On Sunday May 21st, 2016 we switched things up for Pentecost. Instead of having a teaching time I wrote an interactive liturgy to help us Commoners get into the story. It was a really meaningful time. If you are looking for something to use at your Pentecost Gathering next year, here is and outline of what we did.
Written by Randell Neudorf for The CommonsPLEASE NOTE: Some inspiration was taken from the Spring 2016 issue of Leader Magazine. Our Communion Prayers were taken from the Mennonite Minister’s Manual. All scripture quotes are from Acts 2:1-42 (GNT) unless otherwise noted.
List of Supplies:
- Wind noise made with Synthesiser or Audio file.
We used the White Noise setting of a MiniBrute Synth. but you could find an audio file or video to use.
Here is a video with some great wind sounds.
If you want something more music driven try the song Windy Day by Dad vs Son.
- Table in center of the room.
- Chairs in a circle around the edge of the room. If your room doesn’t work as circle set up or you have pews that can’t be moved. feel free to adapt the set up to fit your space.
- Red streamers – Cut the Streamers in lengths that can reach from the centre table to the people in the chairs around the room. Streamers are taped to the table and hang down onto the floor.
- Acts 2:4 scripture readings printed in multiple languages – tape them to the bottom of Chairs. We used Bible Gateway Website to find the translations.
- Communion Elements set up on the table in the center of the room. The format we used was Intinction (dipping bread into a single cup). We also had rice crackers available for people with allergies (they go first so that they don’t dip into a contaminated cup). The Bread was a whole loaf so people could break off a piece.
Liturgy is a way to slow down and listen for the Holy Spirit. You are being asked to participate in something that has been written for you, so be aware of how words and actions make you feel.
If something really resonates with you, let that be an opportunity to let your spirit pray a simple prayer of “Yes Please!” or “Thank-You.”
If something is confusing or if you disagree with something, or even if something makes you angry, use that as an opportunity to simply pray “Why?” Then allow your self a chance to listen for the Holy Spirit.
Liturgy is not perfect, it is written by people with faults and bias, but it is a great tool to slow down and listen for where God the Holy Spirit is whispering into the mix. So take everything with a posture of grace.
Liturgy: (All words spoken by the facilitator unless otherwise noted.)
Today is a very special day on the church calendar. It is Pentecost.
“When the day of Pentecost came, all the believers were gathered together in one place. Suddenly there was a noise from the sky which sounded like a strong wind blowing, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting.”
- Start Wind Noise
In Hebrew the word for Wind and Spirit are the same. To remind ourselves we are going to go around the circle alternating between saying “Wind, Spirit, Wind, Spirit…”
- Have people alternate between saying Wind, Spirit, Wind Spirit… do this 1 or 2 times around the room.
- Ask someone to read Psalm 104:24-34
Psalm 104:24-34 (GNT)
24 Lord, you have made so many things!
27 All of them depend on you
31 May the glory of the Lord last forever!
33 I will sing to the Lord all my life;
God “when you give us breath, we are created again; you give us new life!”
When the day of Pentecost came…
“Then they saw what looked like tongues of fire which spread out and touched each person there.”
- Unroll streamers connected to the table in middle of room. Touch each one to someone’s forhead and then place it in their hand
- Have people: shake the streamers with the sounds of wind continuing to play in the background. While this is happening the Facilitator continues to speak:
Imagine what tongues of fire might look like…
Imagine that You like Moses have seen God as flame but have not been consumed…
You have not been burned physically, have you been burned spiritually?
Perhaps these words come to your mind
Exodus 3:3-6 (GNT) Burning Bush – Facilitator Reads so that people can continue to hold their streamers.
3 One day while Moses was taking care of the sheep and goats of his father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian, he led the flock across the desert and came to Sinai, the holy mountain. 2 There the angel of the Lord appeared to him as a flame coming from the middle of a bush. Moses saw that the bush was on fire but that it was not burning up. 3 “This is strange,” he thought. “Why isn’t the bush burning up? I will go closer and see.”
4 When the Lord saw that Moses was coming closer, he called to him from the middle of the bush and said, “Moses! Moses!”
He answered, “Yes, here I am.”
5 God said, “Do not come any closer. Take off your sandals, because you are standing on holy ground. 6 I am the God of your ancestors, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.” So Moses covered his face, because he was afraid to look at God.
We are on Holy Ground,
because the Spirit of God is present, God the Holy Spirit is with us.
Put down your streamers and take off your shoes.
- (Facilitator takes off their Shoes)
We are on Holy Ground.
If you can kneel and are comfortable doings so, please kneel.
- (Facilitator kneels)
Give yourself a moment to be still and quiet in the presence of God.
- 30 seconds of silence – Wind noise can continue in the background
- When Silence is done wind noise can stop.
When the day of Pentecost came…
“They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to talk in other languages, as the Spirit enabled them to speak.”
- Ask people to check the bottom of their chairs. Some of them will have scriptures taped to them.
- Have people read their scriptures out lound, even if they don’t know the language. If someone isn’t comfortable reading out loud, the facilitator or another volunteer can read the scripture.
- Here is the list of Scripture Translations we used:
Acts 2:4Good News Translation (GNT)
4 They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to talk in other languages, as the Spirit enabled them to speak.
Hechos 2:4 Nueva Versión Internacional (NVI)
4 Todos fueron llenos del Espíritu Santo y comenzaron a hablar en diferentes lenguas, según el Espíritu les concedía expresarse.
Actes 2:4 Nouvelle Edition de Genève – NEG1979 (NEG1979)
4 Et ils furent tous remplis du Saint-Esprit, et se mirent à parler en d’autres langues, selon que l’Esprit leur donnait de s’exprimer.
Apostolok cselekedetei 2:4 Hungarian New Translation (NT-HU)
4 Mindnyájan megteltek Szentlélekkel, és különféle nyelveken kezdtek beszélni; úgy, ahogyan a Lélek adta nekik, hogy szóljanak.
Jesus Guys 2:4Hawai‘i Pidgin (HWP)
4 Godʼs Spesho Spirit wen take charge a dem, an dey wen start fo talk wit plenny odda kine languages, cuz Godʼs Spirit wen make um so dey can.
Postulasagan 2:4 Icelandic Bible (ICELAND)
4 Þeir fylltust allir heilögum anda og tóku að tala öðrum tungum, eins og andinn gaf þeim að mæla.
Atti 2:4 Nuova Riveduta 2006 (NR2006)
4 Tutti furono riempiti di Spirito Santo e cominciarono a parlare in altre lingue, come lo Spirito dava loro di esprimersi.
Actus Apostolorum 2:4 Biblia Sacra Vulgata (VULGATE)
4 et repleti sunt omnes Spiritu Sancto et coeperunt loqui aliis linguis prout Spiritus Sanctus dabat eloqui illis
Handelingen 2:4 Het Boek (HTB)
4 Zij werden allemaal gevuld met de Heilige Geest en begonnen in vreemde talen te spreken: woorden die de Heilige Geest hun ingaf.
Atos 2:4 Almeida Revista e Corrigida 2009 (ARC)
4 E todos foram cheios do Espírito Santo e começaram a falar em outras línguas, conforme o Espírito Santo lhes concedia que falassem.
Falimaha Rasuullada 2:4 Somali Bible (SOM)
4 Kolkaasaa waxaa kulligood ka wada buuxsamay Ruuxa Quduuska ah, oo waxay bilaabeen inay afaf kale ku hadlaan sidii Ruuxu iyaga u siiyey hadalka.
Apostelenes gerninger 2:4 Bibelen på hverdagsdansk (BPH)
4 Således blev de alle fyldt med Helligånden, og de begyndte at tale på fremmede sprog, som de ellers ikke kendte. Det var Ånden, der gav dem ordene.
Apostelgeschichte 2:4 Hoffnung für Alle (HOF)
4 So wurden sie alle mit dem Heiligen Geist erfüllt und redeten in fremden Sprachen, jeder so, wie der Geist es ihm eingab.
When the day of Pentecost came…
5 There were Jews living in Jerusalem, religious people who had come from every country in the world. 6 When they heard this noise, a large crowd gathered. They were all excited, because all of them heard the believers talking in their own languages. 7 In amazement and wonder they exclaimed, “These people who are talking like this are Galileans! 8 How is it, then, that all of us hear them speaking in our own native languages? 9 We are from Parthia, Media, and Elam; from Mesopotamia, Judea, and Cappadocia; from Pontus and Asia, 10 from Phrygia and Pamphylia, from Egypt and the regions of Libya near Cyrene. Some of us are from Rome, 11 both Jews and Gentiles converted to Judaism, and some of us are from Crete and Arabia—yet all of us hear them speaking in our own languages about the great things that God has done!” 12 Amazed and confused, they kept asking each other, “What does this mean?”
13 But others made fun of the believers, saying, “These people are drunk!”
Please bow your heads in prayer with me:
Forgive us for trying to be our own gods,
Thank you God for the gift of The Holy Spirit.
God as you enabled your followers at Pentecost
God empower us to speak of you and your kingdom
When the day of Pentecost came…
14 …Peter stood up with the other eleven apostles and in a loud voice began to speak to the crowd: “Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, listen to me and let me tell you what this means. 15 These people are not drunk, as you suppose; it is only nine o’clock in the morning. 16 Instead, this is what the prophet Joel spoke about:
17 ‘This is what I will do in the last days, God says:
22 “Listen to these words, fellow Israelites! Jesus of Nazareth was a man whose divine authority was clearly proven to you by all the miracles and wonders which God performed through him. You yourselves know this, for it happened here among you. 23 In accordance with his own plan God had already decided that Jesus would be handed over to you; and you killed him by letting sinful men crucify him. 24 But God raised him from death, setting him free from its power, because it was impossible that death should hold him prisoner. 25 For David said about him,
‘I saw the Lord before me at all times;
29 “My friends, I must speak to you plainly about our famous ancestor King David. He died and was buried, and his grave is here with us to this very day. 30 He was a prophet, and he knew what God had promised him: God had made a vow that he would make one of David’s descendants a king, just as David was. 31 David saw what God was going to do in the future, and so he spoke about the resurrection of the Messiah when he said,
‘He was not abandoned in the world of the dead;
36 “All the people of Israel, then, are to know for sure that this Jesus, whom you crucified, is the one that God has made Lord and Messiah!”
37 When the people heard this, they were deeply troubled and said to Peter and the other apostles, “What shall we do, brothers?”
38 Peter said to them, “Each one of you must turn away from your sins and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, so that your sins will be forgiven; and you will receive God’s gift, the Holy Spirit. 39 For God’s promise was made to you and your children, and to all who are far away—all whom the Lord our God calls to himself.”
40 Peter made his appeal to them and with many other words he urged them, saying, “Save yourselves from the punishment coming on this wicked people!” 41 Many of them believed his message and were baptized, and about three thousand people were added to the group that day. 42 They spent their time in learning from the apostles, taking part in the fellowship, and sharing in the fellowship meals and the prayers.
We are now going to share in one of those Fellowship Meals, in Communion
Words of institution for the bread:
For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you,
that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed, took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it
and said, “This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me”.
Prayer of thanks for the bread
Blessed are you, mothering God.
You made bread to strengthen us;
you gave us this bread
as a sign of your Beloved’s broken body.
Let our sharing in it be a foretaste of the bread that feeds the whole world.
Words of institution for the cup:
In the same way he took the cup also after
supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood.
Do this as often as you drink it in remembrance of me.”
For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup,
you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.
Prayer of thanks for the cup
Blessed are you, mothering God
You made the fruit of the vine to nourish us;
you gave us this cup
as a sign of your Beloved’s shed blood.
Let our sharing in it be a foretaste of the wine
we shall drink in your kingdom.
Please bow your heads with me,
Blessed are you, bountiful God.
Through this holy meal you have made us partakers of Christ and of one another.
As we go forth, accompany us with your Spirit (of joy): set us free to live what Jesus taught and did.