Pentecost - Fifty Days After Easter
Stained glass window in the Vatican
Pentecost is also called Whit Sunday and is celebrated by Christians in the UK. (Pentecost comes from the Greek pentecostē, “50th day”).
This is a major festival in the Christian church, celebrated on the Sunday that falls on the 50th day after Easter. It is also 10 days after Ascension Day.
According to the Christian Bible it was the 50th day after Easter when the apostles were praying and the Holy Spirit descended on them. It also marks the beginning of the mission of the Christian church to the world and is the birth of the Christian church.
The Holy Spirit is the third part of the Trinity – Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
The symbols of Pentecost are those of the Holy Spirit and include flames, wind, the breath of God and a dove.
The first Pentecost
Pentecost comes from a Jewish harvest festival called Shavuot, which is 50 days after the agricultural festival of Passover.
The apostles were celebrating this festival when the Holy Spirit descended on them. This event has since become the birth of the Christian Church.
'When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting.'
When is Pentecost?
Acts 2, Chapter 2
In 2020 Pentecost falls on Sunday 31 May 2020 and is not a public holiday.
Next year in 2021 Pentecost will fall on 23 May.