The Vigil of Pentecost is a proper Class I Feast.
Collect: Grant, we beseech You, almighty God, that the brightness of Your glory may shine upon us, and that the light of Your light may, through the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit, strengthen the minds of those who are reborn through Your grace.
Gospel : John 14:15-21. At that time, Jesus said to His disciples, If you love Me, keep My commandments. And I will ask the Father and He will give you another Advocate to dwell with you forever, the Spirit of truth Whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him. But you shall know Him, because He will dwell with you, and be in you. I will not leave you orphans: I will come to you. Yet a little while and the world no longer sees Me. But you see Me, for I live and you shall live. In that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you. He who has My commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves Me. But he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.
So beautiful. He loves us so much.
Following is what they took away in 1955, at the same time they ruined Holy Week. The Vigil used to closely resemble the Easter Vigil; prophesies, baptisms, etc:
The Vigil of Pentecost resembles that of Easter. The Mass for Pentecost, formerly celebrated during the night, has, like the Mass of Easter, since been anticipated. There are six prophecies preceding the Mass, interspersed with Prayers and Tracts; formerly the catechumens, who had not been baptized at Easter, received the Sacrament on Whitsunday. The baptismal font is blessed, too and the Litany is sung, as on Holy Saturday. It seems as though this Vigil were modeled on that of Easter. As on Holy Saturday, a vigil was kept during’ the night of Pentecost Saturday to prepare for Baptism. The prayers following the, prophecies, however, and the composition of the Mass show us that the chief object of this solemnity is to celebrate the Descent of the Holy Ghost on the Apostles gathered together in the cenacle. The term Whitsunday is an allusion to the white vestments of the neophytes. The feast of Whitsun is as ancient as that of Easter, and the Saturday following begins the liturgical season called Season After Pentecost.
On this Saturday before Whitsunday the ceremonies are similar to those on Holy Saturday. The holy water font is blessed and the Litany of the Saints sung exactly as on Holy Saturday; afterwards the clergy change their purple or violethued vestments for others of red, assigned to Masses of the Holy Ghost, in allusion to the fiery tongues of Pentecost. As on Holy Saturday, the Introit is omitted from the high Mass of Whitsun-Eve and the church bells are rung at the Gloria in excelsis.
Before high Mass the officiating priest, attended by his deacon and subdeacon, vested in violet chasubles, the altarcandles remaining unlighted, reads six prophecies of those which were.read on Holy Saturday. At the end of each he chants a Prayer. But after the word Oremus (“Let us pray”) the deacon does not say Flectamus genua (“Let us kneel”).
Peter is the leader around whom gathers the little flock of Sion on this first Christian Pentecost, and he inaugurates today his pontifical primacy when he announces for the first time the Gospel message to the representatives of the various nations, without distinction of race or nationality, of country or State.
On this day Christ, risen from the grave and seated at the right hand of the Father, communicates His own divine life to the members of His Mystical Body through the outpouring of the Holy Ghost. So the Church having attained its full development, now first appears before the world.
To appreciate the Introit it should be heard with the majestic and joyful melody which the ancient Gregorian music has allotted to it.
The Sequence, Veni, Sancte Spiritus, attributed to Innocent III, replaced under St. Pius V an older one of great beauty. This Sequence is repeated daily throughout the Octave.
The Holy Ghost descends in power to vindicate the innocence of Jesus by filling the Church with such surpassing sanctity that it becomes, as it were, a fire prefiguring the final judgment on the enemies of God. The faithful kneel at the Invocation of the Holy Spirit, Who at the last day requires the restoration of the Christian soul to the body which has been His mystical temple.