1. Religion & Spirituality

When Is Pentecost Sunday?

Find the date of Pentecost Sunday and other resources for celebrating Pentecost

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A dove in a wall by the Basilica of St. Agnes Outside the Walls, Rome. (Photo © Scott P. Richert)

A dove is perched in a wall outside the Basilica of St. Agnes Outside the Walls, Rome, Italy. The dove is the traditional Christian symbol for the Holy Spirit. The basilica, a seventh-century church, sits over a fourth-century Christian catacomb.

(Photo © Scott P. Richert)

Question: When Is Pentecost Sunday?

Pentecost Sunday, which celebrates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles and the Virgin Mary, is a moveable feast. When is Pentecost?

Answer: Like the dates of most other moveable feasts, the date of Pentecost Sunday depends on the date of Easter. Pentecost always falls 50 days after Easter (counting both Easter and Pentecost), but since the date of Easter changes every year, the date of Pentecost does as well. (See How Is the Date of Easter Calculated? for more details.)

The following articles provide the date of Pentecost for the next several years:

 When Is Pentecost 2014?
 When Is Pentecost 2015?
 When Is Pentecost 2016?
 When Is Pentecost 2017?
 When Is Pentecost 2018?
 When Is Pentecost 2019?

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When Is Pentecost Sunday in the Eastern Orthodox Churches?

The links above give the Western dates for Pentecost Sunday. Since Eastern Orthodox Christians calculate Easter according to the Julian calendar rather than the Gregorian calendar (the calendar we use in our everyday lives), Eastern Orthodox Christians usually celebrate Easter on a different date from Catholics and Protestants. That means that they celebrate Pentecost Sunday on a different date as well.

To find the date Eastern Orthodox will celebrate Pentecost Sunday in any given year, see When Greek Orthodox Easter Is Celebrated (from the About Greece Travel), and simply add seven weeks to the date of Eastern Orthodox Easter.

More on Pentecost Sunday:

In preparing for Pentecost Sunday, many Catholics pray the Novena to the Holy Ghost, in which we ask for the gifts of the Holy Spirit and the fruits of the Holy Spirit. The novena traditionally is prayed beginning on the Friday after the Feast of the Ascension of Our Lord and ends on the day before Pentecost. You can, however, pray the novena throughout the year, and you can sign up for a convenient daily e-mail reminder for the Novena to the Holy Ghost at any time.

You can learn more about Pentecost Sunday, the Novena to the Holy Ghost, and the gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit and find other prayers to the Holy Spirit in Pentecost 101: Everything You Need To Know About Pentecost in the Catholic Church.

More on How the Date of Easter Is Calculated:

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