Pentecost is Bigger Than Christmas

by | May 20, 2013 | Catholic Living, It's Party Time, June, Liturgical Year, What I Wore Sunday | 7 comments

Seriously.  And don’t try to pretend like you already knew.  Unless, like me, you have kids who use the 1963 Saint Joseph First Communion Catechism for school.  In which case, like me, maybe you found out that Pentecost is bigger than Christmas in front of your first grader then had to play it cool, like you totally knew that Pentecost was a really big deal and that you had every intention of building a traditional Pentecost tower* and putting your milk pails out on Pentecost Eve so that the Pentecost Dove would leave treats for your good little children.

No?  Just me then?

I have to admit, I only just thought of the Pentecost Tower and the Dove stuff, maybe for next year . . . ?  But we DO celebrate Pentecost now, usually with a bonfire cookout either at the beach or in our backyard.  And s’mores.  And red dresses.  And we pray Come Holy Spirit and handle venomous snakes.  (One of those isn’t true.)







That IS how I found out about Pentecost though.  I mean, I had heard of it and everything, but until I saw this page in Jack’s catechism, I never really thought much of it.

And going by their order in the book (which is not by the calendar), Christmas is actually fourth or fifth in importance, also after the Immaculate Conception and maybe the Ascension (depending on if we’re going left-right or up-down).

Thanks to Lindsay for pointing out that (duh) they are listed in order of the liturgical calendar.


Not that ranking feasts is in any way an important exercise, I just found it surprising, considering the amount of celebrating that goes on for the various feasts.  But WE celebrate all of them.  As we have expected more from ourselves and our children in the way of duty to God, we also try to equally focus on the ways that our faith rewards us with joy — even in this life.  
I want my kids to remember Pentecost because it’s the day that God as the Holy Spirit descended upon Mary and the Apostles, turning them (the apostles anyway) from bewildered men cowering in an upper room, into bold leaders and teachers and martyrs who spread the faith to the ends of the known world.
But I know they’ll remember it if it’s the day we always make a bonfire and roast marshmallows in our own backyard.  And the rest of it will be there in their consciousness too.
And since it’s Sunday, thanks to the ladies at Fine Linen and Purple, you get to see What I Wore Sunday.  Which was . . .  my first maternity dress of this go ’round, picked up off the clearance rack at Target because I thought it looked a bit like tongues of fire.  Perfect for Pentecost!


Earrings: Anthropologie
(they should be doves, I know . . . )


Sweater: Anthropologie
Belt: Old Navy
Bump: 12 weeks


Shoes: Zappos

Happy Pentecost everyone, hope you enjoyed it!

* and since I was really curious about what a traditional Pentecost Tower might look like, and I figured you might be too, I created this high-quality prototype:


It’s made of water, wind, fire, and a dove.  You really need to balance that middle part just right.  



  1. Ann-Marie Ulczynski

    That tower is hilarious! I LOVE the idea of celebrating with s'mores. Thanks for sharing. And your dress looks great.

  2. Lindsay

    Haha! Love the "Pentecost Tower." I've never heard that Pentecost is quite that important, though. The table of liturgical precedence seems to list them in calendar order beginning with Christmas. When you consider that the liturgical year starts just before Christmas, too, then the lists in your kids' book and in the table both make sense. Problem? Solution!

    • Kendra Tierney

      Of course! The liturgical year begins with Advent. Good catch. But there's no getting around the "The Two Biggest Feasts of the Year" on the first page.

      Apparently in Europe it's called Whitsunday, and they actually celebrate it. Everyone in Germany has today (Monday) off!

      Thanks for the catch. :0)

  3. Nanacamille

    I grew up with a 1950s Baltimore Catechism and we had lots of Holy Days but I hate to admit that I don't remember Pentecost being an especially big one in the Church. Holy Days are definitely fun with the way you plan them so the more we can join in on the merrier.

  4. Emily

    During the homily on Sunday, our priest pointed out that Pentecost was the beginning of the Church!

  5. Erin

    Looks like we need to step up the celebrating a bit this year! We'll at least wear red!

  6. M.E.

    The "Pentecost Tower" is just so clever – love your sense of humor!
    Thanks for sharing – I think we need to establish Pentecost Monday as an official holiday here in the USofA too!


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Hi! I’m Kendra.

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