On the 50th day after Easter, we celebrate Pentecost (May 27/ June 3), commemorating the Holy Spirit’s descent onto the Apostles.
Jesus remained on Earth with
His disciples for 40 days after
His Resurrection then ascended
to heaven. The Bible’s Book of
Acts tells us that 10 days after
Jesus’ Ascension, the Holy Spirit,
came onto the apostles in the
form of tongues of fire, accompanied by a rush of wind, empowering them to speak in foreign languages and enabling
them to preach the Gospel in
A large crowd witnessed this
amazing event. The Apostle Peter urged them to turn to Christ.
Many did so. Therefore, on Pentecost Christians celebrate both
the feast of the Holy Spirit and
the Church’s birth.
Pentecost is colloquially referred
to in the Ukrainian Catholic
Church (UCC) as Zeleni Sviata
(Green Holidays). Symbolically,
green is the colour of life, so on
Pentecost churches (and homes)
are traditionally decorated with
green foliage and priests wear
green vestments. It is a custom
for families to gather at the
graves of their loved ones on this
day to pray for those who
have passed on to eternal life.
On Pentecost, we do not
simply celebrate a past event,
but also that which happens
to us in the Church today.
We, as baptised members of
the Church, have received in
the Sacrament of Chrismation, “the seal of the gift of
the Holy Spirit”. Pentecost
happened to us! That means
that we, like the apostles, are
called to preach the Gospel.
One way that we can do that
is to live our daily lives according to Christ’s teachings.