Saturday, 11 June 2011
On Sunday, 12th June and Monday, 13th we celebrate Whitsuntide.
Whitsun (also Whitsunday, Whit Sunday or Whit) is the name used in the UK for the Christian festival of Pentecost, the seventh Sunday after Easter, which commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon Christ's disciples (Acts of the Apostles chapter 2).
"The name derives from the white garments worn by catechumens, those expecting to be baptised on that Sunday, when infant baptism was still uncommon. Thus it is centuries older than the tradition of the young women of the parish all coming to church or chapel in new white dresses on that day. However, Augustinian canon, John Mirk (c1382 - 1414), of Lilleshall Abbey, Shropshire, had a different interpretation:
Good men and wimmen, this day (Dies Penthecostes) is called Wytsonday by cause the holy ghost bought wytte and wisdom into Crists dyscyples, and so by prechying after in all Cristendom and fylled him full of holy Wytte
Thus, he thought the root of the word was "wit" (formerly spelt "wyt" or "wytte") and Pentecost was so-called to signify the outpouring of the wisdom of the Holy Ghost on Christ's disciples."