What is Pentecost? Pentecost is the great festival that marks the birth of the Christian church by the power of the Holy Spirit. Pentecost means “fiftieth day” and is celebrated fifty days after Easter.
What happened on Pentecost? Ten days after Jesus ascended into heaven, the twelve apostles, Jesus’ mother and family, and many other of His disciples gathered together in Jerusalem for the Jewish harvest festival that was celebrated on the fiftieth day after Passover. While they were indoors praying, a sound like that of a rushing wind filled the house and tongues of fire descended and rested over each of their heads. This was the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on human flesh promised by God through the prophet Joel (Joel 2:28-29). The disciples were suddenly empowered to proclaim the gospel of the risen Christ. They went out into the streets of Jerusalem and began preaching to the crowds gathered for the festival. Not only did the disciples preach with boldness and vigor, but by a miracle of the Holy Spirit they spoke in the native languages of the people present, many who had come from all corners of the Roman Empire. This created a sensation. The apostle Peter seized the moment and addressed the crowd, preaching to them about Jesus’ death and resurrection for the forgiveness of sins. The result was that about three thousand converts were baptized that day. (You can read the Biblical account of Pentecost in Acts 2:1-41).
Why is Pentecost sometimes called “Whitsunday”?A tradition of some churches in ancient times was to baptize adult converts to the faith on Pentecost. The newly baptized catechumens would wear white robes on that day, so Pentecost was often called “Whitsunday” or “White Sunday” after these white baptismal garments. Many Christian calendars, liturgies, and hymnals (particularly those from the Episcopal/Anglican tradition) still use this term.
Rector’s Corner:I want to take a moment to extend a very warm welcome to our guest preacher this morning, The Reverend Paul Guiton. We’re delighted to have you here. I also encourage members of the congregation to extend your hospitality and fellowship to Paul. Enjoy the rest of your worship time together, and God bless you!
For your pastoral concerns, please get in touch with our office secretary, Natasha Kaweski at firstname.lastname@example.org, or the church wardens to facilitate your request. Thank you so much.
The Venerable Louie Engnan