The name Pentecost comes from the Greek word meaning “fiftieth.” Originally, the name “Pentecost” referred to a Jewish harvest festival known as the Festival of Weeks. This festival was also called Pentecost because it took place seven full weeks or fifty days after the Feast of First Fruits. However, fifty days after Jesus’ resurrection, tradition tells us the Holy Spirit appeared as tongues of fire above the heads of people gathered in Jerusalem for Pentecost, and gave them the ability to understand foreign languages they never knew before, thus reversing the curse of Babel (Genesis 11). Afterward, the Apostles preached to the crowd and, according the Book of Acts, 3,000 people came to faith in Jesus, and the Christian Church was born.
The Christian Church now celebrates this special event 50 days after Easter on the Day of Pentecost. The season of Pentecost is the longest season in the Christian Church year. It lasts until the season of Advent begins the new church year (In some churches it is interrupted by the Season fo Creation in September), a period of between 22 and 27 weeks, depending upon the date of Easter.
The season of Pentecost is often referred to as the non-festival half of the church year because, during this time, the Christian Church does not celebrate a major festival commemorating the life of Jesus; thus it is also referred to as Ordinary Time. The word “ordinal” simply means counted time.
On the first Sunday after Pentecost, the Christian Church celebrates Trinity Sunday. Thereafter, the emphasis is on on the teachings of Jesus; however, there are some other special days, such as the Uniting Church Birthday, Reformation Sunday, All Saints Day, and Christ the King Sunday. The liturgical colour for season of Pentecost is green to symbolise how Christians grow in their faith through God’s Word.
Links to Sermons in the Season of Pentecost
Ordinary Sunday 14A (05-07-2020)