The Guéranger Blog

Welcome to the Gueranger Blog! You have stumbled across the notebook I use to record my thoughts as I read through Dom Prosper Gueranger's 15-volume set, The Liturgical Year. I do not have any special expertise in liturgy, but I have some general knowledge of Catholic theology and an enthusiasm for Gueranger's magnum opus. Think of it as the Liturgical Year fan site!

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White Sunday

Canisius | 31 May, 2007 07:11

Our translation of The Liturgical Year was made in England, and uses British names for the feast days. So Pentecost is called "Whit Sunday", and the week following is named "Whitsun Week" because it is the octave of "Whit Sunday". According to the old Catholic Encyclopedia, "Whit Sunday" means "white Sunday"; Pentecost was the biggest day after Easter vigil for baptizing neophytes, and the newly baptized wore white garments.

This is related to the old English word "whitster", meaning "a laundress, a bleacher or washer of linen; a person who makes apparel white." [Charles Mackay, Lost Beauties of the English Language (Bibliophile Books: England, 1987), 269.]


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