Alleluia! Today we celebrate the great Feast of Pentecost, which ends the Easter Season. And on this first Sunday in June we have the annual Day of Remembrance for Victims of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, as mandated by the State of Louisiana.
The name of today’s Feast comes from the Greek word pentekostē, ”the fiftieth [day]“, as it is celebrated fifty days after Easter Sunday and closes out the Easter liturgical season, although there are still a few more Moveable Feasts (with their date of celebration dependent upon that of Easter) that we will celebrate in the next few weeks. (Ordinary Time, so called because the Sundays are numbered by ordinal numbers, resumes, and will continue until the Season of Advent.) Pentecost is one of the most prominent feasts in the Christian liturgical year commemorating the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the disciples of Christ, as described in the New Testament Acts of the Apostles. It is called “the birthday of the Church”, as it was from this point that the Apostles began evangelizing. The Apostle Paul already in the first century noted the importance of this festival to the early Christian communities, and since the lifetime of some who may have been eye-witnesses to the original Pentecost, annual celebrations of the descent of the Holy Spirit have been observed. From the early days of Western Christianity Pentecost became one of the days set aside to celebrate Baptism. In Northern Europe Pentecost was preferred even over Easter for this rite, as the temperatures in late spring were might be supposed to be more conducive to the custom of outdoor immersion Baptisms. The terms Whitsun, Whitsunday, Whit Sunday, or Whitsuntide for this day (especially in the United Kingdom) derived from the custom of the newly baptized wearing white clothing as a symbol of their spiritual rebirth. Our Gospel reading is John 20:19-23: On the evening of that first day of the week, when the doors were locked, where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, “Peace be with you.” When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.” Turning to secular matters, in 2008 the Louisiana Legislature added LA Rev Stat § 1:58.4, mandating a Day of Remembrance for Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita (2005), stating, “The first Sunday after the commencement of hurricane season of every year shall be recognized as a day of remembrance for the victims of Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita. Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita Day shall be observed as a memorial of one of the greatest tragedies in the state of Louisiana.”
Before going to bed last night I removed the polish from my toenails. At the Women’s College World Series in Oklahoma City, our #19 LSU Lady Tigers lost their College Softball game with the Oregon Lady Ducks by the score of 1 to 4. Our Lady Tigers thus ended their season with a record of 48 – 22 (12 – 12 in SEC play); better luck next year, girls! And at the NCAA College Baseball Regionals in Baton Rouge, our #3 (#1 Seed) LSU Tigers (39-17) won their game with the Southeastern Louisiana Lions by the score of 11 to 6.(The game did not end until past midnight, as lightning had delayed the previous game.)
When I woke up to get ready for work, I saw that my Special Request in the Casino Scheduling System to take June 23rd through June 27th off from work had been approved. I posted to Facebook that today was the Day of Remembrance for Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita (2005). I did my Book Devotional Reading, and on our way to work I did my Internet Devotional Reading. Once we clocked in at work, Richard was on Mini Baccarat. I was the Relief Dealer for Mini Baccarat and Pai Gow; I also broke a Blackjack table in one of our Overflow pits (once), and broke Three Card Poker (once).
On our way home (ahead of the thunderstorms coming in from Texas) we got gas for the truck at Valero. Once home from work I made my lunch salads for Monday and Tuesday and ate today’s salad while reading the Sunday papers and putting fresh polish on my toenails. Meanwhile, Richard was using Microsoft Office to draft a Will for Richard off of the rough draft (and he did a very good job of it, too, with very minimal help from me). He saved his work, printed out the Will, and Emailed a copy of the Will to our friend Steve in Baton Rouge (who does our lawyer stuff for us). I then got on the computer to do today’s Daily Update, after which I will go to bed for the duration. At the NCAA College Baseball Regionals in Baton Rouge, our #3 ranked (#1 seed) LSU Tigers (44-17) will play the winner of the game that will be played this afternoon between the #2 seed Southeastern Louisiana Lions (37-21) and the #3 seed Rice Owls (32-30).
Tomorrow Ordinary Time will begin again (this will last until the Season of Advent), and tomorrow is the Memorial of Saint Boniface, Bishop and Martyr (died 754). It is also the birthday of my Internet friend Jean in California (1968). We will work our eight hours, and in the afternoon I will catch up on stuff. If, at the NCAA College Baseball Regionals in Baton Rouge, our #3 ranked (#1 seed) LSU Tigers win their game, they will advance to the Super Regionals in Baton Rouge, where play will start on Friday, June 9th. If (God forbid) our our #3 ranked (#1 seed) LSU Tigers lose their game, they will play a final game with the same opponent tomorrow at 6:00 pm to see which team advances to the Super Regionals in Baton Rouge.
Our Parting Quote on this Pentecost (Alleluia!) afternoon comes to us from Marguerite Patten, English home economist, food writer and broadcaster. Born as Hilda Elsie Marguerite Brown in 1915 in Bath, Somerset, she was raised in Barnet, Hertfordshire, where she won a scholarship to Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School for Girls (now Queen Elizabeth’s School for Girls). At the age of twelve when her father, a printer died, her mother went back to work as a teacher and Patten began to cook for her mother and younger brother and sister, when her father who was a printer died and her mother had to return to work as a teacher. She later explained that while she was not the primary cook for the family, she did take an interest in cooking from that age onwards. She then worked as an actress in repertory theatre for nine months, and for Frigidaire, promoting the benefits of the refrigerator, as a senior home economist. During World War II she worked for the Ministry of Food suggesting nourishing and inventive recipes using the rationed food that was available (she also got married, in 1942). She broadcast her ideas and advice to the nation on a BBC radio programme called The Kitchen Front.Her advice on how to feed a family with a can of Spam and a ration book proved invaluable to housewives, and her wartime recipes included the creation of “mock duck” from cooking apples and sausage meat. She pushed the limits of rationing by encouraging such fare as potato floddies, pea-pod soup and eggless fruit cake. When the war ended, she demonstrated kitchen appliances for Harrods, including the pressure cooker which her work popularised in the UK. She was one of the earliest television celebrity chefs, although she did not like being characterized as such, presenting her first television cookery programme on the BBC in 1947. Patten did cookery demonstrations, once touring the world and also appearing at the London Palladium on twelve occasions. In 1961, at a time when cookery books were essentially black and white affairs, her publisher Paul Hamlyn produced a glossy book Cookery In Colour that proved influential on later publications. The Everyday Cook Book in Colour had sold in excess of one million copies by 1969. She sold 17 million copies of her 170 books, and continued to contribute to TV and radio food programmes into her late nineties, following a brief retirement in her seventies. Her approach to cookery instruction included teaching essential knowledge and skills needed in the kitchen. She was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1991 for “services to the Art of Cookery”. In 2007 she received the Woman of the Year award, Lifetime Achievement Award. Patten was elevated to Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2010 Birthday Honours. She had suffered a stroke in June 2011 which had robbed her of speech, and towards the end of her life she could no longer stand, thus preventing her from cooking (died 2015): “I am NOT [a Celebrity Chef]! To the day I die I’ll be a home economist.”