Fifty days after the Passover, God’s Old Testament people celebrated Pentecost (Greek for “fifty”). Pentecost commemorated the gathering of the harvest and was also used to remember the giving of the Law on Mt. Sinai, the start of the Church of Israel. Christ chose Pentecost to be the birthday of his New Testament Church too. By pouring out his Holy Spirit, Christ empowered the Church to gather in the great harvest of souls won by the Son. Pentecost is the third great festival of the Church, along with the Nativity and the Resurrection. The early church fathers mention the Festival of Pentecost often enough to lead many to believe it was celebrated annually already at the time of the apostles. Pentecost closes the fifty-day period after Easter and ends the festival half of the church year. The Church dresses in red this day to remind us of the tongues of fire that marked the Spirit’s gift, as well as the blood of the martyrs which was the seed of the Church.


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