The first principle of the Ordinariate is then about Christian unity. St. Basil the Great, the Church’s greatest ecumenist, literally expended his life on the work of building bridges between orthodox brethren who shared a common faith, but who had become separated from one another in a Church badly fragmented by heresy and controversy. He taught that the work of Christian unity requires deliberate and ceaseless effort...St. Basil often talked with yearning about the archaia agape, the ancient love of the apostolic community, so rarely seen in the Church of his day. This love, he taught, is a visible sign that the Holy Spirit is indeed present and active, and it is absolutely essential for the health of the Church.

- Msgr. Jeffrey Steenson, Homily on the Occasion of his Formal Institution as Ordinary

Friday, May 30, 2014

The Miracle of Pentecost

The Miracle of Pentecost refers to the Apostolic preaching on the first Pentecost after the Resurrection of Jesus when the crowds in Jerusalem, from countries all around the ancient world, were able to understand the Apostles. The story is related in the second chapter of the Acts of the Apostles.

At St. Athanasius in Boston, we have always had the custom of having the lesson from Acts 2 read in as many languages as possible by readers from the congregation. We have had most of the Romance languages, ancient Greek and Latin, Chinese, Afrikaans, Dutch, German and Dinku all proclaimed within the liturgy.

The practical aid for this is a book compiled by C. David Burt called, aptly enough, The Miracle of Pentecost. It has the lesson from Acts 2:1-11 in many dozens of languages, grouped by continent. You can find the book at his Partridge Hill Press site on The bound book is $88.00, but you can also download a PDF of the book, from which you can print just the languages needed if your congregation wishes to employ this custom. The direct link for the PDF is:

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