Whitsunday is Pentecost, from Old English hwita sunnandæg, “white Sunday”, perhaps a reference to the white garments of the newly baptized or even for the color of vestments once used for the feast.
We observe the Octave in the Traditional Roman calendar. It was tragically, ridiculously, eliminated in the post-Conciliar calendar.
The Roman Station is S. Peter in Chains.
Listen to a PODCAzT for the days of the Octave of Pentecost which I made a few years ago.
Octaves are mysterious times during which the liturgical clock stops.
We have an opportunity to rest in the mystery, reflect on it during the 8th day – an echo of God’s rest continuing after the Creation and foreshadowing of the eschatological rest we will have in the Beatific Vision.
For Mass we sing the Pentecost Sequence, and use the Preface of the Holy Spirit, as well as a proper Communicantes and also Hanc igitur, as for Easter since Pentecost was also a time of baptism.
Let’s have a look at the Collect for today’s Mass of Pentecost Monday.
Deus, qui Apostolis tuis Sanctum dedisti Spiritum: concede plebi tuae piae petitionis effectum; ut, quibus dedisti fidem, largiaris et pacem.
I found this prayer in the 8th c. Liber sacramentorum Gellonensis.
I like that elegant splitting of Spiritum Sanctum with dedisti.
Our trusty Lewis & Short reminds us that effectus, us, (efficio) means basically “a doing, effecting; execution, accomplishment, performance; with reference to the result of an action, an operation, effect, tendency, purpose”. Blaise & Dumas offers that effectus has to do with the “realization of a prayer”.
O God, who gave the Holy Spirit to Your Apostles, grant to Your people the realization of their dutiful petition, that you may bestow also peace upon those whom you have given faith.
What immediately jumps into my mind are the references to peace in the ordinary of the Mass and also in the modern form for sacramental absolution.
Allow me to stretch to a connection, in view of the Roman Station.
Christ is our Lord and Liberator. After His Ascension he sent our Counselor and Comforter.
Together, under the eternal aegis of the Father, the Son and the Spirit bring us from bondage to freedom, anxiety to peace.
We need not fear our judgment.
This is accomplished through the ministry and mediation of the Church.
As a People who are members of Christ’s Body the Church we approach God’s mercy with a sense of filial duty, petitioning both the immediate effect of Christ’s merits and also the long-term effect of heavenly peace.
In the words of the Church’s worship, Christ Himself strikes from our limbs the heavy chains of our oppression.
True oppression is from sin. True freedom comes from grace.
As we hear today in the Gospel from John 14:
If anyone love Me, he will keep My word, and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him. He who does not love Me, does not keep My words.