Monday, May 28, 2012
Pentecost Octave or Whitsun Week
For me, one of the strengths of the traditional Books of Common Prayer is that the week after Pentecost receives more emphasis than in newer liturgies. The 1549 and 1662 Prayer Books provide propers for Monday and Tuesday and designate Wednesday, Friday and Saturday as the early summer Ember days. The 1928 American and the 1962 Canadian Books of Common Prayer also include instructions about including the Collect for Pentecost and the Proper Preface during the octave. Indeed, although Trinity Sunday is theologically important on its own, its ancient liturgical importance was as the end of the Pentecost octave. The BCP emphasis on Pentecost week is fitting as we continue to observe the coming of the Holy Spirit and the birth of the Church.