Next Sunday, May 24, is the Feast of Pentecost. Pentecost is the day on which we remember the story given to us in the second chapter of the Book of Acts.
The story goes:
– 40 days after the resurrection (which we celebrate at Easter) Jesus ascends into heaven (which we celebrate on Ascension Day)
– But before he ascends, Jesus promises that he will not leave us “comfortless”, but will send the Holy Spirit to strengthen and to guide us, to guide the church.
– Ten days later, on the Day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit descended on the people gathered. (note: Pentecost is an ancient Jewish festival of the harvest, the name of which translates from the Hebrew as The Festival of Weeks. This festival is referred to in Exodus chapters 23 and 34, and in Deuteronomy chapter 16)
– In the Book of Acts, the story is told:
And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak with other languages, as the Spirit gave them utterance. And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language.
So… on The Day of Pentecost in the church year, fifty days of Easter and ten days after the Ascension, the clergy wear RED vestments to signify the work of the Spirit. It is also a custom in many churches for the people in the congregation to wear RED on the Day of Pentecost as well. We wear RED to remind us of the fire of the Spirit.
In addition, a congregation with many dressed in RED is colorful.