Pentecost Liturgy – 2016

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.


RandyPentecost Liturgy
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.
  • MaskingTape.
  • 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 Disclaimer:

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!
How wisely you made them all!
The earth is filled with your creatures.
25 There is the ocean, large and wide,
where countless creatures live,
large and small alike.
26 The ships sail on it, and in it plays Leviathan,
that sea monster which you made.[a]

27 All of them depend on you
to give them food when they need it.
28 You give it to them, and they eat it;
you provide food, and they are satisfied.
29 When you turn away, they are afraid;
when you take away your breath, they die
and go back to the dust from which they came.
30 But when you give them breath,[b] they are created;
you give new life to the earth.

31 May the glory of the Lord last forever!
May the Lord be happy with what he has made!
32 He looks at the earth, and it trembles;
he touches the mountains, and they pour out smoke.

33 I will sing to the Lord all my life;
as long as I live I will sing praises to my God.
34 May he be pleased with my song,
for my gladness comes from him.

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. 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. “This is strange,” he thought. “Why isn’t the bush burning up? I will go closer and see.”

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.”

God said, “Do not come any closer. Take off your sandals, because you are standing on holy ground. 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)

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)

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)

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)

Mindnyájan megteltek Szentlélekkel, és különféle nyelveken kezdtek beszélni; úgy, ahogyan a Lélek adta nekik, hogy szóljanak.


Jesus Guys 2:4Hawai‘i Pidgin (HWP)

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)

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)

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)

et repleti sunt omnes Spiritu Sancto et coeperunt loqui aliis linguis prout Spiritus Sanctus dabat eloqui illis


Handelingen 2:4 Het Boek (HTB)

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)

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)

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)

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)

So wurden sie alle mit dem Heiligen Geist erfüllt und redeten in fremden Sprachen, jeder so, wie der Geist es ihm eingab.


  • Have someone READ Genesis 11:1-9

Genesis 11:1-9 (GNT) The Tower of Babylon

11 At first, the people of the whole world had only one language and used the same words. As they wandered about in the East, they came to a plain in Babylonia and settled there. They said to one another, “Come on! Let’s make bricks and bake them hard.” So they had bricks to build with and tar to hold them together. They said, “Now let’s build a city with a tower that reaches the sky, so that we can make a name for ourselves and not be scattered all over the earth.”

Then the Lord came down to see the city and the tower which they had built, and he said, “Now then, these are all one people and they speak one language; this is just the beginning of what they are going to do. Soon they will be able to do anything they want! Let us go down and mix up their language so that they will not understand each other.” So the Lord scattered them all over the earth, and they stopped building the city. The city was called Babylon,[a] because there the Lord mixed up the language of all the people, and from there he scattered them all over the earth.

 When the day of Pentecost came…

There were Jews living in Jerusalem, religious people who had come from every country in the world. 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. In amazement and wonder they exclaimed, “These people who are talking like this are Galileans! How is it, then, that all of us hear them speaking in our own native languages? 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:

through your spirit you are repairing the rifts and brokenness in our lives.

Forgive us for trying to be our own gods,
for the times we have put ourselves above you our Creator
and the rest of your creation.

Thank you God for the gift of The Holy Spirit.
Fill us with the Holy Spirit that breaks down barriers,
Barriers of language, culture, and economics.

God as you enabled your followers at Pentecost
to speak to the people that you placed around them,
teach and enable us to speak through your Spirit
to the people you have surrounded us with.

God empower us to speak of you and your kingdom
with such exuberance and abandon
that it may even be confused as drunkenness.


  • Facilitator Stands up and Reads the following Loudly and Dramatically. Feel free to walk around the room.

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:
I will pour out my Spirit on everyone.
Your sons and daughters will proclaim my message;
your young men will see visions,
and your old men will have dreams.
18 Yes, even on my servants, both men and women,
I will pour out my Spirit in those days,
and they will proclaim my message.
19 I will perform miracles in the sky above
and wonders on the earth below.
There will be blood, fire, and thick smoke;
20     the sun will be darkened,
and the moon will turn red as blood,
before the great and glorious Day of the Lord comes.
21 And then, whoever calls out to the Lord for help will be saved.’

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;
he is near me, and I will not be troubled.
26 And so I am filled with gladness,
and my words are full of joy.
And I, mortal though I am,
will rest assured in hope,
27 because you will not abandon me in the world of the dead;
you will not allow your faithful servant to rot in the grave.
28 You have shown me the paths that lead to life,
and your presence will fill me with joy.’

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;
his body did not rot in the grave.’
32 God has raised this very Jesus from death, and we are all witnesses to this fact. 33 He has been raised to the right side of God, his Father, and has received from him the Holy Spirit, as he had promised. What you now see and hear is his gift that he has poured out on us. 34 For it was not David who went up into heaven; rather he said,
‘The Lord said to my Lord:
Sit here at my right side
35 until I put your enemies as a footstool under your feet.’

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

Communion Instructions:

  • Is there anyone who is allergic to bread? (have rice crackers and gluten free bread available)
  • When it is time to partake, I would ask you let these people go first.
  • We are going to be dipping the symbol of the body of Christ – the bread into the Cup, the symbol of Christ’s blood. The fancy word for this is Intinction.

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

  • Raise loaf of bread high and break it in two.

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.


  • Pass the bread around and have people each break off a piece. Ask everyone not to eat it yet but to just hold it for later.
  • Ask people to say “Body of Christ, broken for you” as the pass the bread to each other.
  • pour Grape Juice or Wine into a Cup, Mason Jar, or Goblet.
  • Hold the full Cup up high for everyone to see.

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.


  • Invite people to come forward to share in communion by dipping their bread into the communal cup.
  • People with allergies should be invited to come first.
  • As people come to the facilitator for communion they should say “Blood of Christ, shed for you” to each person.

Post-communion prayer

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.


Give Up Fear – Psalm 27 Reflective Prayer

Boards of CanadaOn Sunday Feb 21st we continued our Give Up Lent series by focusing on Giving Up Fear.

In Psalm 27:1 we read that “The Lord is my light and my salvation; I will fear no one. The Lord protects me from all danger; I will never be afraid.

We watched a video about the Science of Light, to think a little more about what it might mean for God to be our light. The video reminded us that we can’t actually see objects in and of them selves. Everything we see is actually the reflection of light bouncing off objects and hitting our eyes. We can’t visually know anything about the world around us without light. If we think of God as our light, we can only truly see what is around us by the reflection of God’s light.

When I think of light, the most spectacular experience I have ever had was seeing the Northern Lights. I was on my way home from working at a factory and I saw a strange light. I got out of my car and walked into a farmers field to get a better look and I was surprised to see the Northern Lights. It lasted for about 20 minutes and it was one of the most magical, meaningful and present moments of my life. The darkness around me melted away. What would have been a cold and ominous place to be at that time of night was now a center of warmth and joy. Light transforms everything.

To end our gathering we used Psalm 27 as a reflective prayer exercise. We turned off all the lights and played an ambient music video by the band Boards of Canada that featured images of the Northern Lights. People were given permission to let the video be their focal point or to close their eyes if that helped them listen better. Psalm 27 was then read by flash light over the sounds and images of the video. Each line was read slowly with a pause between each line. People were instructed to pay attention to how that line made them feel. If their heart jumped at the line in a good way, like they were hearing something that really resonated or something that they really wanted to be true they were asked to simply pray “Yes!” silently to themselves. If they heard something that rubbed them the wrong way or felt off or awkward, they were given permission to pray “Why?” Not the most wordy of prayers but two very honest prayers. These two prayers were intentionally short to leave space to listen to what God might be saying to us through this psalm. Here is the version of scripture we read and where we placed our pauses.

Psalm 27 (GNT)

The Lord is my light and my salvation;
I will fear no one.

The Lord protects me from all danger;
I will never be afraid.

When evil people attack me and try to kill me,
they stumble and fall.

Even if a whole army surrounds me,
I will not be afraid;

even if enemies attack me,
I will still trust God.

 I have asked the Lord for one thing;
one thing only do I want:

to live in the Lord’s house all my life,
to marvel there at his goodness,
and to ask for his guidance.

In times of trouble he will shelter me;
he will keep me safe in his Temple
and make me secure on a high rock.

So I will triumph over my enemies around me.

With shouts of joy I will offer sacrifices in his Temple;

I will sing, I will praise the Lord.

Hear me, Lord, when I call to you!

Be merciful and answer me!

When you said, “Come worship me,”
I answered, “I will come, Lord.”

Don’t hide yourself from me!

Don’t be angry with me;

don’t turn your servant away.

You have been my help;
don’t leave me, don’t abandon me,
O God, my savior.

My father and mother may abandon me,
but the Lord will take care of me.

Teach me, Lord, what you want me to do,

and lead me along a safe path,
because I have many enemies.

Don’t abandon me to my enemies,
who attack me with lies and threats.

I know that I will live to see
the Lord’s goodness in this present life.

Trust in the Lord.

Have faith,

do not despair.

Trust in the Lord.