Pentecost Sunday is the Church’s celebration of the events described in the book of Acts, Chapter 2:
“When the day of Pentecost had come, they (Jesus’ first disciples) were all together in one place. And suddenly a sound came from heaven like the rush of a mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire, distributed and resting on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit…”
This event fulfilled Jesus’ promise to his disciples that, while he would ascend to the Father and no longer be physically present with them, he would “ask the Father, and the Father will give you another Counselor, to be with you for ever, even the Spirit of truth…” (John 14:16,17a)
At Pentecost, the Church celebrates the gift of the Holy Spirit, uniting all Christians as the Body of Christ on earth and empowering them to continue God’s mission to reach out in love to all people.
The word Pentecost comes from the Greek word meaning ‘fiftieth’ since the day falls 50 days after the celebration of Jesus’ resurrection on Easter Sunday. The colour red is associated with Pentecost.
The season following Pentecost includes all the days after Pentecost Sunday through to Advent, when the church calendar begins again. The first Sunday in the season of Pentecost is Trinity Sunday and the last is the Feast of Christ the King.
This long season between Pentecost and Advent is also known as Ordinary time, which isn't "ordinary" at all! It is the season in which the Church daily lives out its calling as the Body of the risen Christ, empowered by his Spirit. "Ordinary" in this case is more a technical word that refers to the way collects (prayers) are numbered for each Sunday through this season. They are numbered because they don't have a specific theme like they do in Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, or Easter. The liturgical colour through ordinary time is green, which reminds us of growth.