Many of us are still looking for new ways of celebrating the Holy Spirit doing a new thing this year…and some of us are tired, and others burned out from navigating ever-changing guidelines and infection/vaccination rates and rules and safety and public opinion and technology, and some are inspired with new ideas! Here are some starters to help you this Pentecost — from RevGals who remind us the Holy Spirit has our back.
Feel free to use these pieces, or adapt them. Please give credit in written materials and/or video descriptions, but oral attribution is not necessary.
Rachel Hackenberg’s Pentecost Prayer posted here on RGBP a couple of years ago is still perhaps the most relevant prayer I can imagine for this Sunday…
How great you are, O God our God,
and how foolish are we to call you ours!
Your power cannot be measured,
your holiness cannot be contained.
Without you, we are entirely hopeless …
with you, we are completely unsettled.
How to choose:
between your Consuming Fire
and the embers of complacency?
between your Dance of New Life
and the brittle familiarity of these bones?
between your Righteous Justification
and this world’s systems of injustice?
In the power of your glory,
save us and grant us courage
to draw near to your ferocious grace.
Give us strength to bear down
through the labor pains
of reparation & restoration.
Fill us with visions beyond our wildest dreams,
and as we dream,
we will sing your highest praises
if you will hold our deepest sorrows;
we will remember your promises of life
if you will hold our stories of death;
we will say your name often & loosely as though drunk
if you will hold our names intentionally in your hand.
Be fierce, O Holy God —
the world needs you to be fierce,
and the world needs us to be fiercely convicted
by your power and grace.
We dare to say
that we are ready to be
changed by your Spirit; we are ready.
Prayer of Confession by Teri Peterson
The wind blows and we hear the sound of it, but we do not know where it comes from.
We try to explain it away, but even our own breath speaks of new things we cannot understand.
We may be together in one place, but we do not speak with one voice, we do not listen with one heart.
We hear, and dismiss, your deeds of power, your call to love those who are different, your insistence that the whole world be included.
You pour out your Spirit, and we squash the vision—it is too big, too unrealistic, too uncertain, too unruly.
You send visions of a future with hope, and we look back instead.
You light the way, and we look for a fire extinguisher, trying to keep ourselves (and you!) safe.
Forgive us, O God. We long for your new life, but we do not know how to live it.
Rush into this place again, and fill every nook and cranny with dreams and visions of possibility.
Turn our hushed whispers into proclamations of your grace, in every language of the world.
Lead us out into your future.
Prayer of Confession by Barb Hedges-Goettl, based on Galatians 5.22
When instead of love, kindness and generosity, we practice animosity, apathy or selfishness,
forgive us, O God.
When instead of joy, gentleness and self-control, we share unhappiness, harshness or discouragement,
forgive us, O God.
When instead of faithfulness, peace and patience, we foment fighting, disagreement or worry,
forgive us, O God.
Assurance of Forgiveness (Galatians 4:4-5, NRSV)
One: God redeems those born under the law, so that we are forgiven and adopted as children.
Thanks be to God for this Good News: In Jesus Christ, we are forgiven.
Prayer by Teri Peterson
On this day of Pentecost, the church is born and re-born.
The Holy Spirit is poured out
and sends us out together, aflame with new life.
God, we pray that your Spirit would set us free
from the prisons of pettiness, jealousy, and greed.
Set us free to be Your church.
We are freed to free others.
We are forgiven to forgive others.
We are loved to love others.
You call us to be the church,
and you send us to feed the hungry,
clothe the naked, heal the sick,
and to be alleluias even when there is no music.
Fill us with your Spirit,
make us again into your body for the world. Amen.
Mary Luti shares a communal reading for Pentecost:
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