The word ‘Pentecost’ comes from the Greek; it simply means ‘fiftieth’. Pentecost Sunday ends the season of Easter.
Pentecost is the time to remember when the Holy Spirit came to the followers of Jesus. 50 days after Jesus’ resurrection – Easter – his frightened followers were meeting in a room in Jerusalem. The Holy Spirit changed them as much as you can imagine! Not in how they looked but in the sort of people they became. Instead of being frightened and in hiding, they became bold and spoke out about the effect Jesus had had on their lives with dramatic results. Pentecost is often referred to as ‘the birth of the Christian Church’.
The symbols of Pentecost are those of the Holy Spirit and include: flames, wind, the breath of God and a Dove.
Some Christians also call this time ‘Whitsunday’ because traditionally it was the occasion when followers were baptised and they wore white clothes. ‘White Sunday’ became ‘Whitsun’.
The Liturgical Colour For Pentecost
Red is the liturgical colour for this day. Red recalls the tongues of flame in which the Holy Spirit descended on the first Pentecost. The colour red also reminds us of the blood of the martyrs. These are the believers of every generation who by the power of the Holy Spirit hold firm to the faith even at the cost of their lives.