Pentecost: the Patriarch confirms 12 youths
JERUSALEM – Sunday, May 27, Patriarch Fouad Twal celebrated the Mass of Pentecost at the Dormition Abbey on Mount Sion, near the Cenacle. Twelve youths of different nationalities received Confirmation from the hands of the Patriarch. “On this Pentecost Sunday I am happy to be with you on Mount Zion, a few steps from the Cenacle, there the apostles received the Holy Spirit.”
With these words, the Patriarch has opened his homily on the feast of Pentecost. Actually, the Basilica of the Dormition on Mount Zion is situated a few meters from the Upper Room, in which the Virgin Mary and the disciples received the Holy Spirit. About 2000 years later, twelve young people of different nationalities received the sacrament of Confirmation from the hands of the Patriarch: Elise, Carlos Eduardo, Victory, Chloe, Clara, Rachel, Charlotte, Claire, Côme, Madeleine and Corinne. “My dear young friends, you are going to receive the sacrament of the Holy Spirit, we dare to say that you look like the disciples on the morning of Pentecost”, the Patriarch exhorts them and invites them, in their turn, by the example of the disciples to “proclaim the wonders of God”. Then addressing the whole house that filled the Basilica, Patriarch Twal asked each to pray every day to the Holy Spirit to bring the announcement of the Resurrection; an announcement that “illuminates the shadows of the world in which we live”; an announcement that exceeds the “political situation in the Holy Land”.
After the homily, the seminarians of Beit Jala have sung in Arabic the Veni Creator. Then the Patriarch pronounced the prayer of consecration on the confirmandi while the Father Abbot Don Gregory Collins – Abbot of the Dormition – and the other twenty priests imposed hands on these young people. Patriarch Fouad followed with the individual anointing. The assembly was composed of many of the faithful of the Holy Land, as well as religious, among them the Community of the Beatitudes, which prepared the 12 confirmandi. Of course, among those present were their parents and godparents. After the ceremony, around a buffet during which each one spoke and was understood in their own language (German, French, Italian, Arabic…) The Holy Spirit seemed truly present. Moreover, Joy, one of the gifts of the Spirit, was palpable.
Amélie de La Hougue