The Feast of Whitsunday, or Pentecost, is celebrated seven weeks after Easter in the Christian liturgical year. The day is of great significance to Christians as it is the day that the promised Comforter, the Holy Spirit was sent to Jesus' disciples, the newborn nucleus of the Church.
Throughout Jesus' discourse to his disciples in John 14 - 17, as they celebrated the Passover just prior to His death and resurrection, He tells how the Holy Spirit, the Helper, the Comforter would be sent to them to dwell with them, teach them, bear witness to the Truth, and sanctify them to God. Our Father did not make children of us just to leave us orphans, He has sent us His own Spirit! George Herbert writes beautifully of this glorious day in his poem entitled, what else? Whitsunday.Listen sweet Dove unto my song,
And spread thy golden wings in me;
Hatching my tender heart so long,
Till it get wind, and fly away with thee.
Where is that fire which once descended
On thy Apostles? thou didst then
Keep open house, richly attended,
Feasting all comers by twelve chosen men.
Such glorious gifts thou didst bestow
That th' earth did like a heav'n appear;
The stars were coming down to know
If they might mend their wages, and serve here.
The sun which once did shine alone,
Hung down his head, and wisht for night,
When he beheld twelve suns for one
Going about the world, and giving light.
But since those pipes of gold, which brought
That cordial water to our ground,
Were cut and martyr'd by the fault
Of those, who did themselves through their side
Thou shutt'st the door, and keep'st within;
Scarce a good joy creeps through the chink:
And if the braves of conqu'ring sin
Did not excite thee, we should wholly sink.
Lord, though we change, thou art the same;
The same sweet God of love and light:
Restore this day, for thy great name,
Unto his ancient and miraculous right.