Ascension Day is the Christian celebration of Jesus rising into Heaven after He had spent 40 days on Earth after the Resurrection. Ascension Day is celebrated forty days after Easter Sunday on Ascension Thursday. This date is also ten days before the celebration of the Pentecost.
(Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis)
Pentecost in the United States – June 4, 2017
Pentecost is a Christian holy day commemorating the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the disciples of Jesus Christ, according to the New Testament of the Bible. It is also known as Whitsunday, or Whit Sunday.
As recorded in the New Testament of the Bible, it was on the 50th day after Easter that the apostles were praying together and the Holy Spirit descended on them. They received the “gift of tongues” – the ability to speak in other languages – and immediately began to preach about Jesus Christ to Jewish people from all over the world who flocked to Jerusalem for the Feast of Shavuot.
Christian Pentecost became not only a commemoration of the Holy Spirit’s visit but also marks the birth of the Christian Church. Although it is not certain when Pentecost began to be observed by Christians, it may have been early as the first century. Whitsuntide, also referred to as Whitsun in modern times, is the period beginning with the Saturday before Whitsunday and ending the following Saturday.
According to church tradition, Pentecost is always about seven weeks after Easter Sunday, or 50 days after Easter, including Easter Day.
Come, Holy Spirit
Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Thy faithful and enkindle in them the fire of Thy love.
V. Send forth Thy Spirit and they shall be created.
R. And Thou shalt renew the face of the earth.
Let us pray. O God, Who didst instruct the hearts of the faithful by the light of the Holy Spirit, grant us in the same Spirit to be truly wise, and ever to rejoice in His consolation. Through Christ our Lord.
The symbols of Pentecost are those of the Holy Spirit and include flames, wind, the breath of God and a dove.
Editor: Evan Macklin