Pentecost is one of the principal days of the Christian year, celebrated on the fiftieth day after Easter. The Greek word pentecoste means “fiftieth day.” Pentecost is the day on which the Christian church commemorates the coming of the Holy Spirit upon the apostles and others assembled in Jerusalem. (Read Acts 2) It marks the beginning of the Christian church and the proclamation of its message throughout the world and is often referred to as the birthday of the church.
The liturgical color for Pentecost is red. Traditionally, Pentecost has been a day for baptisms and since it was the custom in the early church for persons being baptized to wear white robes or clothing, the day also became known as Whitsunday, a contraction of white Sunday. Today, most people wear something red to church on Pentecost Sunday.
While Pentecost is celebrated by some as the birthday of the church, it is supremely celebrated as the time when the church is empowered by the Holy Spirit for mission and service. We will be sure to mark this celebration in ways that draw attention to this momentous event in the life of the church, and we will remember our own need for empowerment as we seek to be faithful disciples in our time and place.