O comforting fire of Spirit,
Life, within the very Life of all Creation.
Holy you are in giving life to All.
Holy you are in anointing
those who are not whole;
Holy you are in cleansing
a festering wound.
O sacred breath,
O fire of love,
O sweetest taste in my breast
which fills my heart
with a fine aroma of virtues.
O most pure fountain
through whom it is known
that God has united strangers
and inquired after the lost.
Alive to the Spirit at Neland Church was a season of focusing our lives and worship on the Holy Spirit. Using six biblical pictures—wind, breath, down payment, seal, dove, and fire—we explored and experienced the Spirit’s presence and work through sermon, song, dance, visual arts, writing, and prayer.
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
Note: This litany has been adapted from Acts 1:8 and Acts 2:1-4, 17-21.
When the day of Pentecost came, the twelve disciples, now with Matthias, were together in one place. Suddenly, a sound like a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house. And they saw what looked like tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them.
On this day of Pentecost, we remember Christ’s great promise to us. Before he ascended from the earth, he said to the disciples:
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This prayer was used in a Pentecost service. Though the Spirit is not explicitly mentioned throughout, the Spirit is part of all that the Godhead does. This prayer, though appropriate for Pentecost, can easily be used and adapted for any worship service, particularly one with the theme of hope.
In our worship we enter into a dialogue between God and God’s people—a dialogue that neither begins with our entrance nor ends with our exit. More accurately we are joining in a conversation that started long before we ever showed up. Indeed, worship is a cosmic gathering in which we are privileged to participate.
Note: Multiple song suggestions are provided; choose as many as fit your worship context.
Gathering for Worship
“Come, All You People” SNC 4, SWM 4
“We Bring the Sacrifice of Praise” CH 213, SNC 12, WR 651
“Gift of Christ from God Our Father” SNC 167
“Spirit, Working in Creation” PsH 415, WR 128
[Include a brief explanation of Pentecost and its connection to global mission.]
“Behold, they say, ‘Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are clean cut off.’” (Ezek. 37:11, RSV)
Let us pray:
God of hope
we bring before you
those whose lives are dried up:
Come from the four winds,
O breath of God,
and breathe upon these
that they may live.
We pray for those dried up
by guilt . . .
We pray for those
whose spirit is drained
by despair . . .
Pentecost is a season of senses—everything is alive and there is an air of mystery that can be visually and physically shared with the congregation. Pentecost is brimming with sights and sounds we can use in our worship as we recount the amazing events of the first Pentecost and reflect on the work of the Holy Spirit in our own lives and in the world.