Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States
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In the hymn of the Apostles' Fast, we say that He (our Lord Jesus Christ) ascended to the heavens and sent to us the Paraclete. How can we say our Lord sent to us the Paraclete if, according to the Orthodox Church, we believe the Holy Spirit to proceed from the Father? Also when our Lord sent His disciples to work, the Bible says He breathed in the face of the Apostles. Does that mean that He gave them the Holy Spirit [and thus meaning He (the Holy Spirit) is proceeding from our Lord to the Apostles, or is it that God the Father has sent the Holy Spirit through God the Son as St. Cyril says]?

We need to differentiate between the word 'proceed' and the word 'sent'. The Holy Spirit pre-eternally proceeds from the Father before all ages as the Son is begotten from the Father before all ages. Procession from the Father describes the relation between the Father and the Holy Spirit. The Son promised to send the Holy Spirit to the apostles and to all Christians. He said, "But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me" (John 15:26). From this verse it is clear that it is the Son Who shall send the Holy Spirit Who proceeds from the Father.
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