1971 Cromwellian abolition of movable Witsun feast

Tony Gosling tony at cultureshop.org.uk
Sat May 23 12:45:30 BST 2015

Annoying, isn't it, that crown and church have 
aboloshed Whtsun in our lifetimes.

Whitsun, after the usual progressive ‘experiment’ 
(these, as you will find, are always successful), 
was replaced, with barely a squawk of dissent, by 
the unpoetic ‘Late Spring Bank Holiday’.
 From Whitsunday, the great feast of the Holy 
Ghost, of a rushing mighty wind and tongues of 
fire to
a ‘Bank Holiday’. What could be more secular than a bank?
And I suspect it’s only a matter of time before 
Good Friday goes the same way. Good Friday was in 
my own memory still the most solemn day of the 
year, a day of sober quiet and reverence, and of, 
at least,  respect from unbelievers. It is now a 
raucous fairground of shopping, betting and boozing.
Christmas will be last to go, but go it will. The 
secular world is slowly overwhelming Western 
Christianity, and when it has done so, will the 
pagans come back, or something even worse, 
perhaps a vast reductionist indifference to eternity?

Okay - a bit more about

Pentecost Definition and Summary
Pentecost, also known as Whitsunday, celebrates 
the birthday of the Christian Church, when the 
Holy Spirit came upon the Apostles in the Acts of 
the Apostles. Pentecost is celebrated 50 days 
after Easter, on Pentecost Sunday. Christian 
Pentecost differs from the Jewish celebration. In 
2015, Pentecost falls on May 24th in the Catholic 
Calendar (dates in other years). Prayers: Pentecost Prayers

Type of Holiday: Solemnity; Holy Day of Obligation
Time of Year: 50 days after Easter
Celebrates/Symbolizes: The outpouring of the Holy 
Spirit on the Apostles and the founding of the Church
Alternate Names: Whitsunday
Scriptural References: Acts 2:1-11; The Book of 
Acts. See also the ancient Jewish festival called 
the "feast of weeks" or Pentecost (Exodus 34:22; Deuteronomy 16:10).

Pentecost, the 50th and final day of the Easter 
Season, celebrates the outpouring of the Holy 
Spirit upon the Apostles in the book of Acts, 
ushering in the beginning of the Church. 50 Days 
after Jesus' resurrection (and 10 days after his 
Ascension), the apostles were gathered together, 
confused and contemplating their future purpose and mission.

On the day of Pentecost, a flame rested upon the 
shoulders of the apostles and they began to speak 
in tongues (languages), by the power of the Holy 
Spirit. Thus Pentecost is a time for many 
Catholics and other Christians to celebrate two 
important realities: the Holy Spirit and the 
Church. Pentecost has long been a very important 
feast in The Catholic and Orthodox Churches 
because it celebrates the official beginning of 
the Church. It is one of the twelve Great Feasts 
of the Eastern Church, second only in importance 
to Pascha (Easter). Pentecost always falls on a 
Sunday, fifty days after Easter Sunday (inclusive 
of Easter Sunday), and occurs during mid-to-late 
Spring in the Northern hemisphere, and 
mid-to-late autumn in the Southern hemisphere. 
The summer season of Ordinary Time begins on the 
Monday immediately following Pentecost Sunday.

Pentecost is also the Greek name for Jewish Feast 
of Weeks (Shavuot), falling on the 50th day of 
Passover. It was during the Feast of Weeks that 
the first fruits of the grain harvest were 
presented (see Deuteronomy 16:9). New Testament 
references to Pentecost likely refer to the 
Jewish feast and not the Christian feast, which 
gradually developed during and after the Apostolic period.

In the English speaking countries, Pentecost is 
also known as Whitsunday. The origin of this name 
is unclear, but may derive from the Old English 
word for "White Sunday," referring to the 
practice of baptizing converts clothed in white 
robes on the Sunday of Pentecost. In the English 
tradition, new converts were baptized on Easter, 
Pentecost, and All Saints Day, primarily for 
pragmatic purposes: people went to church these 
days. Alternatively, the name Whitsunday may have 
originally meant "Wisdom Sunday," since the Holy 
Spirit is traditionally viewed as the Wisdom of 
God, who bestows wisdom upon Christians at 
baptism. In other parts of the world, Pentecost 
has other names, including "Green Sunday" in the 
Ukraine and "Green Holiday" in Poland. These 
names are derived from Pentecost customs that 
involve taking green plants into homes and 
churches as symbols of new life. These customs 
also may hearken back to the harvest festival themes of the Jewish Pentecost.

As with the term Pascha, in Pentecost Christians 
borrowed a Jewish term and applied it to their 
own festivals. Tertullian (3rd century) knew of 
Christian Pentecost, and the Apostolic 
Constitutions (4th century) speak of the 
Pentecost feast lasting a week. In the Western 
Church the vigil of Pentecost became second only 
to the Easter Vigil in importance. Eventually in 
the West, Pentecost became a Sunday set aside for 
baptisms. Pentecost was not kept with an octave 
(an 8 day celebration) until a later date, 
although now that practice has been largely 
abandoned. For the most part, Pentecost is now in 
Western churches celebrated for only a Sunday. 
Traditionally, the Sundays between Pentecost and 
Advent have been designated "Sundays After 
Pentecost." However, this has been dropped in the 
West, although it continues in the East. The date 
of Pentecost is determined based on the date of 
Easter, and since Western churches calculate 
Easter differently than Orthodox Christians, 
usually Western and Eastern Christians celebrate 
Pentecost on different dates. Using the Western 
Easter calculation, the earliest possible date 
for Pentecost is May 10, and the latest possible date is June 13.
Worship and Prayer Resources

Prayers and Collects for Pentecost
Pentecost Sermon I St. Leo the Great
Sermon for Pentecost: Come Upon Mighty Wind
Pentecost Art, Photos, and Images

Descent of the Holy Spirit Icon

At 15:07 21/05/2015, you wrote:
>Whitsun, this bank holiday weekend, is the
>time for walks processions. The traditional "Procession of Witness"
>Whit Sunday
>Whit Sunday is a favourite day for baptism. It 
>is thought that because people are often 
>baptised dressed in white, Whit Sunday was 
>probably originally known as 'White Sunday'.
>Whisuntide is the week following with 
>Whitsunday, which is always the seventh sunday after Easter Sunday.
>Customs and Traditions
>Whit Walks
>Christians in some towns and cities have
>traditionally taken part in Whit Walks. Whitsun 
>was the time for walks and processions. The 
>traditional "Procession of Witness" has long 
>been celebrated throughout the North West.
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