I was looking at the Church calendar today, and I was shocked to see that there is no Octave for Pentecost. I’m ashamed to say I’ve been Catholic now for nearly four years and never really took note of this. I looked into some Church history and saw that Pentecost used to be among the two most privileged Octaves, along with Easter, but for some reason was abolished in 1969 along with all the other reforms. Why did they remove it?
The reform of the kalendar in 1969 was intended to highlight the two feasts of the Church’s kalendar that impact the rest: Easter and Christmas. Easter is in the proper of the season, meaning that its date varies and ultimately impacts the dates of other feasts and fasts (such as Pentecost, Trinity Sunday, Corpus Christi, Sacred Heart, etc.), while the date of Christmas is fixed, as are the dates of the proper of the saints. However, Christmas also impacts other observances, such as Christ the King, Advent seasonm, etc.
The kalendar had, until 1955, become overloaded with octaves and commemorations, with multiple feasts overlapping. Reforms made in 195, 1960 and 1969 sought to address this, and one of the decisions made in the latter was to keep octaves only for Christmas and Easter.