10 June 2011


And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language.   Acts 2:1-6

No one can say Jesus is Lord but by the Holy Spirit.  1 Corinthians 12:3

Pentecost, meaning "fiftieth," marks the completion of Easter.  Fifty days after His Resurrection, Christ sends his Holy Spirit, as He promised, and the Church is born.  

Come, Holy Spirit, God and Lord!
Let all your graces be outpoured
On each believer’s mind and heart;
Your fervent love to us impart.

Lord, by the brightness of Your light,
You in the faith do men unite
Of every land and every tongue;
This to Your praise, O Lord, be sung.

From every error keep us free;
Let none but Christ our Master be,
That we in living faith abide,
In Him with all our might confide.

Lord, by Your power prepare each heart
And to the weakness strength impart,
That bravely here we may contend,
Through life and death to You ascend.

Traditions and Activities

Basic themes include the Holy Spirit, the Church, and Baptism
  • The color of Pentecost is red, suggesting the fire of the Spirit.  Wear red to church or all day!
  • "When the Lion shakes his main, then it is Spring" (from Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia).  Christ sends the Holy Spirit, and Pentecost in the West coincides with Spring and fresh greenery.  Many churches used to decorate their altars profusely with greenery and flowers.  
  • The Feast of Pentecost is often uniquely associated with water.  In Mediterranean countries people hold "water festivals" on Pentecost (perhaps a leftover from pagan Aphrodite-worship rituals).  It would appropriate to have a water-side picnic or walk on Pentecost, since we receive the Holy Spirit at our Baptism (Acts 2:41).  Pentecost in England is called Whitsunday "white Sunday," reminiscent of the white garments catechumens wore to their Baptism on Pentecost.  
  • Make a birthday cake for the Church!  Scatter rose petals on the table to represent tongues of fire.
  • Some churches use trumpets in their service to represent to mighty wind.
  • Decorate with images of the church (pomegranates, arks)

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