Cookies are in use to track visits to our website: we store no personal details.

The Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe

Pentecost / Whitsunday

Sunday, May 19, 2024

Download: Download Event



Whitsunday is the traditional English name for the Feast of Pentecost. The term is a corruption of "White Sunday." It is associated with the white robes of baptism which were worn by the newly baptized at the Pentecost service. The liturgical color for the Feast of Pentecost is red.

Pentecost Sunday is one of the most ancient feasts of the Church, celebrated early enough to be mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles (20:16) and St. Paul's First Letter to the Corinthians (16:8). It is the 50th day after Easter (if we count both Easter and Pentecost), and it supplants the Jewish feast of Pentecost, which took place 50 days after the Passover and celebrated the sealing of the Old Covenant on Mount Sinai.

In obedience to Jesus’ instruction (Acts 1.4) the believers had been waiting for the promise of the Father for 50 days. On the day of Pentecost, they are overcome by a violent wind, divided tongues as of fire, and an ability to speak the languages of the earth proclaiming God’s deeds of power (2.11). Pilgrims in Jerusalem for the Feast are either amazed and astonished, or sneeringly they accuse the believers of being drunk.

Each one of the believers has the same type of experience: ‘a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit.’ Likewise for the hearers: ‘each one heard them speaking in the native language of each.’

This is an important theological point for the Holy Spirit is for each follower of Christ so that each person in the crowd hears the message of God’s power. In other words the gift of the Spirit is for mission. When the Spirit is given to Christ’s followers it is for the benefit of those outside the number, so that they may hear the Good News. The Spirit fills the Insiders to enable them to speak to Outsiders. The Spirit turns the people of God inside out.