Churches to celebrate Pentecost PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by By BILL RYAN Sentinel Religion Editor   
Friday, 21 May 2010 08:12
Many churches will be seeing red this weekend.
Red is traditionally the color associated with Pentecost, a day which will be celebrated at many Christian churches on Sunday.
Many churches ask the congregation to wear red to services to provide a sea of red throughout.
Church leaders and often choirs will wear red vestments, with more and more congregations asked to join by wearing red clothing.
For those not familiar, Pentecost is always seven weeks after Easter, thus like Easter is not celebrated on a fixed date.
Pentecost is literally the 50th day, taken from the Greek language, and is a church holiday commemorating the descent Holy Spirt on Jesus' disciples. In some churches it is also called Whitsunday.
According to some records of tradition, the Holy Spirt came upon the disciples on the Jewish holiday of Pentecost following Jesus' death, resurrection and ascension into heaven.
Biblical stories  in the Acts of the Apostles, share how the disciples were able to speak in many languages and to be understood by all in attendance, no matter their native tongue.
The Jewish Pentecost was a thanksgiving feast for the first fruits of the wheat harvest and was associated with remembrance of God's gift of the Law to Moses on Mount Sinai.
As for the Christian tradition, it is often connected to the beginning of the church when the risen Lord sent the Spirit, which arrived with wind and fire, which are now often observed as symbols of the Spirit.
The Spirit manifested itself with the symbol of tongues of fire accompanied by gusts of wind. The arrival is often considered the birth of the church. Another symbol of Pentecost and the Holy Spirit is a dove.
 

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