|Some of the many names given the Holy Spirit in scripture and in tradition.|
The seven weeks (49 days) of the Easter season are coming to a close and we find ourselves on the "eve" of Pentecost (from the Ancient Greek: Πεντηκοστή [ἡμέρα], Pentēkostē [hēmera], "the Fiftieth [day]").
Our greater feasts (solemnities) have vigil celebrations and Pentecost is one of them. There are a variety of readings offered for vigil celebrations of Pentecost and you may hear three or more of them on Saturday evening. The given lections for Pentecost day are three in number as usual. (Some parishes might "mix and match" these texts between the vigil and the day.) The texts for Mass on the Day of Pentecost and commentary on them can be found here. Bringing children to Mass with you? Hints for helping them prepare to hear the Word can be found here.
Pentecost celebrates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the disciples as they waited in prayer, at the Lord's instruction (Acts 1:4-5), after he ascended into heaven. Pentecost is also sometimes called "the birthday of the Church."
This feast is an occasion for us to reflect on the presence, power and gifts of the Holy Spirit in the Church and in the life of each one of us - and on the Spirit's desire that we all be one in the Body of Christ.
I encourage you to prepare for celebrating Pentecost by reading and reflecting on the scriptures for this feast.
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