A celeration of the Holy Spirit
At Pentecost (in Danish pinse) we celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit. The festival falls 50 days after Easter. The words pinse and Pentecost come from the Greek word pentekoste which means "the fiftieth".
Pentecost is the third most important festival of the Church. The two most important festivals are Easter and Christmas. Pentecost is a celebration of the coming of the Holy Spirit in the form of what seemed to be tongues of fire that came to rest on each of Jesus' disciples. The Holy Spirit enabled the disciples to speak languages other than their own. Thus they were equipped to go out into the world to tell all nations and people about Jesus.
The birthday of the Church
Pentecost is the beginning of the Christian Church. That is why Pentecost is also called the birthday of the Church. The story of the Pentecost miracle tells us that God is present in the world again. Just as God was present in His son Jesus, God is now present through His Holy Spirit. The fellowship that was built around Jesus when he lived here on earth, died and rose from the dead was to be extended to the entire world.
Pentecost in the church
To many Danes, Pentecost is associated with the coming of summer and pinseliljer (white narcissus). The hymn I al sin glans nu stråler solen by the Danish hymn writer N.F.S. Grundtvig compares the coming of the Holy Spirit with the coming of summer in Denmark. The hymn is often sung at Pentecost church services. Likewise, many churches hold open-air services at Pentecost. Some open-air services gather people from various congregations within the same diocese. When a congregation has members with different cultural and linguistic backgrounds, it may have Bible readings in several languages at Pentecost to illustrate the Pentecost miracle.
A dancing Pentecost sun
Very early on Pentecost morning you may notice some Danes on their way to the beach to see the sun dance – as though out of joy at the coming of the Holy Spirit.
The Monday after Pentecost is a holiday in Denmark and most – if not all – parish churches hold a church service on this day. To find out when and where your local parish church celebrates the coming of the Holy Spirit, go to the page Find a church and follow the instructions.