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What to Wear for Pentecost: When You Don’t Own Anything Red

Pentecost Sunday is approaching and we are looking forward to entering into the day (and the remaining days of the novena) by reflecting the Holy Spirit in our clothing. The Jewish feast of Pentecost (Shavuot) “Feast of Weeks,” was celebrated in thanksgiving for the first fruits of the wheat harvest. The coming of the Holy Spirit during this Jewish celebration, was the fulfillment and perfection of what God began on Mount Sinai (the giving of the Law as a guide for man to draw near to God). Now God is present in man, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit poured out in Baptism. This is no small feast of the Church and worth contemplating this upcoming week. We are able to ponder and reflect on the events of Pentecost in our clothing beyond just the color red…but we will start there.


Joy & Zeal: Pink & Red


Red is notoriously the theological color of the Holy Spirit for passion and zeal of the faith, paired with charity (as fierce love), and of course the tongues of fire through which He revealed His presence. This color also representing the martyrs who were filled with Holy Spirit in both zeal and love for Christ, emanating a supernatural fortitude to defend the Faith unto death. The lighter highlight of red: pink, theologically points to the joy of the Holy Spirit (check out this cloistered religious order, The Holy Spirit Adoration Sisters, who wear pink habits to point to this reality).


Consoler & Advocate: Florals


Fun Fact: there is a flower of the Holy Spirit called the Paeonia officinalis, Peony, “Pentecost Rose.”

“In many regions the peony is in full bloom at Pentecost, the end of May or first part of June. The peony has dual symbolism for “Love of God”—for when, in his love for us, he sent his Holy Spirit to guide and console us.”

Wear anything with roses or peonies involved whether that is a floral crown, earrings, patch on a jean jacket, or a dress full of them!


Gifts, Fruits, and Charisms: Patterns & Layers


Wear any multicolored or intricate patterned garment to reflect the diversity of the Church. All are given various and distinct gifts and charisms of the Holy Spirit to serve the Church as the Mystical Body of Christ. God does not desire sameness in the Church, but rather has called each of us to a unique route of holiness and sanctification while relying on each other (see 1 Corinthians 12:12-27). Consider mixing materials such as: lace and cotton, leather with chiffon, or linen and tulle.


Worship God as Temples of the Holy Spirit: Precious Metals & Gems


Acts of the Apostles is part two of the Gospel of Luke (the same author). Luke opens and ends his gospel narrative with the theme of worship in the temple which carries over into Pentecost.

“According to the practice of the priestly service, [Zechariah] was chosen by lot to enter the sanctuary of the Lord to burn incense.” (Luke 1:9)


“As [Jesus] blessed them he parted from them and was taken up to heaven. They did him homage and then returned to Jerusalem with great joy, and they were continually in the temple praising God.” (Luke 24:51-53)


God chooses to make His dwelling in us. One way to ponder this reality is by small accessories of gold, silver, gems, (cedar) wood, or anything mosaic which were critical to the building of the first temple in Jerusalem in the Old Testament (1 Chronicles 29).


Breath of God: Flowy Garments


The Holy Spirit is often described in Scripture as the wind or the breath of God—our source of life—that which breathed Adam and Eve into existence in Genesis. Pull out that top with funky-flowy-sleeves or perhaps the whimsical flowy wrap dress that just works. Essentially wear anything that was made to billow in the wind.


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