Saturday, 11 June 2011

Whitsuntide

 
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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).
Wikipedia says:
"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."

8 comments:

Vagabonde said...

C’est intéressant de savoir cela. En France on ne travaille pas le lundi de la Pentecôte, et je ne savais vraiment pas pourquoi.

Roger Owen Green said...

I'll have to wear my red sneakers to church tomorrow.

Arkansas Patti said...

Very interesting. I was not familiar with this holy day.

Roger Owen Green said...

I mean I don't have to wear red sneakers, but the tradition on Pentecost is to wear something red.

Marja said...

Never heard about it Thanks for sharing

Sara at Come Away With Me said...

Thank you for the education about the name...something I've always wondered about. We call it Pentecost here, but I like Whitsun better. Very interesting information.

Dina said...

Interesting. And the icon is fascinating.

Kay said...

This is really interesting, Wil!