The Feast of Pentecost, also known as Whitsunday, celebrates the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles, fifty days after Easter. This event which marks the beginning of the Church is recorded in the Acts of the Apostles. The Apostles were gathered together probably talking about their future mission when a violent wind came upon them and flames of fire appeared among them and rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to talk in other languages, as the Spirit gave them the ability. God the Holy Spirit is God in action working in us and in the world today, bringing about change and transformation.

According to church tradition, Pentecost is always about seven weeks after Easter Sunday, or 50 days after Easter, including Easter Day. This year, Pentecost falls on Sunday, June 4.

The English word “Pentecost” is a transliteration of the Greek word pentekostos, which means “fifty.” It comes from the ancient Christian expression pentekoste hemera, which means “fiftieth day.” In some Orthodox churches, Whitsunday is observed after the date set by the western churches. This is because some Orthodox churches still observe holidays according to the Julian calendar, which preceded the Gregorian calendar adopted by many western churches. The Easter date depends on the ecclesiastical approximation of the March equinox.

The symbols of Pentecost are those of the Holy Spirit and include flames, wind, and a dove. The color of the season is red.

From the Society of St. Francis

European Province


Listen to the following Hymn traditionally played on Pentecost Sunday

This Hymn starts at 12:11 and ends at 17:25

Hymnal 1982,
48 O day of radient gladness

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By Celia Tolar-Bane, Director of Music

St John's Episcopal Church

In honor of Black History Month...

We focus on the "Black national anthem", written by James Weldon Johnson, author of "God's Trombones", which was sung for the first time by 500 schoolchildren at a school celebration of Lincoln's birthday in 1900. The moving text looks forward with assurance to the day when unity and respect among people of different cultures and races will prevail. This hymn, "Lift Every Voice and Sing", appears on page 599 on our Episcopal hymnal.

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