Pentecost commemorates when Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to be with the disciples (Acts 2). With the Holy Spirit among the disciples, the church was born. In essence, Pentecost is the birthday of the Christian faith. Pentecost is the last day of the Easter season, the 50th day after Easter Sunday.
At his ascension, Jesus promised the disciples that he would send the Holy Spirit to give them power. Acts 2 described the Holy Spirit coming as a wind. Each disciple had a flame above his head and was filled with the Holy Spirit.
Pentecost Facts & Quotes
• Red is the color of Pentecost. Churches will be decorated in crimson (deep red color), and people sometimes wear red to signify the day. The color comes from the flame that scripture says appeared above the heads of each of the disciples (Acts 2:3).
• In the Roman Catholic tradition, Pentecost is sometimes called Whitsunday (pronounced: ‘with – Sunday’). The name comes from the white color of garments that people wore who were being baptized typically wore.
• The Holy Spirit, often depicted as wind or a dove in the Bible, is the third part of the Christian Trinity, which also includes the Father, God, and Jesus Christ, the Son. The Holy Spirit is also referred to sometimes as the Holy Ghost.
• In the Church, it is the Holy Spirit who creates harmony… Only the Spirit can awaken diversity, plurality and multiplicity, while at the same time building unity. Here too, when we are the ones who try to create diversity and close ourselves up in what makes us different and other, we bring division – Pope Francis during Pentecost service on May 20, 2013
• Some churches in the U.S. hold confirmation on Pentecost. Confirmation is a designation given to youth that bestows upon them responsibility for their own faith.
Pentecost Top Events and Things to Do
• Some congregations in the United States celebrate Pentecost with birthday cake for the church because the day marks the occasion of the birth of the church.
• Pentecost is a particularly appropriate day to join a church. In the early church, it was a day when the newly converted, after a period of preparation, were baptized.
• Some churches stress mission around Pentecost. See what your local church is doing to help your community and get involved.
• Pentecost is a high holy day in the Orthodox Church. Attend night service on Saturday to usher in the holiday.
Pentecost References and Related Sites
New Advent: Pentecost (Whitsunday)
Vatican.va: Homily of Pope Francis, Sunday, May 19, 2013.