Father Stephen (Freeman) on Whitsunday—Babylon and the Trees of Pentecost

Posted by Kendall Harmon

My Western background left me completely unprepared for this Eastern take on the feast of the gift of the Spirit to the Church. In Western Churches, Pentecost particularly focuses on the “fire” of the Holy Spirit lighting on the disciples in the upper room and the “empowerment” of the Church for mission. Traditionally in the West, the color of the feast is red (for the fire).

In the East, the color of the feast is green – which is also the color worn for the feast days of monastic saints. In the West, green is the “ordinary” color worn in the “in between” Sundays and weekdays of the Calendar. For the Orthodox, gold serves this function.

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Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsPentecost* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesOrthodox Church* Theology

Posted June 12, 2011 at 6:46 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

1. Ian+ wrote:

Interesting. Before liturgical renewal in the West, there was a similar understanding of the prominence of the Trinity in the celebration of Pentecost in that Pentecost was reckoned, not as a one-day feast, but as an octave, Trinity Sunday being the Octave day of Pentecost (see older BCPs, e.g. 1959 Canada, 1928 US, 1662 CofE). In that context, one sees more clearly how the revelation of the Trinity is perhaps the greatest insight that the Holy Spirit gave to the Church at his coming.

June 12, 1:08 pm | [comment link]
2. Ad Orientem wrote:

An excellent post.  For those interested there is a short video clip with scenes from the All Night Vigil for Pentecost which can be found here.  The heavy use of greens including both vestments and foliage is much evident.

June 12, 3:02 pm | [comment link]
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