Pentecost is the festival when Christians celebrate the gift of the Holy Spirit. It is celebrated on the Sunday 50 days after Easter (the name comes from the Greek pentekoste, “fiftieth”).
It is also called Whitsun, but does not necessarily coincide with the Whitsun Bank Holiday in the UK.
Pentecost is regarded as the birthday of the Christian church, and the start of the church’s mission to the world.
The Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is the third part of the Trinity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit that is the way Christians understand God.
Pentecost is a happy festival. Ministers in church often wear robes with red in the design as a symbol of the flames in which the Holy Spirit came to earth.
Hymns sung at Pentecost take the Holy Spirit as their theme, and include:
- Come down O Love Divine
- Come Holy Ghost our souls inspire
- Breathe on me breath of God
- O Breath of Life, come sweeping through us
- There’s a spirit in the air
- Spirit of the Living God, fall afresh on me