On June 4, we celebrated the moveable feast of Ascension Day. Now, 10 days later, we celebrate Pentecost, which is also a moveable feast, and deemed the Catholic Church’s birthday. Catholic Online explains:
The word Pentecost is Greek and it means “50th day.” Fifty days after Easter Sunday, we celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles and their followers, and the beginning of their Earthly ministry to make disciples of all nations.
The Bible teaches us about Pentecost in Acts 2: 1–4.1:
When the time for Pentecost was fulfilled, they were all in one place together. And suddenly there came from the sky a noise like a strong driving wind, and it filled the entire house in which they were. Then there appeared to them tongues as of fire, which parted and came to rest on each one of them.And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in different tongues, as the Spirit enabled them to proclaim.
Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.
Thus was the beginning of the Catholic Church and its disciples who would spread the word of the Lord throughout the world. Today we celebrate the Pentecost in many ways, including Mass. Each year, the Pope gives a homily during Mass for Pentecost Sunday. (For the full text of Pope Francis’s 2016 homily, visit the Vatican Radio website.)
Around this time, you may see images of the flame, the wind, the breath of God, and the dove, which all symbolize the Holy Spirit. As the color red is associated with the Holy Spirit, Catholic Online explains, “[T]he priest wears red vestments on this day. Parishioners are also invited to wear red on this day. Red decorations as well as celebrations are appropriate, similar to any other birthday.”
How can you celebrate Pentecost with your family? The following four resources offer great ideas for loved ones of all ages:
- Catholic Culture: “Catholic Activity: Pentecost Activities”
- The Religion Teacher: “Pentecost Activities”
- Pinterest: “Pentecost Crafts”
- Catholic Cuisine: “Menu ideas for Pentecost Sunday”
What are the ways you celebrate Pentecost with your family? Let us know on our social media pages.