Pentecostal Sunday in Los Angeles
Whitsunday or Pentecostal Sunday is May 24th this year and it represents what I feel is one of the most important days on the Catholic calendar, especially in terms of what the day means to the community.
If you are a Catholic or a Christian who celebrates Whitsunday, you know that it is a day of celebration – commemorating the 50th day after Easter, when the Holy Ghost descended upon the Disciples of Jesus and granted them the gift of tongues so that they could more easily spread the word of their new religion to the world. It is more than just a commemoration of a biblical event – it is a mark of the birth of the Christian Church.
Today, Whitsunday is celebrated exactly 7 weeks after Easter and is commemorated in most parishes with mass and feasting.
The Extended Meaning of Pentecost
While Whitsunday means something different to everyone who celebrates, I always enjoy the day as more than just another Christian holiday. It is a day that represents new beginnings and the coming together of diverse peoples and cultures to share a common bond. This is so important and is represented in so many ways throughout Los Angeles every year during the Easter season. Like many of the post-Easter holidays, Whitsunday is often commemorated with a big feast, though there are also community events held throughout Los Angeles in churches to bring people together across diverse community lines.
Another common event on Whitsunday is baptisms. Spring is a time for baptisms and first communions among the community as a whole, but Whitsunday in particular is a very busy day for new baptisms. While there is no reason a baptism cannot take place on a different day, Whitsunday is often reserved in many churches for this very purpose.
Celebrating Whitsunday This Year
If you are Christian and celebrate Pentecost in any form, Whitsunday is on May 19th this year and you can be sure that there will be commemorations of it in mass, worship services, and feasts throughout Los Angeles this year. Wherever you live and whatever you do to celebrate the more important holidays of the Easter season, be sure to do it with your family and any members of the community you have not seen of late. It is a perfect time to reconnect and build those relationships in light of the communal spirit of Pentecost.