Historic Trinity
The dove on the red Pentecost paraments at Historic Trinity


Pentecost is the third great festival of the Christian year. On the first Christian Day of Pentecost, the original Jewish feast which came 50 days after the second day of the Passover, there came, hovering over the eleven disciples gathered together in Jerusalem, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the form of tongues of fire. This scene of the first Pentecost is depicted in the mural of the reredos (back) of the altar at Historic Trinity. On that day, the disciples were strengthened and empowered by the fulfillment of the promise of the Holy Spirit which had been given them by the risen Lord.

Pentecost is regarded as the birthday of the Church, for on that day about 3000 were reported to have been added to the fellowship of the disciples, with the injunction to repent and to be baptized in the name of Jesus. This initial large influx of converts, those who came out of the stirring events of Pentecost, “continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread and in prayers”.

Pentecost, or Whitsunday, commemorating the coming of the Holy Spirit, for the Christian world is held the seventh Sunday after Easter. Its observance went back to early Christian times, but it was not until the 11th century and later that it became prominent in Western Europe. It was also known as Whitsunday because of the white garments worn by those coming to baptism in the days when Europe was being converted, and because those not baptized on Easter were given baptism on Pentecost Day.

The medieval Church developed many customs in connection with this festival, among these were the lavish use of roses and the employment of trumpets in the services. The liturgical color for the day is red, a reminder of the tongues of fire and also of the blood of the martyrs, “the seed of the church”.

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Historic Trinity Lutheran Church
1345 Gratiot Avenue
Detroit, Michigan 48207
Phone: (313) 567-3100
Fax: (313) 567-3209
Email: Historic Trinity

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"Holy Spirit Hear Us"