simple white fading png image
notre dame montreal

Weekly Bible Notes and Worship Resources

Pentecost (Whit Sunday) - Year B

Liturgical Colour - Red


Introduction

The Holy Spirit gives life to the people of God. This is challenging for us. The life to animate us as Christians and as churches is a power which is beyond our controlling. The picture above shows tongues of fire, leaping around, is a good way of stressing that the Spirit is uncontrollable. The fire was not constrained within a grate, it was a fire which rendered the disciples powerless to control it. We do not like loosing control, we like to manage and legislate but the Holy Spirit is not to be controlled but to fill us and take us over.
At Pentecost we remind ourselves that we must not be too busy, too tired, too poor, too spiritually apathetic —to face up to the task which God has called us to do. We must open ourselves to the Spirit of God to move us.


Opening Verses of Scripture  Acts 2:17-18

In the last days, God says, ‘I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy.
 

Collect Prayer for the Day

God, who as at this time taught the hearts of your faithful people by sending them the light of your Holy Spirit: grant us by that same Spirit to have a right judgement in all things and evermore to rejoice in His holy comfort; through the merits of Christ Jesus our Saviour, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen

 

First Bible Reading    Acts 2:1-21

When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.

Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard them speaking in his own language. Utterly amazed, they asked: “Are not all these men who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them in his own native language? Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!” Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, “What does this mean?” Some, however, made fun of them and said, “They have had too much wine.”

Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: “Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say. These men are not drunk, as you suppose. It’s only nine in the morning! No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:

“ ‘In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy. I will show wonders in the heaven above and signs on the earth below, blood and fire and billows of smoke. The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord. And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’”

Second Reading   Romans 8:22-27

We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will.


Gospel Reading    John 15:26-27 & 16:4b-15

When the Counsellor comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father, he will testify about me. And you also must testify, for you have been with me from the beginning.

I did not tell you this at first because I was with you. “Now I am going to him who sent me, yet none of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ Because I have said these things, you are filled with grief. But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counsellor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgement: in regard to sin, because men do not believe in me; in regard to righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; and in regard to judgement, because the prince of this world now stands condemned.

“I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you. All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will take from what is mine and make it known to you.

 

Post Communion Sentence

Faithful God, who fulfilled the promises of Easter by sending us your Holy Spirit and opening to every race and nation the way of life eternal: open our lips by your Spirit, that every tongue may tell of your glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord.   Amen

 

Commentary

Seven weeks after celebrating Easter we are here at the festival of Pentecost when we remember the giving of the Holy Spirit. This Christian celebration is big, it sits as the third major festival after Easter and Christmas. It is often called the birthday of the church, the time when the Christian Church began, however this is to miss the point that these early believers were not part of a separate Christian church, they were Jews, firmly rooted in Jewish spirituality. The name Pentecost comes from the Greek word for 50, ‘pente’. The roots of this special time lie in the Jewish Harvest festival, the Festival of Weeks; Shavuot. It celebrated the completion of the Spring or wheat harvest and it commemorated the giving of the law to Moses on Mt Sinai.

This is hugely significant -

  • The Old Testament Covenant, established in the Exodus, which the Passover commemorated, was completed at Mt Sinai with the giving of the law.
  • The New Covenant, established in the cross and resurrection was completed in Jerusalem with the giving of the Holy Spirit

What this means is that

  • Under the Old Covenant Moses gave the Law on Mt Sinai
  • Under the New Covenant Jesus gives the Holy Spirit

The giving of the Holy Spirit in the New Testament by Jesus is therefore contrasted with the giving of the law by Moses on Mt Sinai and there are similarities in the events. God descended upon Sinai accompanied by fire and sound, it was likened to the sound of a trumpet (Exodus 19).
So now we read that there is a new beginning and there is more fire and there is more noise - this time described like ‘wind’. In Acts, Luke uses phrases such as ‘like the blowing of a violent wind’ and ’what seemed to be tongues of fire.’ This is poetic speech to use words to point beyond their real meaning to a deeper significance.

This is the fulfilment of what was promised in Jeremiah 31 ‘I will write their laws on the their hearts’. This is a new beginning, it marks the transition from old to new. The Apostle Paul made great play of this move from law to spirit. Pentecost was the time when the followers of Jesus could realise their potential. At Pentecost the believers were given spiritual rocket fuel to propel themselves forward. The Holy Spirit gave the disciples new found power and the ability to leave the security of their upper room and head on down into the market place to share the Gospel message of Jesus. Without the Holy Spirit they dared not move, in fact Jesus told them not to move, they were to be still and wait until the Holy Spirit came. But when the Spirit did come, then they were able to act not in their own strength, but in the power of God.

We are told that the disciples were able to speak real other languages. Jerusalem was a cosmopolitan place anyway but we know that there were lots of people in Jerusalem because of the harvest feast.  The work of the Holy Spirit is seen to bring nations together. When somebody is talking nonsense we often say that they are ‘babbling’. It refers back to the episode in the Bible in Genesis 11 where the Tower of Babel was built and we are told God broke up the nations and gave them different languages.  Now the opposite is happening, God is uniting people. Babel tells of the world being divided, Pentecost of a world being brought together.  

The disciples all were speaking different languages and people thought they were drunk. The Apostle Peter, seized the opportunity and he reminded the gathered devout Jews about what the prophet Joel had said. He realises that this is a huge moment in God’s history of dealing with humankind and he quotes Joel to describe what new thing God is doing.

‘I will pour out my spirit on all flesh.’ This is an inclusive message - all flesh, not just the chosen few who belonged to a special nation - The Christian message is multi-cultural. Acts names 15 different peoples who can hear about Jesus in the language their mothers taught them.
Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,………..and your young men shall see visions.
This is a message where age was no barrier, young people were included. In the new community young people would wake up and speak God’s truth !
Your old men shall dream dreams. Yes and old people too. No longer would they live in the past telling people how good it used to be, now they would by the Spirit dream dreams, they would be visionary about the future ! 
Even on the male and female There is no gender barrier to God’s spirit 
Slaves, in those days, I will pour out my spirit. Even slaves, poor people and people in chains are included

So with God’s new creation, God’s new covenant people, it is going to be different. It has all nations, young people - sons and daughters, old people it is not restricted by gender and there is no social barrier it includes even slaves. We can see what happened as a result of this Pentecost experience. This was a transformation of those disciples. The Twelve go from a defeated, sorry lot of losers to those who tilted the world on its axis. The disciples were dramatically changed and it is this change which speaks so powerfully about the truth of the resurrection of Jesus. Charles Royden

Meditation

Archbishop Oscar Romero Oscar Arnulfo Romero was appointed Archbishop of San Salvador on February 22, 1977. At that time, the country of El Salvador was ruled by a military government that violently repressed the people; widespread social and political tension was growing. Romero became an outspoken voice of the impoverished and persecuted of the country; he became a well-known critic of violence and injustice. On March 24, 1980 Archbishop Oscar Romero was assassinated as he was celebrating Mass.

Archbishop Oscar Romero lived and preached in a time of national crisis in El Salvador. In the face of political violence, government repression, and the persecution of his church, he preached a gospel of peace, of love—even of one’s enemies, of forgiveness, and of justice. He understood—and never tired of saying—that injustice was at the root of the violence and that the violence of terrorism, repression, vengeance, and armed revolution would not end if that root was not torn out form world. Religious Task Force on Central America and Mexico

Those who surrender to the service of the poor through love of Christ, will live like the grains of wheat that dies. It only apparently dies. If it were not to die, it would remain a solitary grain. The harvest comes because of the grain that dies . . . We know that every effort to improve society, above all when society is so full of injustice and sin, is an effort that God blesses; that God wants; that God demands of us. March 24, 1980 -These last words were taken from Oscar

Today 23 May 2015 Oscar Romero was beatified

A Future Not Our Own

It helps, now and then, to step back
and take the long view.
The kingdom is not only beyond our efforts,
it is beyond our vision.
We accomplish in our lifetime only a tiny fraction of
the magnificent enterprise that is God’s work.
Nothing we do is complete,
which is another way of saying
that the kingdom always lies beyond us.

No statement says all that could be said.
No prayer fully expresses our faith.
No confession brings perfection.
No pastoral visit brings wholeness.
No program accomplishes the church’s mission.
No set of goals and objectives includes everything.

This is what we are about:
We plant seeds that one day will grow.
We water seeds already planted,
knowing that they hold future promise.
We lay foundations that will need further development.
We provide yeast that produces effects beyond our capabilities.

We cannot do everything
and there is a sense of liberation in realizing that.
This enables us to do something,
and to do it very well.
It may be incomplete, but it is a beginning, a step along the way,
an opportunity for God’s grace to enter and do the rest.

We may never see the end results,
but that is the difference between the master builder and the worker.
We are workers, not master builders,
ministers, not messiahs.
We are prophets of a future not our own.
Amen.

By Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero

 

Hymns

  1. When morning gilds the skies
  2. You shall go out with joy
  3. Come down o love Divine
  4. Breathe on me breath of God
  5. O Breathe of Life, come sweeping through us


 

Prayers

Prayer encouragement in the Christian life

Prayer is a plant, the seed of which is sown in the heart of every Christian,

if it is well cultivated and nourished it will produce fruit, but if it is neglected, it will wither and die

O God, send forth your Holy Spirit into my heart that I may perceive, into my mind that I may remember, and into my soul that I may meditate. Inspire me to speak with piety, holiness, tenderness and mercy. Teach, guide and direct my thoughts and senses from beginning to end. May your grace ever help and correct me, and may I be strengthened now with wisdom from on high, for the sake of your infinite mercy. Amen. Saint Anthony of Padua

Breathe into me, Holy Spirit, that my thoughts may all be holy. Move in me, Holy Spirit, that my work, too, may be holy. Attract my heart, Holy Spirit, that I may love only what is holy. Strengthen me, Holy Spirit, that I may defend all that is holy. Protect me, Holy Spirit, that I may always be holy. Saint Augustine

Breathe in me, Holy Spirit, that all my thoughts may be holy. Act in me Holy Spirit, that all I do may be holy. Draw my heart Holy Spirit, that I may love that which is holy. Give me strength Holy Spirit, to defend all that is holy. Guide me than Holy Spirit, that I may always be holy.

“…may I show thy Spirit within/ Which purges me from every stain;/ Unspotted from the world and sin, /The truth mf my religion prove/ by perfect purity and love. (Charles Wesley)
 

Almighty God, we your children pray: let your glory come down. Let the Fire fall as on that first Day of Pentecost. Revive our spirits, fill us with new excitement, with joy unspeakable and faith for a dying world. Empower us to speak your Word; to utter the words of Life; using a variety of languages to bring the good news to all people. Let your fire fall once again on this church, on this community, on this country, and to the ends of the earth. In Jesus name and in the power of your Holy Spirit. Amen.

O God, your eye is over all your people, and you have called them to a kingdom not of this world; send forth your Holy Spirit into every corner of our lives, to still and calm the noise of our daily toil; help us to carry faith to the doubting, hope to the fearful, strength to the weak, light to the mourners; and increase and empower the pure in heart who see, and reveal, more and more of God. Amen

Almighty and Everlasting God look with favour upon your people. As on this day you sent upon the first disciples the gift of your Holy Spirit, so pour that Spirit out upon us this day. Open our hearts to your living power. Cleanse us from every impurity and forgive our sin as you have promised. Lead us and teach us and grace us with your presence. Grant us the dreams and visions you have promised and make us messengers of the good news of Christ Jesus our Lord. Indeed, unite us through the power of your Spirit so that all people may be moved by the witness we make and so that songs of praise may rise to you here and everywhere, both now and for ever more.

May Christ’s Holy, healing and enabling Spirit be with us every step of the way, and be our guide as the road of life changes and turns, and the blessing of God Almighty, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, be with us and remain with us now, in the week ahead, and for ever. Amen
 

 

Additional Material

Verse of scripture
You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be my witnesses (Alleluia!) Acts Chapter 1 Verse 8
 

What is Pentecost ?

Pentecost is the festival when Christians celebrate the gift of the Holy Spirit. It is celebrated on the Sunday 50 days after Easter.
Pentecost is regarded as the birthday of the Christian church, and the start of the church's mission to the world.
The Holy Spirit is the third part of the Trinity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit - that is the way Christians understand God.
Celebrating Pentecost. Pentecost is a happy festival. Ministers in church often wear robes with red in the design as a symbol of the flames in which the Holy Spirit came to earth.

Hymns sung at Pentecost take the Holy Spirit as their theme, and include: Come down O Love Divine, Come Holy Ghost our souls inspire, Breathe on me breath of God, O Breath of Life, come sweeping through us, There's a spirit in the air and Spirit of the Living God, fall afresh on me.

Pentecost Symbols
The symbols of Pentecost are those of the Holy Spirit and include: flames, wind, the breath of God and a Dove.

The first Pentecost
Pentecost comes from a Jewish harvest festival called Shavuot. The apostles were celebrating this festival when the Holy Spirit descended on them. It sounded like a very strong wind, and it looked like tongues of fire. The apostles then found themselves speaking in foreign languages, inspired by the Holy Spirit. People passing by at first thought that they must be drunk, but the apostle Peter told the crowd that the apostles were full of the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit gives life to the people of God. This is challenging for us. The life to animate us as Christians and as churches is a power which is beyond our controlling. The picture of the tongues of fire, leaping around, is a good way of stressing that the Spirit is uncontrollable. The fire was not constrained within a grate, it was a fire which rendered the disciples powerless to control it. We do not like loosing control, we like to manage and legislate but the Holy Spirit is not to be controlled but to fill us and take us over.
At Pentecost we remind ourselves that we must not be too busy, too tired, too poor, too spiritually apathetic —to face up to the task which God has called us to do. We must open ourselves to the Spirit of God to move us.

  • What gifts do I have?

  • With whom do I share them?

  • What are the gifts that I don't share as freely as I could or should?

  • Why am I reluctant to get involved in sharing those gifts?

  • How can God help take away any fear that might hold me back?

Charles Royden

 

Commentary

As I walked into the Garden of Remembrance at St Mark’s this week I suddenly became aware of new colour. Quite suddenly, just this week the Cistus and Roses and Clematis and many other plants had started to flower. This is appropriate because Pentecost is the great colourful festival of the church celebrated when scents and colours really start to make an impact in nature around us. Pentecost is a time when we can begin to feel good about the possibilities around us. Remember Ascension Day left the disciples as a corpse. Jesus had left the disciples, but he had told them that they were to be still until the day when God breathed power and life into his church. Pentecost was the day when the dead corpse was given mouth to mouth resuscitation by Jesus. That is why this is the birthday of the church, because on this day the church was born. In an instant they have the life which they need to live and grow.

The colour of Pentecost could have been white. In English Pentecost is Whitsunday, the word coming from the baptisms which were once held around this time at which they wore white, and so it was called White Sunday. However the colour for Pentecost is red, which the church choose to make a bold statement about the power of God, the presence of Christ himself in its midst. The red symbolised the experience described in our Acts reading when something like tongues of fire came down upon the Apostles. In many parts of Europe it is called the ‘Red Feast.’ The peony often flowers around this time and is know as the ‘Rose of Pentecost’.

With the coming of the Holy Spirit, Pentecost changed the church for ever. The Christian Church found peace when the Spirit came. It was not that the coming of the Holy Spirit made the danger go away, indeed the Apostles went on to give their lives. Instead the Holy Spirit gave the presence of Jesus to the church and with that came renewed strength and courage. Charles Royden 

Commentary   Acts and John
There’s a brilliant word for describing the Spirit in Greek, its ‘parakletos’. It has a range of meanings which includes counsellor (as in the passage in John), advocate, encourager, comforter, and helper. All of these images can be helpful in our Christian journey. As we live in the world, so God comes along side us through the Holy Spirit. He helps us understand and make sense of our society and culture, helps us speak out in His name, guides us in all truth, and encourages, comforts and helps us in our times of need.

The passage in Acts also tells us that the Holy Spirit is available to all, and empowers and equips us for the tasks God has planned for each of us. This is still as true today as it was in the time of the apostles. The tongues of fire rest as much on each one of us as it did on them. For those gathered together in Acts 2 it resulted in them speaking in tongues. Much has been written and said about this phenomenon and it is important not to take things out of context. Paul tells us that there are many and varied gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit and just as each one of us is different, each one of us has different gifts and ministries to bring to the church. They may even vary over time. God can and does act in ways that we might describe as supernatural, such as in the gift of tongues or perhaps words of knowledge or prophecy. When He does so it’s sometimes difficult to understand what’s happening, as it was in Acts. Sometimes it seems as if the supernatural gifts get over emphasised and are given a lot of publicity or their authenticity is questioned. And sometimes it seems that just the reverse is true. Some might say that we don’t emphasis or use God’s supernatural gifts to us enough. The true test should always be whether or not God is at work, and our own experience tells us that it’s not always easy to recognise when and where He’s active! Perhaps sometimes we’ll never even know. What we do know is that God acts through the everyday, the normal and the mundane as well as the supernatural. God is God and we shouldn’t try to predict or limit the way in which he might want to operate. Our role is to stay close to Him so that we can be open to be used by the Holy Spirit in the way that He knows is best for all, using whatever power, gifts and ministries He equips us with.
 

Whatever way He operates, it’s for the extension of His Kingdom here on earth, as it was in Acts. The inauguration of the new era of the Spirit which Acts 2 describes tells us that all who call on the name of the Lord can and will be saved. As the Holy Spirit comes on us as Christians we are called to be witnesses to this awesome truth. God uses each one of us in His work on earth. To Him no gifts, ministries or individuals are more valuable than others. All are equally valuable, precious and important. As God continues to break through into our world He uses the power of the Holy Spirit to do so, however unlikely the resources or methods. He even uses a body of fallible believers, with all their shortcomings, and an often imperfect church.

Commentary

The Red Feast

Those of you who are not very interested in Biblical scholarship might like to skip over this first paragraph (“the science bit”, like they say in the adverts!). Pentecost was a key date in the Jewish year and so many people would have gathered in the Holy city of Jerusalem to celebrate. The feast had to meanings. Originally the date was one of the three Jewish harvest festivals, or the feast of weeks, because it was seven weeks of fifty days after the Passover (pentekostos meaning fiftieth). The anniversary was also thought to be the date of the giving of the Jewish commandments on Mount Sinai. Pentecost had a doubled significance as the date of the harvest and the date of the giving of the law. Early church fathers such as Chrysotom pointed put that the coming of the Holy Spirit on that day reminds us of the Harvest of believers and the coming in of a new Law of love.
The coming of the Holy Spirit was violent and dramatic and, for sheer spectacular energy, witnessed by many, cannot be compared to any event in the New Testament. It began with a great sound like the blowing of a violent wind, those present saw tongues of fire, the fire then separated into individual tongues of flame. The flame would later unlock the gift of languages in the recipients. We should notice the detail of the flame being received individually. The giving of the Spirit then is a personalised gift, not a group gift. God chooses to come to each person, as a person, not as a job lot. An event of such significance for all Christians cannot be summed up in just a few paragraphs. In the sermon today I shall be focussing on the fact that the many foreigners in Jerusalem that day heard the followers of Jesus speaking each in their own language. This seems to me to have an important lesson about God’s desire to break down barriers.
We must also notice how Peter, not a learned Rabbi by any means, suddenly became magnificently erudite and eloquent. He related the events of the day to Jewish prophecy and became the Rock that Jesus had called him. The coming of the Holy Spirit can make giants and heroes out of ordinary women and men. It can transform us into better, braver people than we ever dreamed we could be. This is a power which is alive, active, energising people in our time. We just need to let it work in us. Joan Crossley

 

IHSThe letters IHS (the first three letters of "Jesus" in Greek) are an ancient Christian symbol.

Here they are joined with a butterfly—a symbol of the resurrection. For fifty days we have contemplated the death and resurrection of Jesus, today the church is called to be born in the Holy Spirit and to go out to proclaim the name of Jesus.
 

 Meditation

I don’t know about you, but I am inundated by begging letters from charities, always accompanied by pictures of starving children or battered animals. Each week I get the Methodist Recorder and the Church Times. Both excellent publications carry numerous articles about all the misery and need in the world. To be honest I feel helpless and overwhelmed by the sheer hugeness of the world’s problems. As Christians we are called upon to care and care deeply. We are also called upon to do what we can to alleviate the suffering of all God’s creation. But we can’t any of us do all of it. My suggestion to deal with this heavy guilt load is to choose certain causes or organizations to support financially or by volunteering, and to put the other good causes onto your prayer list. If you pray for these problems, you are doing something to help.


Prayers for Sunday

O God, send forth your Holy Spirit into my heart that I may perceive, into my mind that I may remember, and into my soul that I may meditate. Inspire me to speak with piety, holiness, tenderness and mercy. Teach, guide and direct my thoughts and senses from beginning to end. May your grace ever help and correct me, and may I be strengthened now with wisdom from on high, for the sake of your infinite mercy. Amen. Saint Anthony of Padua

Breathe into me, Holy Spirit, that my thoughts may all be holy. Move in me, Holy Spirit, that my work, too, may be holy. Attract my heart, Holy Spirit, that I may love only what is holy. Strengthen me, Holy Spirit, that I may defend all that is holy. Protect me, Holy Spirit, that I may always be holy. Saint Augustine

“…may I show thy Spirit within/ Which purges me from every stain;/ Unspotted from the world and sin, /The truth mf my religion prove/ by perfect purity and love. (Charles Wesley)

God of power, may the boldness of your Spirit transform us, may the gentleness of your Spirit lead us, and may the gifts of your Spirit be our goal and our strength, now and always. Amen

O God, your eye is over all your people, and you have called them to a kingdom not of this world; send forth your Holy Spirit into every corner of our lives, to still and calm the noise of our daily toil; help us to carry faith to the doubting, hope to the fearful, strength to the weak, light to the mourners; and increase and empower the pure in heart who see, and reveal, more and more of God. Amen

May Christ’s Holy, healing and enabling Spirit be with us every step of the way, and be our guide as the road of life changes and turns, and the blessing of God Almighty, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, be with us and remain with us now, in the week ahead, and for ever. Amen

Christ has no other hands but your hands to do his work today; no other feet to guide folk on their way,
no other lips but your lips to tell them why he died, no other love but your love to win them to his side.
Lord Jesus, thank you that we are a part of your body the church.
May we work together always to do your will and in unity always be obedient to you,
that the world may see your love in us and be drawn to you.

Almighty and Everlasting God look with favour upon your people. As on this day you sent upon the first disciples the gift of your Holy Spirit, so pour that Spirit out upon us this day. Open our hearts to your living power. Cleanse us from every impurity and forgive our sin as you have promised. Lead us and teach us and grace us with your presence. Grant us the dreams and visions you have promised and make us messengers of the good news of Christ Jesus our Lord. Indeed, unite us through the power of your Spirit so that all people may be moved by the witness we make and so that songs of praise may rise to you here and everywhere, both now and for ever more.
Lord, lead us to be peace-makers, building connections between individuals, focusing on what unites people rather than on what separates us and highlights our differences. Lord, it's easy to harm relationships; forgive us the divisions and bitterness which we have created in our homes and families with friends and colleagues at work. Enable us to seek for a fresh start and give us the power of your Spirit to use opportunities to build up and make new the bonds between people.
Gracious God, Spirit of Life, surging freely, loving generously, seeking endlessly, move upon the face of our world and embrace all its creatures with grace. Startle the powerful and the humble with your power and tenderness, your purpose and determination, your patience and mercy. Hear our prayers of thankfulness and our requests for your intercession.

O living God, come and make our souls temples of thy Spirit.
Sanctify us, O Lord. Baptise thy whole Church with fire, that the divisions soon may cease, and that it may stand before the world as a pillar and buttress of thy truth.
Sanctify us, O Lord.
Grant us all the fruits of thy Holy Spirit: brotherly love, joy, peace, patience, goodwill and faithfulness.
Sanctify us, O Lord.
May the Holy Spirit speak by the voice of thy servants, here and everywhere, as they preach thy word.
Sanctify us, O Lord.
Send thy Holy Spirit, the comforter, to all who face adversity, or who are the victims of men's wickedness.
Sanctify us, O Lord.
Preserve all nations and their leaders from hatred and war, and build up a > community among nations, through the power of thy Spirit.
Sanctify us, O Lord.
Holy Spirit, Lord and source of life, giver of the seven gifts,
Sanctify us, O Comforter.
Spirit of wisdom and understanding, Spirit of counsel and strength,
Sanctify us, O Comforter.
Spirit of knowledge and devotion, Spirit of obedience to the Lord.
Sanctify us, O Comforter.
 

Prayer of Taize Community

Blessed be the love which chose us before the foundation of the world. Blessed be the grace that saved us before the world began. Blessed be the glory prepared for us from all eternity. Blessed be God for ever and blessed be his glorious Name! Amen  Charles Haddon Spurgeon, 1834-1892

May Christ inflame the desires of all people to break through the barriers which divide them, to strengthen the bonds of mutual love, to learn to understand one another, and to pardon those who have done them wrong. Through Christ’s power and inspiration may all peoples welcome each other to their hearts as brothers and sisters, and may the peace they long for ever flower and ever reign among them."
Pope John XXIII, Pacem in Terris, #171

God, who as at this time taught the hearts of your faithful people by sending to them the light of your Holy Spirit: grant us by the same Spirit to have a right judgement in all things and evermore to rejoice in his holy comfort; through the merits of Christ Jesus our Saviour, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

Faithful God, you fulfilled the promise of Easter by sending your Holy Spirit and opening the way of eternal life to all the human race. Keep us in the unity of your Spirit, that every tongue may tell of your glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Almighty God, we your children pray: let your glory come down.
Let the Fire fall as on that first Day of Pentecost.
Revive our spirits, fill us with new excitement,
with joy unspeakable and faith for a dying world.
Empower us to speak your Word; to utter the words of Life;
using a variety of languages to bring the good news to the poor.
LORD, let your fire fall once again on this church, on this community,
on this country, and to the ends of the earth.
In Jesus name and in the power of your Holy Spirit. Amen.

Prayers of Intercession

Response: Come, Holy Spirit.

For the gift to speak up on issues of justice and peace, we pray….

For the wisdom to discern an end to war and violence, we pray….

For a strong commitment to respect the human rights of all people and for an end to torture and abuse, we pray…..

For the ability to work together to end racism and all other discrimination in our society, we pray…

For the help we need to address the needs of refugees and immigrants, we pray….

For the perseverance we need to keep working for health care for all in our own land, we pray….

For the courage to live simply and in ways that respect our environment, we pray….

For transparency and integrity in all our governments and in all our public officials, we pray

For the strength to always work together for the common good of all, we pray….

For the willingness to take time to listen to and learn from others who are in need, we pray….

Prayers

Come Holy Spirit. Come! Fill the hearts of your people.

Come Holy Spirit that we may be aware:

- aware of the people around us, especially the poor and oppressed

- aware of the children, the young people, all the people striving to grow into their dignity as children of God

- aware of visitors, immigrants, and refugees

- aware of the world around us, especially the environment with its plants and animals, with its land and water, with its air and space, with all its mystery

- aware of the structures of power, especially those that keep people poor or powerless or confused or unfree

- aware of the violence and the threats of violence, which are not the way of Jesus

- aware of ourselves and our bias and stereotypes and all our unfreedom

- aware of all the possibilities for freedom and joy and life.

Come Holy Spirit. Come! Fill the hearts of your people.

+++++

Today we ask the grace to shout when it hurts, even though silence is expected of us,

And to listen when others shout though it be painful to hear;

To object, to protest, when we feel, taste, or observe injustice,

Believing that even the unjust and arrogant

Are human nonetheless and therefore worthy of strong efforts to reach them.

Take from us, Guiding God, the heart of despair

And fill us with courage and understanding.

Give us a self that knows very well when the moment has come to protest.

We ask the grace to be angry when the weakest are the first to be exploited

And the trapped are squeezed for their meager resources,

When the most deserving are the last to thrive, and the privileged demand more privilege.

We ask for the inspiration to make our voice heard

When we have something that needs to be said, something that rises to our lips despite our shyness.

And we ask the grace to listen when the meek finally rise to speak and their words are an agony for us.

Give us the freedom to see. Give us the wisdom and courage to speak.

 

O God, send forth your Holy Spirit into my heart that I may perceive, into my mind that I may remember, and into my soul that I may meditate. Inspire me to speak with piety, holiness, tenderness and mercy. Teach, guide and direct my thoughts and senses from beginning to end. May your grace ever help and correct me, and may I be strengthened now with wisdom from on high, for the sake of your infinite mercy. Amen. Saint Anthony of Padua

 

 

  Hymns
 

  1. We are one in the Spirit (on service sheet),

  2. The spirit lives to set us free, walk in the light,

  3. Come Holy ghost

  4. Spirit of holiness

  5. O thou who camest from above

  6. Breathe on me breath of God

  7. Sing a new song (tune: Lord for the Years)

  8. God forgave my sin

  9. For I’m building a people of power