The feast of Mid-Pentecost comes on the twenty-fifth day of the Pentecostarion, the fifty day period from Pascha, the Day of Resurrection to Pentecost, the Day of the Descent of the Holy Spirit, a Theophany of the Trinity. This liturgical period is more ancient than the forty day Fast before Pascha.
Mid-Pentecost, however, is more than a mathematical indicator of a passage of time. It is really the revelation and manifestation of the reality that Pascha and Pentecost are truly on feast, “God with us.” Our Lord promised his apostle in the Last Discourse, “I tell you the truth, it is better for you that I go. For if I do not go, the Advocate will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you … when he comes, the Spirit of truth, he will guide you to all truth. He will not speak on his own, but he will speak what he hears, and will declare to you the things that are coming” (John 16:7.13).
And again, our Lord promised, “Behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20). And again, our Lord taught, “And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you; but stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high” (Luke 24:39).
Mid-Pentecost is the celebration of a new reality, that the Lord has not left us orphans, that God is now closer to us than ever before. It is a eucharistic feast of the presence of God. All of this is God’s wisdom, and so the icon is of our Lord teaching in the Temple as a young boy, revealing the wisdom of God to the elders. We sing in joy today: “The midpoint of the feast has arrived; the days which begin with the Resurrection of the Savior and are fulfilled in the divine Feast of Pentecost.
Truly it unites both feasts and draws from their double brightness, giving honor to the ascension of the Lord, which prefigures our glory.”
Meditation by Archpriest David Petras