Fifty days after Easter the Church celebrates Pentecost and the giving of the Holy Spirit. This day, often called “the birthday of the Christian Church,” initiated a period of intense evangelistic activity in which on the first day alone, 3,000 people were added to the Church. Traditionally the festival carries two names:
- Pentecost – which is the name of the old Jewish harvest festival (the Feast of Weeks), with the word itself means “fifty”.
- Whitsun – which is a name taken from ‘White Sunday’ since this was the traditional time in the Church when new converts to the Christian faith were baptized. For this ceremony they wore white clothes as a symbol of their new purity through faith in Christ.
(M. Keene, Introducing Christianity 1998)