Sunday, May 15, 2016

May 15: Pentecost Sunday

"Pentecost" by Juan Bautista Maino


Pentecost is celebrated on the 50th day after Easter. It’s also called Whitsun or Whitsunday in England, probably because it was the traditional day for new Christians to wear white clothing and be baptized at church. Pentecost is also considered to be the birthday of the Church, because when the Apostles were gathered on this day, the Holy Spirit rushed in like a mighty wind, leaving “tongues of fire” over each person’s head, and suddenly they were all given the gifts they needed to tell people about Jesus. It’s also the Jewish feast of Shavuot, celebrating the gifts of the Ten Commandments to Moses at Sinai. 


Your day should be filled with activities, because this is a very important feast day! Make sure you go to Mass, of course, but for the rest of your day, here’s a list of things – choose whatever works best for your family. 

1. Wear red clothing (red is the color of the Holy Spirit).

2. Read about the original Pentecost in your Bible – Acts 2.

3. Eat white foods (a Whitsunday tradition). How about some powdered sugar donuts after Mass, mozzarella cheese sticks for a snack, cauliflower for your side dish and supper and so on. Catholic Cuisine has more suggestions here.  

4. Make  a birthday cake!  A white cake with some sort of red representing the tongues of fire is traditional. Here’s a recipe for strawberry cake.  

5. If the weather cooperates, fly kites – remembering the mighty wind that announced the arrival of the Holy Spirit. 

All the saints of heaven, pray for us!

More reading for parents: