See also: Introduction to the Church’s Liturgical Calendar and David Fry’s article The Forgotten Holiday of Pentecost and How Churches Can Celebrate It.
Pentecost is the fiftieth and final day of Easter, always on a Sunday. It’s sometimes called Pentecost Sunday.
Pentecost is a fitting time to baptize, especially by pouring, since the mode of pouring water over the head three times is a symbol of the Spirit being poured out at Pentecost.
Color and Decorations
Red is the color of Pentecost.
Red overlay for communion table:
- Red Trinity Cross Overlay Cloth (overlay only)
- Red Trinity Cross Overlay Cloth and White Communion Table Frontal (overlay and tablecloth)
Collects* from the BCP for Pentecost:
Almighty God, on this day you opened the way of eternal life to every race and nation by the promised gift of your Holy Spirit: Shed abroad this gift throughout the world by the preaching of the Gospel, that it may reach to the ends of the earth; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
O God, who on this day taught the hearts of your faithful people by sending to them the light of your Holy Spirit: Grant us by the same Spirit to have a right judgment in all things, and evermore to rejoice in his holy comfort; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
*A collect is a prayer that collects the scattered thoughts of God’s people and directs them towards the same end: God and his works.
Readings from the Revised Common Lectionary (Year C):
- First reading: Acts 2:1–21 or Genesis 11:1–9
- Psalm: Psalm 104:24–34, 35b
- Second reading: Romans 8:14–17 or Acts 2:1–21
- Gospel: John 14:8–17, (25–27)
For Years A and B, see Revised Common Lectionary.
Creeds and Confessions
Apostles’ Creed: “I believe in the Holy Spirit.”
Nicene Creed: “And I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of Life; who proceeds from the Father and the Son; who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified; who spoke by the prophets.”
39 Articles of Religion, V: “The Holy Spirit, proceeding from the Father and the Son, is of one substance, majesty, and glory, with the Father and the Son, very and eternal God.”
25 Articles of Religion, IV: “The Holy Spirit, proceeding from the Father and the Son, is of one substance, majesty, and glory with the Father and the Son, very and eternal God.”
Heidelberg Catechism, Question 53:
Q. 53. What do you believe concerning “the Holy Spirit”?
First, that the Spirit, with the Father and the Son, is eternal God. Second, that the Spirit is given also to me, so that, through true faith, he makes me share in Christ and all his benefits, comforts me, and will remain with me forever.
- The Visual Commentary on Scripture, “Exhibition: Pentecost.”