By |26 May 2023 at 11:00 PM
Whit Sunday 2023: Date, History, Facts about Whit Sunday

Whit Sunday occurs on May 28 this year and is the seventh Sunday after Easter. Whit Sunday is also known as Whitsun and Whitsunday, all of which refer to Pentecost, the Christian High Holy Day. In Britain, the term White Sunday refers to the distinctive white garments worn by newly baptised individuals. The festivals commemorate the arrival of the Holy Spirit to the disciples after Christ’s death. Whitsuntide is the week commencing on Whitsunday, which includes Pentecost, Whitsunday, and Whit-Tuesday.

The background of Whit Sunday

According to the ‘New Testament’ of the ‘Bible,’ when the Holy Spirit descended, the apostles started to speak in tongues. This allowed Saint Peter to address the gathering and deliver the first Christian sermon. This action converted and baptised 3,000 individuals. This sermon is celebrated as the genesis of the Christian church as a religious sect.

It is unknown when the festival was first celebrated, but the “Epistola Apostolorum,” a work from the Eastern church, mentioned it in the second century. It was mentioned in the third century by the Christian cleric and author Origen.

Early Christians referred to the entire 50-day period commencing with Easter as Pentecost. Baptisms occurred at the beginning (Easter) and end (Day of Pentecost) of the Paschal season. These 50 days were regarded as a festival, and each day was celebrated with delight. Daily worship was solemn, fasting was prohibited, and no one knelt while praying. At these services, the Acts of the Apostles were read, alms were distributed, slaves were freed, and evergreens were used to decorate places of worship.

In Western churches, priests and congregation members frequently wear red to represent the “fire tongues” that descended upon the disciples from the Holy Spirit, and the altar is typically draped with a red frontal cloth.

Whit Sunday represents the beginning of numerous springtime and outdoor activities, including festivals and organised outdoor activities. In a number of European nations, the Monday following Pentecost is a legal holiday.

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1971 saw the posthumous publication of the poem ‘Whitsun’.

As symbols of the Holy Spirit, flames, wind, a dove, and God’s breath are employed.

Historically and symbolically, Whit Sunday is connected to the holiday of Shavuot.

Pentecost derives from the Greek word pentekost, which means “fiftyth day” or “fifty.”

Priests, ministers, and choirs traditionally don red vestments, and this tradition has evolved to include the congregation.


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