Customs and Conventions of Whitsun

The name Pentecost originates from the Greek term "Πεντηκοστή" which is the synonym of the fiftieth. As a principal feast of Eastern Orthodox churches, Anglican churches, and Catholic churches, it commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit after the long-time waiting in the form of red burning flames to the Apostles and other believers of Jesus Christ, as stated in the New Testament. The holy festive day which is also referred to as Whit Sunday or White Sunday is universally conceived of as the origin of the Western churches concerning it was the Apostle, Peter, who proclaimed Christ's gospel to the crowd the religious event was the realization of the prophecy in The King James Bible.

When it comes to the liturgical celebrations of Whitsunday, it varies between regions and denominations. In the North West, citizens in certain towns have participated in walks and processions with red handkerchiefs or other symbolic items to be distributed and waved. In Gloucestershire, a county in England, following the service of evening prayer in the Anglican church on Whit Monday, a huge amount of cheese and bread are hurled from a mud-brick wall around the historic castle, to be grabbed in an alley below. It is the custom that can trace back to the thirteenth century when those agricultural crops and by-products were regarded as the reimbursement for the right of the rural residents to fell trees from the neighboring woods. Cheese rolling is another convention that passed down from forefathers. In Stilton, Cambridgeshire, and Randwick, cheeses will be rolled along a relatively long fixed course and the winner individual or teams will be rewarded the whole bespoke specially-made limited enormous cheese that likely to be shared among bystanders and passersby.

As far as the elements employed in Western churches on Pentecost are concerned, the color red which conveys the implications of pleasure, as well as the fire of the Holy Spirit, is the dominant sign. The clericsparsons or ministerschoristers, and even the laity of the congregation all wear red vestments or relevant attire in celebration. Religious supplies and devotional items including the red burning candles, reddish plants such as geraniums, holy water font, red tablecloths, banners, and backdrops are the typical and conventional decorations for Whitsunday services. At the alter area, the aforementioned ornaments are placed to symbolize the movement of the Holy Spirit, the revival of life, the rushing mighty wind came from heaven and the advent of the warmth of summer. While in the south of the equator, for instance, in New Zealand and Australia, Whitsun arrives in the mellow fall, normally after the heatwave of summer, the red and green foliage of the Euphorbia pulcherrima has traditionally selected to adorn the places of worship then. Plants like the poinsettia regularly play an essential role in the early-stage Christian liturgies and certain other sacraments. They are sometimes introduced by church members to decorate for a significant occasion like the Confirmation Day or to be brought for a beloved person. In Austria, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Liechtenstein, and other central European countries, green branches, especially the birch branches are the most representative plants associated with the rite of Whitsunday.

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