by Judy Bratten
The Feast of Weeks, occurring fifty days after Passover, commemorates two things: thanksgiving for the grain harvest and for the giving of the Law at Mt. Sinai. Coming seven weeks from the second day of Pesach (First Fruits), Shavuoth is a time for reading the Book of Ruth, for eating dairy foods and fresh bread. In the Old Testament, the priests offered two loaves made from the newly harvested grain.
It was on Shavuoth that the Holy Spirit fell on the Apostles and the Church was born, the Christian feast of Pentecost.
For Catholics this is a glorious time to celebrate the establishment of the Church and the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives. A meal of potato or cheese blintzes, lighting candles and singing songs such as “Come, Holy Ghost” are appropriate and joyful ways to mark this feast.
Mother lights candles and says:
Blessed art Thou, O Lord our God, King of the Universe, who hath given us the gifts of light and the Spirit.
Father: Blessed art thou, O Lord our God, King of the Universe, who hath given us the bounty of the earth to sustain our bodies and the bread of life to nourish our souls.
Child: We praise thee, O Lord, for the gift of the Law to Moses on Mt. Sinai and the covenant thou hast made with the children of Abraham.
Child: We praise thee, O Lord, for the New Covenant established by Yeshua, Thy Son, which sets all men free from sin and death.
Child: We praise thee, O Lord, for the gift of Ruach haKodesh, the Holy Spirit, who descended upon the believers at Pentecost and established thy Church.
Father: As we gather to commemorate thy mercy and goodness, Lord, continue to bless us with increasing love for Thee, Thy Word and Thy Church. May all the children of Abraham one day be gathered together to proclaim thy greatness, O Lord.
We ask this in the name of Yeshua, Thy Son, who lives and reigns with Thee and Ruach haKodesh, one God, for ever and ever.