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Vigil of Pentecost at Jerusalem Kehilla

Vigil of Pentecost at Jerusalem Kehilla


JERUSALEM – On Saturday, May 14, 2016, on the eve of Pentecost, the kehilla of Jerusalem gathered for a vigil of prayers preliminary to the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.

The vigil of prayers went along different stages: following a joyful hymn to the Holy Spirit, Fr. Rafik, Parish Priest of the Kehilla of Jerusalem, said welcomed the participants, urging them to ask for God’s mercy for themselves and also for the Holy Land and the whole world. Beni, a seminarian for the Hebrew-speaking Vicariate, suggested a time of fellowship, where each one could introduce himself, say his intentions and what he expected from the Holy Spirit for the coming year.

After the penitential ceremony inspired by the Yom Kippur prayer, readings of the Pentecost vigil were read in different languages (Hebrew, English, French, Tigrina), reflecting the diversity of people attending the vigil. Of course the first Pentecost where “devout men, out of every nation under heaven “ (Act 2:5) gathered in Jerusalem for Shavuot, Jewish feast, reminder of the gift of the law granted  to the Hebrew people on Sinai and the winding of the alliance between God and his people, celebrated seven weeks after the Jewish Passover.

Fr. Michel Remaud exhorted in his homily the congregants to ask the Holy Spirit to mould his wishes to ours and to grant everybody to reap more and more from the Lord.

For the occasion, two young women, members of the Shalom community, came from Haifa. They said many hymns to the Holy Spirit in Hebrew, but also in Arabic and in Portuguese, sharing in the beauty and devotion of a moment of prayer.

This initiative of the kehilla of Jerusalem reminds the traditions of the first Christians: as of the 3rd century, catechumens who could not receive baptism at Easter vigil, gathered on Pentecost  vigil, which culminated the celebration of the “Great Easter Sunday” lasting 50 days. This tradition of  vigils carried on until early  XXth century.

Calixte des Lauriers

Photos : ©LPJ / Thomas Charrière