Whit Monday in Saint Barthelemy is the day after Pentecost, which is a movable celebration in the Christian calendar. This year, it takes place on May 20. Its appearance in the Christian calendar heavily depends on the timing of Easter. It is a fitting tribute to the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church, which marks the beginning of Ordinary Time in the Catholic Church. The observance is a significant one for many Christians, and it usually comes up a day after Whit Sunday, which occurs fifty days after Easter.
History of Whit Monday (Saint Barthelemy)
Whit Monday is an English Pentecost, being one of the three baptismal seasons. The term “Whit Monday” is derived from the white clothes once worn by newly baptized Christians for this feast.
Even though Whit Monday is a civil festival in many countries, it is not a Catholic religious holiday in the same way that the other weekdays following Pentecost Sunday are. They have been part of the octave of Pentecost, which was added in the 600s until the 1969 revision of the General Roman Calendar. The first day of Ordinary Time is now the Monday following Pentecost. While the specifics vary by diocese, the most common practice in Germany was to have a mandatory votive Mass of the Holy Spirit preceding even solemnities.
Notwithstanding, Pope Francis declared in February 2018 that Whit Monday will now be the date set for the commemoration of a new feast, initially known as the “Memorial of Mary, Mother of the Church,” to be recognized throughout the Universal Church.
The Christian Pentecost honored the Holy Spirit’s visit to the apostles fifty days after Easter when they received the “gift of tongues.” It also commemorates the establishment of the Christian Church. Although it is unknown when Christians first observed Pentecost, there are claims that it occurred as early as the first century.
The coming of the Holy Spirit gave Christ’s disciples the power to speak in strange tongues. This allowed them to preach the gospel to those who visited Jerusalem. It eventually led to Peter’s sermon, which was followed by baptism and conversion to Christianity for over 3,000 people. This event has since been described as the origin of the modern church.
Whit Monday (Saint Barthelemy) timeline
In the U.K., Whit Monday is declared a bank holiday.
Whit Monday is later replaced by Spring Bank Holiday.
Whit Monday is declared a bank holiday in Ireland.
However, Pope Francis declares in February that Whit Monday will be the fixed date for the commemoration of a new feast.
Whit Monday (Saint Barthelemy) FAQs
What makes Whit Monday unique?
Whit Monday is a Christian holiday commemorating the arrival of the Saint Esprit (Holy Spirit) among Jesus’ disciples. The “birthday” of the Christian church is said to be the descent of the Holy Spirit. This holiday is observed by Catholics as the Memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church.
What countries observe Whit Monday?
Whit Monday is currently observed as an official public holiday in the following countries: Gabon, Andorra, Anguilla, French Polynesia, Austria, Côte d’Ivoire, Bahamas, Barbados, Faroe Islands, Belgium, Bénin, British Virgin Islands, Antigua and Barbuda, Congo (Republic), Denmark, Dominica, Central African Republic, France, and French Guiana.
What happens on Whit Monday?
People would gather to eat, drink, and enjoy themselves by singing and dancing to celebrate. Until 1967, Whit Monday was a public holiday in Ireland and a bank holiday in the United Kingdom. According to the Julian calendar, several Orthodox churches still observe Whit Monday.
How to Observe Whit Monday (Saint Barthelemy)
Attend a church service in your community
Attend your congregation's local Sunday church service. Whit Monday commemorates the coming of the Holy Spirit upon Christ’s Apostles.
Participate in a prayer rally
Whit Monday celebrations include prayer parades and street marches. These are enjoyable ways to connect with your beliefs.
Dress in white
Whit Monday is usually represented by the color white. Wear white and encourage others to join you as we commemorate this special observance.
5 Interesting Facts About Whit Monday
Way back in time
Whit Monday celebrations are thought to have originated in the first century when the day commemorated the Holy Spirit’s appearance to the Apostles.
Holy Spirit Monday
Whit Monday is known as Holy Spirit Monday in the Eastern Orthodox church.
The color white
On Whit Sunday, the church wears white, which is the color of the dove commonly used to represent the holy spirit.
It’s a federal holiday
Whit Monday is a national holiday in several countries, including Canada, the U.S., Norway, and Australia.
It is also celebrated in France
Whit Monday is also observed in France, albeit under a different title — Day of Solidarity.
Why Whit Monday (Saint Barthelemy) is Important
It commemorates the establishment of the church
People's lives revolve around religion and the church. It's a place that brings them comfort and brings the community together. Whit Monday is an excellent way to celebrate that.
It is a historically significant holiday
Whit Monday has been observed for thousands of years around the world. Pope Benedict XVI once stated that there would be no Catholic Church if Pentecost did not occur.
It brings us together
It is a time when many people all over the world come together to share a common belief. Whit Monday is observed in all Catholic countries and serves as a reminder to Catholics to uphold Jesus' teachings.
Whit Monday (Saint Barthelemy) dates