke tells us many things, including that we would be nothing without the Spirit. Also, the Spirit, as told in Scripture, is not imposed on people but is given to people who have been in prayer of petition for that. We see that in the early church.
We even see it in one of the Synoptic Gospels where the Spirit descended upon Jesus after He was baptized. Luke said that after He was baptized Jesus was found at prayer and the Spirit descended on Him.
“When the Lord ascended, He told the apostles to go back to Jerusalem. He did not indicate where, but it was very clear that He meant where the Last Supper was celebrated, the Upper Room. ‘Go there and pray. Go there and petition.’ In Luke’s description they prayed as one; that has to be one characteristic of prayer.
“We need the Spirit not only to survive, but to thrive. That is why we come together as Church at the extended vigil. I invite everyone to come to pray together. How blessed our prayer will be with many people gathering together, whatever our vocation, occupation or age. All of us will pray together for giftedness for our Church for the coming year.”
The congregation will be encouraged to listen attentively to the Word of God, reflecting on God’s great deeds for his people and like the Apostles and Mary, pray that the Holy Spirit will be made manifest in the world and their Christian lives.
Priests and deacons participating in the service are asked to wear an alb and red stole, according to Bishop Zurek.