About this blog

This is a window into the weird world of Anglicanism, as experienced on a Cathedral Close. Has anything much happened since Trollope's Barchester Chronicles? You will still see the 'canon in residence' hurrying across to choral Evensong, robes flapping, as the late bell chimes. But look carefully and you will notice he is checking the football score on his iPhone as he runs. This is also a writer's blog. It charts the agony and ecstasy of the novelist's life. And it's a fighter's blog. It charts the agony and ecstasy of the judo mat. Well, the agony, anyway.

Sunday 12 June 2011

Pentecost Sunday

For one day only, we have gone red for Pentecost.  Tomorrow it's back to Ordinary Time.  I speak the strange language of liturgy here, in which I am not really fluent, being a humble Baptist in origin.  I think that green is the correct colour for Ordinary Time.  Doubtless some pedant or other will post a comment if I am wrong.*

Pentecost used to be called Whitsuntide.  Nobody calls it that any more.  It's gone the way of Mothering Sunday.  I presume 'Whit' meant 'white', and was something to do with the robes worn by baptismal candidates, back in the days of the desert fathers, or some such.  But these days the colour is red.  Red for the tongues of fire which descended on the disciples from heaven with the sound of a mighty rushing wind.  That's what Pentecost is about: the outpouring of the Holy Spirit and the birthday of the church.  In case you were wondering.

Why isn't it a Bank Holiday?  Surely we used to have Whitsun Bank Holiday?  This year Easter was late, therefore Pentecost is late; so the festival has become detached from its holiday by a couple of weeks.  Still, we have enjoyed our traditional English glorious Bank Holiday weather, regardless.

* the correct wording for complaints in cathedral circles is: 'I was saddened and disappointed, though not surprised, to read...'

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