Pentecost and Trinity Sundays
~ submitted by Clifton Flemister, Sr. Warden
PENTECOST SUNDAY (this year it was May 23)
Pentecost Season is the sixth and last of the seasons in the Church Year and lasts about half of the year. The Day of Pentecost (Whitsunday) is the start of the season and begins fifty days after Easter Day. Pentecost (‘fiftieth’) comes from the Greek name for the Jewish Festival of Weeks (Festival of Harvest), which is fifty days after Passover. Passover is the most important of the Jewish feasts.
The Day of Pentecost (Whitsunday) was when the Holy Ghost descended on the Apostles, thus completing the revelation of the Trinity (the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost) to us (John 7:37-39). It was after this that the Apostles started proclaiming Jesus as the Christ, and the Church started. Because of this, the Day of Pentecost is often called the birthday of the Church.
Whitsunday eventually replaced Easter day as the day that baptisms take place in some churches. In earlier times, people wore white baptismal garments, thus the name Whitsunday (White Sunday).
Pentecost Season is the time we learn to live and grow as Christians. The other seasons teach us the basics of Christ’s birth, his earthly ministry, his death, resurrection and ascension.
- Length of Season: 24 to 29 Weeks.
- Date of Season: Variable. Starting May 10 to June 13 and ending on November 30.
- Mood of Season: Joyful.
- Color of Season: Red on Pentecost Day, then Green thereafter, except Trinity Sunday (the first Sunday after Pentecost), when White is used.
- Symbol: Tongues of Flame.
TRINITY SUNDAY (this year it was May 30)
The first Sunday after The Day of Pentecost, (also called Whitsunday, when the Holy Spirit descended on the apostles and other followers of Jesus). The Sunday is a Principal Feast Day and marks the beginning of the 24-29 week time we study the life of Christ.
Trinity Sunday was ordained a Principal Feast Day in 1118 by Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury.