Pentecost

Prayers at home for the Day of Pentecost.

Today we celebrate the gift of the Holy Spirit, “the giver of life”.
Pentecost was a Jewish harvest festival occuring fifty days after Passover. It marked the occasion when the Holy Spirit came upon the first disciples
empowering them to witness to Christ.

Alleluia! Christ is risen. He is risen indeed. Alleluia!

Acclamation.

Where can I go from your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, you are there;
If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there.
If I take the wings of the morning and settle
at the farthest limits of the sea,
even there your hand shall lead me;
your right hand hold me fast. (Ps. 139 : 7-10.)

Almighty God, to whom all hearts are open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets is hidden: cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy name: through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Penitence
St. Paul teaches us not to “grieve the Holy Spirit of God”. Therefore we now confess those sins which hinder the Spirit’s work among us……

Lord, forgive us when we have closed our hearts to the Spirit’s renewing power…
Lord have mercy
Lord, forgive us when we have closed our minds to learning anything new……
Christ have mercy.
Lord, forgive us when we have failed to bear witness to the gospel of Christ…..
Lord have mercy.
May almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us our sins and bring us to everlasting life. Amen.

Collect and Readings.
O 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 judgment 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 and the same Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Acts 2 : 1-21
Psalm 104 : 25-35. & 37
1 Corinthians 12 : 3b-13
John 20 : 19-23

Affirmation of Faith
Let us declare our faith in the resurrection of Jesus…….
Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures;
he was buried; he was raised to life on the third day
in accordance with the Scriptures;
afterwards he appeared to his followers, and to all the apostles;
this we have received and this we believe. (1 Cor 15 : 3-7)
This is the faith of the Church.
This is our faith
We believe and trust in one God,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.

Intercessions.
As followers of Jesus, we rejoice because we share in his new life, and are led by the Spirit, and so we pray….
For Bishop Gregory and for all clergy and lay ministers, that they will serve the Church with holiness, humility and inspiration……
Holy Spirit of God, renew us we pray
For our Queen and government and for the leaders of the nations, that they might promote peace and justice, freedom and well-being and that they might always be mindful of the poor and the dispocessed….
Holy Spirit of God, renew us we pray.
For those parts of the world where food is scarce, jobs are few or life is dangerous, that conditions will improve for all who struggle to survive….
Holy Spirit of God, renew us we pray.
For our families and all who are close to us, that in these testing times they will be protected from harm and given the gifts of perseverance and hope….
Holy Spirit of God, renew us we pray.
For the sick, the isolated and the lonley. For those who feel the pain of separation from loved ones and for all in any kind of need……..
Holy Spirit of God, renew us we pray.
Merciful Father, accept these prayers for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Our Father…

(You might like to make the Act of Spiritual Communion now)

Let us live by the Spirit….and not gratify the desires of the flesh… May love, joy and peace blossom in our lives. Amen. (Galations 5 : 16 & 22)

Alleluia! Christ is risen. He is risen indeed. Alleluia!

A Reflection for the Day of Pentecost.

Last Monday, on the bank holiday, I would have been in Walsingham at the National Pilgrimage. Walsingham honours the role given to the Blessed Virgin Mary in the story of our salvation. So during the week I have been thinking a little about Mary as we prepare for the great feast of Pentecost.

The Acts of the Apostles tells us that from Jesus’ ascension into heaven until Pentecost, Mary and the apostles devoted themselves to prayer. They did not know how Jesus’ promised gift of the Spirit would come or how long they would have to wait. Waiting can sometimes be a long and tedious process. Sometimes it can be a worrying time, that our worst fears may come true. It can also be a time of expectation and hope. We are waiting now to see how long this time of isolation will last. It feels as if it has already been a long time. But however long it goes on, God is with us, and in his providence he will sort it out. This was the experience of the frightened apostles in the upper room who couldn’t find the courage or the words to make sense of what they had seen and heard.

They joined in prayer with others in the Christian community who were not actually present with them. There was no email, telephone, WhatsApp, or Zoom to use to keep contact. They were together as they prayed, and their communion with God brought them into communion with one another. We are having to find new ways of praying together. It was because they prayed together and through the Holy Spirit that they were able to witness to their faith.

One of the most remarkable things about our present troubles has been the coming together of local communities for mutual support and the care of those in particular need. After an initial reaction of fear and wanting to be in control, during which all the supermarket shelves were empty, groups of people have formed to help others, particularly those who are most isolated. Many, especially those in our cities, have spoken to their neighbours for the first time, discovering what they are like, what they do, offering anything to help. People have also rediscovered prayer or have started to pray more. As Mary prayed with the apostles in the upper room, so now they pray with us. We need to pray that what we have learned, received and experienced will not be lost when this is all over. We also need to follow their example and learn what is essential in our lives. As we gradually come out of lockdown we will need to witness to what we know of the Lord so that we can play our part in re-building and reconnecting our communities.

“Come Holy Spirit illuminate the hearts of your faithful people. Come Holy Spirit, renew that face of the earth. Amen “