Four major feasts spaced over a few weeks commemorate both the events after the Resurrection and the central Mysteries of the Church.
In Ireland Pentecost – better known as Whit – has always marked the start of summer. At Pentecost the Holy Spirit descended on the apostles as they gathered to celebrate the first harvest.
Around the world both the Ascension and Corpus Christi are Holy Days of Obligation, celebrated by Catholics for centuries. Festivals marking the beginning of summer go back to prehistory. In 1995 the Irish Bishops moved the celebration of Ascension and Corpus Christi to the following Sunday. “The atmosphere of a working day during the week is not conducive to celebrating such holy days” – Bishop Patrick Walsh of Down and Connor.
Feast of the Ascension
40 days after Easter – May 30th
“until he was taken up to heaven… forty days after he suffered and died”
Salesian Fr Paddy Hennessy: The Ascension
PENTECOST OR WHIT
Seventh Sunday after Easter – June 9th
“And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues”
First Sunday after Pentecost – June 16th
“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”
The Thursday after Trinity Sunday – June 20th
“Take this, all of you, and eat of it,
for this is my Body,
which will be given up for you.”