Pentecost, also referred to as Whitsunday, is one of the three great "blessed nights" of the Christian calendar, along with Christmas and Easter. Celebrated by Christians on the 50th day after Easter, the Pentecost celebration commemorates the gift of the Holy Spirit. According to the Bible, the Holy Spirit descended upon the apostles as a flame above their heads and gave them tongues of many languages. Pentecost activities can be performed by families, religious classes and school groups as a form of celebration of the Holy Spirit.
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In celebration of the Pentecost, church members or families can decorate a festive table using red items and white doves, symbolising fire and God's peace. Activities which include food can include a cherry pie garnished with pastry or gelatin dove cut-outs. Young children can help decorate a white cake for the occasion. After frosting a white cake with vanilla frosting, add small red candies or red jelly to outline the shape of a dove. Add seven small candles to represent the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit.
A homemade Pentecost prayer candle is an inexpensive project that can be used from year to year. Fill a large, empty coffee, soup or similar size can with water and freeze overnight. Draw an outline of a Pentecost-related shape, such as a flame, dove or cross, onto the can. Use a hammer and nail to punch holes in the can to outline the shape. Allow the ice to melt, then remove and dry the can. Add approximately 1-inch of sand or cat litter into the can. Stabilise a votive candle into the centre of the sand or litter.
With help, children can use their creativity to design a Pentecost-themed stained-glass window. Traditional Holy Spirit or Pentecost icons can centre the window's background. To create a stained-glass window, begin with a piece of blue construction paper cut into an archway shape. Glue pieces of rectangular shapes in a variety of coloured construction paper to the background. Add to the centre a cut-out of a dove or flame.
Wind Twirlers created with fun foam can be decorated with glitter, crayons or foam shapes. When completed the twirler can be hung outdoors or indoors. When blowing in the wind, the twirler will remind young children that although we cannot see it, the Holy Spirit is with us and always moving. Cut a piece of fun foam into a circle and then into a spiral, beginning on the outside and working towards the middle. After the children decorate the spiral, attach a piece of yarn and hang.
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