Updated: May 28, 2020
Pentecost is a significant date in the Christian calendar. The festival commemorates the coming of the Holy Spirit to the disciples following the death of Jesus in the Easter story – here's what you need to know about it.
When is Pentecost?
The date of Pentecost changes each year because it falls exactly seven weeks after Easter Sunday, based on the biblical account of the apostles praying together and the Holy Spirit descending upon them 49 days after the resurrection of Christ.
That means that in 2020 it takes place on Sunday 31 May, after Easter was celebrated on 12 April.
The name of Pentecost comes from the Greek word "Pentekostos", meaning 50, reflecting its origins in the Jewish holiday of Shavuot, marked on the 50th day after Passover.
It could therefore reflect the festival being a day for baptisms – when worshippers traditionally wear white – or the disciples being filled with the wisdom of the Holy Spirit.
What’s the history of Pentecost?
According to the Bible's New Testament the apostles were inspired to talk in tongues when the Holy Spirit descended on to them as they prayed together at the Shavuot festival.
Hearing them speaking in an unfamiliar language, the gathered onlookers in Jerusalem believed them to be drunk.
However, Saint Peter explained to them that the apostles were inspired by the spirit and delivered the first Christian sermon, leading to the conversion and baptism of 3,000 people.
Because of Peter's sermon, many consider Pentecost the birth of the Christian church as an official movement.
How is it celebrated?
True to its biblical origins, the day remains a popular time for baptisms, Pentecost is a happy festival. Ministers in church often wear robes with red in the design as a symbol of the flames in which the Holy Spirit came to earth.
Join Praise Church South Africa - Church online live on Facebook to celebrate Pentecost, this Sunday 31st May, 2020 @09:30am.