Pentecost is upon us—the last big feast before the official end of the Easter season and the beginning of the liturgical ordinary time. We’ve all been cooped up and deprived of the Sacraments for far too long, but that doesn’t mean we can’t find ways to celebrate Pentecost in a big way!
Need some ideas on how to do it, especially if you’re still homebound? Here are a few ideas to get you started!
Paint it red
Having a “red” themed day. If you have young children, you can have a “costume” contest on the most creative outfits featuring the color red. Bonus points if they’ve can somehow incorporate the scene of Mary and the Apostles praying together in the Upper Room and/or the Blessed Trinity. You can also incorporate healthy red-colored foods to every meal. Just try not to have your temper match the color – no need to feel anger or great embarrassment on the day!
Throw a birthday party
It is technically considered the Church’s birthday, so why not throw a birthday party in honor of the officially establishment of the Church? Go all out! You can print out (or use prints and statues you may already have at home) pictures of your favorite saints. If you have artistically inclined loved ones, they can also create their own artwork of saints or their rendition of the Holy Spirit descending upon the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Apostles. Don’t forget to have Pentecost-themed foods. You know, anything that can be grilled. If you want to support local businesses and want to order in as a special treat, you can choose foods that have been flame-broiled as well. Don’t forget dessert. Actually, speaking of that…
Bake a Pentecost cake
While there are many recipes that you can find online, I love this simple recipe from Catholic Cuisine. Basically, you choose whatever cake flavor you’d like, though a “white cake” mix is preferred. It can be store-bought or homemade; it’s up to you. All you need to do is decorate it in a specific way. Here are the directions on how to decorate it:
- Use white frosting to cover the cake.
- Place a large candle in the center. This represents Christ who is our Light; who promised to send the Holy Ghost.
- Add 12 birthday candles around the large candle. Each of these smaller candles represent each of the 12 Apostles and the tongues of fire.
- Add 7 red hearts, whether they be candy hearts, made from icing, or hearts made out of strawberries, for decoration. Each heart represents the 7 gifts of the Holy Ghost.
- Add 12 strawberries – represent the 12 fruits of the Holy Ghost. If you or a loved one is allergic to strawberries, pick any other fruit of your choice; just make sure it’s a fruit.
- If you have children, let them blow out the candles representing the “mighty wind” that entered the Upper Room.
Catholic Cuisine also suggest serving the cake vanilla ice cream and even more strawberries (or other fruits) as well.
Learn a new language
With the lockdowns, many libraries are still offering access to sources like Mango and eMedia (such as audiobooks and videos) from which you can learn a new language. While it may be a tad too ambitious to try to master a new language is such a short period of time, perhaps you can learn the basics to use for the day. You know, “hello,” “good morning,” “thank you,” and “I love you.” If you want to stick with it, you can also do that. It can never hurt to learn a new language, especially if you want to follows the Apostles’ lead and try to evangelize and bring others to the faith who are not speakers of your native tongue.
Have family “story” and prayer time
If your children are unfamiliar with the events that occurred during Pentecost, this is the perfect time to gather everyone together and read Acts 2 together. You can have one person as the designated as the reader or take turns reading it, having someone act as St. Peter by reciting the speech he gave in Acts 2:14-41. The point is to re-read the account of what happened on that beautiful day. After recounting what happened, you can do as the Apostles did and pray together. The Rosary is highly recommended – especially the Glorious Mysteries – but you can choose any prayers. The point is to continue the tradition begun by the Apostles.
No matter what you choose to do, I hope you take this opportunity to really celebrate the day, especially with all the wonderful things that are starting to happen. With some many dioceses starting to slowly open churches, as well as the United States president declaring that places of worship are deemed “essential,” we will truly see ourselves leaving our own little “Upper Rooms” and getting back out to the world with our hearts aflame with the love of God. While it may take a while for things to get back to “business as usual” or may even be temporarily altered until we have better understanding and solution for COVID-19, let us celebrate the fact that Church is still alive and well despite these several months we were away from the Sacraments.
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