- Officiant: Cn. Dave (me)
- Preacher: Fr. Dennett
- Music: Tom and Kelli leading a small team (vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, drums)
- Scripture: Candy (Acts 2:1-11 and Psalm 104:24-35), Dcn. Andrea (John 20:19-23)
Songs of Praise
- How Great is our God
- Better is One Day
- All Who are Thirsty
- Holy Spirit (Your Presence)
- Let Us Break Bread Together
- Freedom Reigns
Collect for the Day
Almighty God, on this day, through the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, you revealed the way of eternal life to every race and nation: Pour out this gift anew, that by the preaching of the Gospel your salvation may reach to the ends of the earth; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.Amen.
I love Pentecost. As someone from a Pentecostal background, the fact that the Church must remember and commemorate the wildness of the Holy Spirit on an annual basis. It’s the last Sunday of the year that Church of the Savior worships with the Kenyan liturgy. I led the celebration (and we managed to start a few minutes late per COTS tradition–I *really* do try to get started at 10am!). I invited the people, reminded them of the celebration of Pentecost (in case the red frontal and table-covering weren’t obvious enough), and spoke about my expectations for the Holy Spirit’s presence and ministry in our midst.
We began with the Pentecost Acclamation, proceeded to the Collect for Purity and in place of the Confession of Sin, Deacon Laura led the Litany for Mission after which we worshipped though the songs of praise. Pentecost has a thoroughly missional-emphasis in COTS’ liturgical praxis, and the worship reflects the need for the Spirit that God’s people have. One of the things I thought of as soon as I knew we were singing “How Great is our God” is wishing I had known ahead to introduce the Hebrew version of the chorus. I sang it anyway, but no way the congregation caught it.
In the silence following, there was a prayer for more of the Holy Spirit, a reading of Psalm 84, an invitation to trust in God to heal, to save, to empower, and fill. I felt that I received a prophetic word, so I shared about the psalmist not seeing the better day that he proclaimed in Psalm 84, but that “Today is that day, the day of salvation, of healing, of rescue, to be made new.” Drawing from Isaiah 61, I shared that I believed God was inviting us to trade our sorrow for joy, our sin for righteousness, our anxiety for his peace, etc. I concluded with the collect for the day.
After praying God’s Spirit would be stirred in “the sons and daughters”, I dismissed the kids to their classes, and Candy read the first part of the Pentecost story from Acts. Appropriately, we prayed Psalm 104 portion antiphonally, beginning with the women. Deacon Andrea read the Johannine Pentecost (which, oddly, figured into my sermon last week). Fr. Dennett’s sermon was a teaching on the prophetic/revelatory gifts of the Holy Spirit and how She speaks in the Church (Scripture, tongues/interpretation, dreams/visions, prophecy). There were two testimonies in the course of the sermon.
At this point, running long, we proceeded through the Creed, and the prayers of the people, which included another series of prayers for mission and evangelization and for the Gospel to reach into the areas sin and death have broken down (read: everything). After several extended extemporaneous intercessions, I concluded the prayers, and Fr. Dennett proceeded with the announcements. At the conclusion of the announcements, I encouraged people to receive prayer during Communion for the baptism of the Holy Spirit and delivered the offertory sentence. The time of Holy Communion went according to the norms, and in place of the Post-Communion Prayer, I asked, “Are there any who have not come to the Lord’s Table?” The congregation’s response is the numbers of unreached and unconverted across the world. When we finished the list, I asked, “Who will go and invite them to this Banquet?” The congregation said “We will go, with our lives, our service, our support” (or something very close to that). It’s a powerful missional commitment to close with Pentecost. With that fresh from their lips, I declared God’s blessing, and we sang and dismissed…about 20 minutes later than almost any service….and I wasn’t even able to leave the church building for another 40 minutes. Quite the day.
Come, Holy Spirit!