On Pentecost Sunday, Christians around the world celebrate this holy day with symbols of flames, a dove and wind to signify the power and hope of the Holy Spirit throughout the Church.
Pentecost comes 10 days after the Ascension of Christ, and it occurs 50 days after Easter. The English word “Pentecost” is translated from the Greek work pentekostos which means “fifty”. This comes from the ancient Christian expression “pentekoste hemera” which means “fiftieth day”.
Pentecost is recorded in the New Testament in the Book of Acts. The account begins with the Holy Spirit descending on a group of followers who, upon receiving it, begin to speak in tongues. The Bible tells us “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 houses where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them tongues of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues, and the spirit gave them utterance” (Acts 2:1-4).
With the descent of the Holy Spirit, a New Covenant is inaugurated. Pentecost is a celebration and a reminder that the Holy Spirit came to empower our witness to the Risen Christ. There is incredible hope and power in this. – Lesli White: www.beliefnet.com/faiths/religious-observances/what-is-pentecost-and-why-do-we-celebrate-it.aspx