Augustine Sokolovski

Within the framework of one single year, several different times, filled with their own theological meaning, coexist in the Church. So, the new year, as a principle of counting time, begins on September 1 (14). But this day does not in any way affect the structure of the worship and the order of Scripture readings during the liturgy.

After all, the reading of Scripture during worship depends on Pentecost. It is from this day that it begins anew every year. Then the sequence of eleven Sunday morning gospel readings begins, as well as the alternation of eight tones. This period lasts exactly 33 Sundays and ends with the beginning of the preparatory Sundays of Great Lent.

It is interesting that, according to many ancient interpreters, Jesus' earthly life lasted thirty-three years. In many details, Orthodox worship is characterized by special, often invisible symbolism.

Pentecost, the Descent of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles, is the culmination of Holy Pascha. The countdown from Pentecost is very important, since with its help the days of the whole year are read in the light of the event of the Resurrection of Christ. It is almost not considered by believers, which is very regrettable.

It forms a new logic of time, in which each Sunday sets a theme for the coming week for reflection on all the deeds and words of the Savior in the form in which the evangelists and apostles preserved them for believers after verifying His Resurrection. In this theological sense, the entire New Testament is a grand narrative of the appearance of the Risen Savior to the Churches.

Because of the cause-and-effect relationship between Easter and Pentecost, Scripture is called inspired. This means that the Holy Spirit Himself became the author of the sacred texts, that is, the guarantor of the consistency of the narrative with history and the guarantor of their authenticity.

“The Comforter, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, will teach you all things and remind you of everything that I have told you,” Jesus said about this (John 14:26). Let us remember that the word Comforter from the Gospel, in the biblical understanding, also means “intercessor,” “helper,” “advocate.” The Holy Spirit is the guarantor of the authenticity of Scripture. He is the voice of his living words, that wind and that breath in which, according to the word of the prophet Elijah, there is God Himself (cf. 1 Kings 19:12).