Whit Sunday - the Pentecost
'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.'
Acts Chapter 2 (NIV)
When was the last time
that we heard the wind of your Spirit
roar through this place?
When was the last time
your fire lit up this room?
When was the last time
we took you at your word
and met together in expectation
of your Spirit filling this place
and these lives with your Glory and Power?
Lord, you challenge us with Pentecost.
Do we believe that this
was a once in eternity experience
never to be repeated?
That the Holy Spirit was poured out
on your followers for a single purpose
and ended His work at that instant?
If so, then maybe that is why the Church
seems so powerless in this age
helpless when faced with the needs
both spiritual and physical
that we see in the world.
Lord, as we meet together
and celebrate once again
the memory of that first Pentecost
may it be for us as it was then
a moment of empowerment
an awareness of your Glory in this dark world
a life changing experience.
We light a candle
and enjoy the flickering light
and warmth it creates.
But without the spark that ignites
there will be no flame
Without the wax
the source of power
the wick will not burn
Without the flame
there will be no fragrance
no warmth, no light.
And so with us, Lord
You are the catalyst that ignites us
and the fuel that sustains us
You fill us with your fragrance
as you enter our lives.
You empower us
to carry your flame in our hearts
To be the fragrance, warmth
and light of your love
in this dark world
Make your presence
known in this place
through our worship
the reading of your Word
Father, Son, Holy Spirit
within whose unity
lies all that is you
As we gather here today
your body, your church
throughout this world
fill our outstretched hearts
with your spirit
encircle us with your love
Make yourself known to us
in new ways
Spirit of life
ALL: Fill our emptiness with your fullness
Spirit of power
ALL: Stir our hearts afresh
Spirit of love
ALL: Touch us, and through us, our neighbour
Spirit of Creativity
ALL: Enable and empower the gifts you have given
Spirit of Eternity
ALL: Draw us ever deeper into your Kingdom
Almighty God, who on this day
didst open the way of eternal life
to every race and nation
by the promised gift of thy Holy Spirit:
Shed abroad this gift throughout the world
by the preaching of the Gospel,
that it may reach to the ends of the earth;
through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth
with thee, in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
( The Book of Common Prayer)
O God, who on this day
didst teach the hearts of thy faithful people
by sending to them the light of thy 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 Savior,
who liveth and reigneth with thee,
in the unity of the same Spirit,
one God, world without end. Amen.
(The Book of Common Prayer)
O God the Holy Ghost
Who art light unto thine elect
Evermore enlighten us.
Thou who art fire of love
Evermore enkindle us.
Thou who art Lord and Giver of Life,
Evermore live in us.
Thou who bestowest sevenfold grace,
Evermore replenish us.
As the wind is thy symbol,
So forward our goings.
As the dove, so launch us heavenwards.
As water, so purify our spirits.
As a cloud, so abate our temptations.
As dew, so revive our languor.
As fire, so purge our dross
Christina Rossetti (AD 1830-1894)
Come, thou Holy Spirit, come:
And from thy celestial home send thy light and brilliancy.
Come, thou father of the poor,
come who givest all our store,
come the soul's true radiancy.
Come, of comforters the best, of the soul the sweetest guest,
sweetly and refreshingly.
Come, in labour rest most sweet,
shade and coolness in the heat, comfort in adversity.
Thou who art the Light most blest,
come fulfill their inmost breast, who believe most faithfully.
For without thy Godhead's dower,
man hath nothing in his power, save to work iniquity.
What is filthy make thou pure,
what is wounded work its cure,
water what is parched and dry.
Gently bend the stubborn will,
warm to life the heart that's chill,
guide who goeth erringly.
Fill thy faithful who adore,
and confess thee evermore,
with thy sevenfold mystery.
Here thy grace and virtue send,
grant salvation in the end, and in heaven felicity. Amen.
(Latin Hymn, 13th century)
Lord Jesus, as God's Spirit came down and rested upon you,
May the same Spirit rest on us,
Bestowing his sevenfold gifts.
First, grant us the gift of understanding,
By which your precepts may enlighten our minds.
Second, grant us counsel, by which we may follow
in your footsteps on the path of righteousness.
Third, grant us courage,
by which we may ward off the enemy's attacks.
Fourth, grant us knowledge,
by which we can distinguish good from evil.
Fifth, grant us piety,
by which we may acquire compassionate hearts.
Sixth, grant us fear,
by which we may draw back from evil
and submit to what is good.
Seventh, grant us wisdom,
that we may taste fully the life-giving sweetness of your love.
(Prayer of St. Bonaventure to the Holy Spirit)
Come, Holy Spirit, Creator blest,
and in our souls take up Thy rest;
come with Thy grace and heavenly aid
to fill the hearts which Thou hast made.
O comforter, to Thee we cry,
O heavenly gift of God Most High,
O fount of life and fire of love,
and sweet anointing from above.
Thou in Thy sevenfold gifts are known;
Thou, finger of God's hand we own;
Thou, promise of the Father, Thou
Who dost the tongue with power imbue.
Kindle our sense from above,
and make our hearts o'erflow with love;
with patience firm and virtue high
the weakness of our flesh supply.
Far from us drive the foe we dread,
and grant us Thy peace instead;
so shall we not, with Thee for guide,
turn from the path of life aside.
Oh, may Thy grace on us bestow
the Father and the Son to know;
and Thee, through endless times confessed,
of both the eternal Spirit blest.
Now to the Father and the Son,
Who rose from death, be glory given,
with Thou, O Holy Comforter,
henceforth by all in earth and heaven. Amen.
(Veni, Creator Spiritus - based upon ancient latin hymn)
Most Holy Spirit,
the Paraclete, Father of the poor,
Comforter of the afflicted,
Light of hearts, Sanctifier of souls;
behold me prostrate in Thy presence.
I adore Thee with profoundest homage:
I bless Thee a thousand times
and with the Seraphim who stand before Thy throne,
I also say: "Holy, holy, holy."
I firmly believe that Thou art eternal,
consubstantial with the Father and the Divine Son.
I hope in Thy goodness
that Thou wilt deign to save and sanctify my soul.
I love Thee, O Divine Love,
with all my affections
above all the things of this world,
because Thou art Infinite Goodness,
alone worthy of all love.
And since in my ingratitude and blindness
to Thy holy inspirations,
I have so often offended Thee by my sins,
with tears in my eyes
I beg Thy pardon a thousand times,
and am more sorry for having offended Thee,
the Sovereign Good, than for any other evil.
I offer Thee this most cold heart of mine,
and I pray Thee
to pierce it with a ray of Thy light,
and with a spark of Thy fire,
which shall melt the hard ice of my iniquities.
Thou who didst fill the soul
of the most holy Mary with immense graces,
and didst inflame the hearts of the Apostles
with holy zeal, inflame, I beseech Thee,
my heart also with Thy love.
Thou art the Divine Spirit:
give me courage against all evil spirits.
Thou art Fire:
enkindle in me Thy love.
Thou art Light:
enlighten my mind with the knowledge of eternal things.
Thou art the Dove:
give me innocence of life.
Thou art the gentle Breeze:
disperse the storms of my passions.
Thou art the Tongue:
teach me how to bless Thee always.
Thou art the Cloud:
shelter me under the shadow of Thy protection.
And lastly, Thou art the Giver of all heavenly gifts:
animate me, I beseech Thee, with Thy grace;
sanctify me with Thy charity;
enlighten me with Thy wisdom;
adopt me by Thy goodness as Thy son,
and save me in Thy infinite mercy;
so that I may ever bless Thee, praise Thee, and love Thee;
first during this life on earth,
and then in heaven for all eternity. Amen.
Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787)
Breathe in me O Holy Spirit
that my thoughts may all be holy;
Act in me O Holy Spirit
that my works, too, may be holy;
Draw my heart O Holy Spirit
that I love but what is holy;
Strengthen me O Holy Spirit
to defend that is holy;
Guard me then O Holy Spirit
that I always may be holy.
St. Augustine of Hippo (AD 354-430)
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.
by Saint Anthony of Padua