On Pentecost, the Holy Spirit descended upon the Apostles as tongues of fire and gave them the courage to preach the Gospel of Jesus and to baptize those who believed. On that first Pentecost about 3,000 were converted and baptized. These people went on to share their new faith in Christ with others. That is why this Feast is often referred to as the birthday of the Catholic Church.

On Pentecost Sunday, when the Holy Spirit descended upon the Apostles, they were granted the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Those gifts helped them to fulfill their mission to preach the Gospel to all nations. Those gifts—wisdom, understanding, right judgment, courage, knowledge, reverence and wonder and awe – also help us today as we live a Christian life.

There is a special form of the solemn blessing at the end of Mass on Pentecost Sunday. The presider says, Go in the peace of Christ, alleluia, alleluia, and the people respond, Thanks be to God, alleluia, alleluia.

The Easter cross will be removed from the sanctuary after today, signifying that the Easter season has come to an end. The Paschal candle will be moved to stand next to the Baptismal font. It will be used during the celebration of Baptism, when the candles of the newly baptized are lit from it. It will also be placed near the body of the deceased at a funeral Mass, as a reminder that we entered into the death of Christ through our Baptism and we will rise again with him in glory.