Within the last week, my husband learned that Pentecost was or is considered the second most important feast day in the Catholic Church, information that he passed on to me, equally as surprised as he. Of course, this reflects that I hadn't much thought about it: given that society hasn't overshadowed this Catholic feast day with worldly traditions (like Christmas gifts), the day hadn't much caught my eye.
(For those who are curious: no, Christmas isn't first! Easter takes preeminence, Pentecost second, Christmas third. Google "Pentecost second most important" and you'll see many interesting articles pop up.)
Given only a week, I haven't even had time to research the traditions much, but I'd like our family to begin making notation of this feast day in much greater ways in future years. First note is that, traditionally, the day before any great feast day is one of fasting and penance, so I'll need to look into that.
This morning, I made our Sunday breakfast a bit more festive, using a red table cloth (red for the tongues of fire that came down upon the apostles), decorated with pink roses in beautiful, wee vases we bought at the neighborhood garage sale yesterday, put out our Easter book that ends on the subject of Pentecost, and made French toast with brioche bread from Aldi's (one version plain, one version chocolate chip).
After Mass, Chris took the two oldest children to the Charlotte Youth Orchestra's spring concert, at which our friend and fellow music student Santiago Matute was performing. What an honor!
Back at home in the evening, we celebrated the birthday of the Catholic Church, founded by Jesus Christ, which is what Pentecost is! Mary created a Holy Spirit dove decoration, which we hung from the chandelier. We prayed the Come, Holy Spirit prayer as a family.
Then we denuded my week-old Mother's Day roses and re-created the tradition even from the early Church to release thousands of rose petals from the roof of the church (click here for video of this tradition being done at the Pantheon in Rome). This kind of delightful tradition makes an impression on young and old alike.
To top it off, I took an idea from Catholic Icing and made Pentecost Sundaes using vanilla ice cream, strawberry topping, and Dove chocolates. Get it? Doves?
Next year, I hope to make this feast day more memorable . . . if you have any family traditions to share, please post them in the comments!