Pentecost is the Christian festival celebrating the descent of the Holy Spirit on the disciples of Jesus. It occurs in May or early June as it is, like Easter, a mobile holiday. This year it occurs on May 20th.
The word Pentecost comes from the Greek pentecostē, meaning 50 days. On the seventh Sunday after Easter, fifty days after the Resurrection and Ascension of Jesus Christ , the church celebrates the descent of the Holy Spirit on the disciples of Jesus. In descending on the apostles with tongues of fire that made the apostles speak in foreign tongues, the apostles could go forth and preach the message of Christ to the world. In essence, it marks the beginning of the church as we know it and is one of its most important holy days of the year.
From the time of Pope Innocent III, red become the liturgical color for celebrating this most important holy day of the year with the priest wearing red vestments. Sometimes Christians will dress in red as well or decorate the churches with red. In the Middle Ages, there was a custom of throwing rose petals from the oculus, the small circular window in the domes of many basilicas and cathedrals, down on the worshipers during mass to symbolize the red tongues of fire that came down on the apostles. Sometimes cages of doves were released to fly in the vaulted ceilings to symbolize the Holy Spirit.
The custom of throwing down rose petals continues in Rome at the ancient 2000 year old temple known as the Pantheon that is now a Catholic Church dedicated to St. Mary of the Martyrs. Although this comes from Pentecost 2016, you can view it at this website:
Leave a Reply.
One of the biggest moments in my life was being able to sign for my very own library card. When I'm not reading, researching and writing I'm riding my bike, sewing or gardening. I love flea markets, folk art, and traveling to Poland.