We have arrived at Pentecost Sunday, which is celebrated the 49th day (the seventh Sunday) after Easter Sunday.
This weekend commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles and other followers of Jesus Christ while they were in Jerusalem celebrating the Feast of Weeks, as described in the Acts of the Apostles (Acts 2:1–31). Many also refer to this Sunday as the day that we celebrate the birth of the Church, the birth of those called out.
In many countries today, also called “White Sunday” or “Whitsunday” or “Whitsun”, and traditionally the next day, Whit Monday, were also a public holiday. Our western world has moved the holiday Monday to other weekends in May, but still the Monday after Pentecost is a legal holiday in many European countries.
For me personally, it is a feast full of tradition and deeply rooted in Roman Catholic tradition. Many of the hymns we would sing come from the early centuries of our faith, the foundations of our Church. We would hear the traditional Sequence proclaim, “Veni Sancte Spiritus, et emitte callitus lucis tuae radium” (“Come Holy Spirit, and send forth from heaven the ray of Thy light.”) The traditional version of the hymn is present at the start of our reflection.
All of the materials in today’s reflection are in the Public Domain or are used with the permission of the composer/arranger. These are credited within the video.