SCRIPTURE READINGS: Acts 2:1-21; Romans 8:22-27; John 15:26-27; 16:4b-15;
Psalm 104:24-34, 35b
Pentecost is one of the most exciting days in our Christian Year. It is the birthday of the church; a time when disciples no longer feared but were energized to proclaim the good news of God’s love through the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the empowerment of the Holy Spirit. The traditional colors for this day are bright Red (for the tongues of flames) and White (for the dove of peace). Use a lot of music and involve as many people in this worship as possible. This should be an exciting service of worship!
CALLS TO WORSHIP
Call to Worship #1
L: Come, Holy Spirit. Inspire our hearts with your fiery presence!
P: Let your flame burn within us, stirring us to action.
L: Come, Holy Spirit. Energize our lives to work for God.
P: Let your wind of hope swirl around us, lifting and moving us from complacency.
L: Come, Holy Spirit. Pour your blessing on us.
P: Let your presence challenge us to proclaim God’s presence and love in everything we say and do. AMEN.
Call to Worship #2
L: Rushing Wind of the Spirit, breathe new life into us!
P: Blazing Flame of the Spirit, burn away our fears!
L: Comforting Presence of the Spirit, heal our wounds
P: Let us be prepared to worship and praise you, O Holy Spirit.
L: Spirit of God, come upon us this day and fill us with your love.
P: Make us people who will proclaim God’s good news in all that we do. AMEN.
Call to Worship #3
[Using THE FAITH WE SING, p. 2125 "Come, Holy Spirit", offer the following call to worship. Beginning with a solo voice (Part 1) and using an echo (Part 2 descant). Each section will be preceded by a statement of the Worship Leader, which is followed by the solo/echo segment. Finally the entire congregation will sing the melody line, with the choir singing the echo (descant)]
L: Fling wide the doors. Open the windows! Let the Spirit of God pour in!
Solo: "Come, Holy Spirit
Echo: Hear us calling.
L: Open your eyes and see the new day!
Solo: Come Holy Spirit
Echo: Hear us calling
L: Get ready, God’s promised Spirit comes sailing on the Wind
Solo: Come, Holy Spirit
Echo: Hear us calling to you
L: Let your hearts burn with hope and joy at this wondrous Gift!
Solo: Come, Holy Spirit
Echo: Hear us calling,
Both: Hear us calling, hear us calling to you.
L: Give your gift of life to this church, teach us your ways! Guide us and point us in the ways of truth and hope.
Solo: Come, give your gift
Echo: Edify your church
Solo: come bring your truth
Echo: glorify our Lord.
Solo: come be our guide
Echo: point the way,
BOTH: come walk beside.
ALL: (singing FWS 2125 - congregation: Part 1; choir: Part 2 [descant])
Call to Worship #4
L: Once we walked the hillsides and pathways.
P: Then, in fear we hid in an upper room.
L: News of Jesus’ Resurrection stunned and awed our souls.
P: We didn’t know what to believe.
L: On this day, long ago, God’s Holy Spirit inflamed the hearts of those who had hidden in fear. They were encouraged to go and proclaim God’s Good News to all the world.
P: May God’s Holy Spirit inflame our hearts and stir us from apathy and complacency to energy and enthusiasm to serve God in this world. AMEN.
PRAYERS, LITANY, BENEDICTION
Almighty God, your Holy Spirit came to Jesus’ disciples, hidden in an upper room in Jerusalem. A violent wind and tongues of fire were the symbols of a new thing happening in their lives. May your Holy Spirit burst into our lives today, encouraging and inspiring us to proclaim boldly the good news of Jesus Christ who offers healing and hope to all people. AMEN.
PRAYER OF CONFESSION
We aren’t ready, Lord. It is easier for us to hide in the upper rooms of our lives, to let the world go by and not acknowledge your presence. But you have challenged us to come alive again with your love and words of healing mercy. Forgive our hesitant witness and our complacent spirits. Heal our fears and our wounds. Help us to be agents of healing and hope for others. Challenge and inspire us to overcome our feelings of inadequacy and remind us that you have called us beloved and have given us what we need to proclaim your Good News. In Jesus’ Name, we pray. AMEN.
WORDS OF ASSURANCE
Don’t be afraid! God’s Holy Spirit brings you healing comfort and hope. You are being prepared to serve God in some mighty ways. Rejoice! God’s Holy Spirit is with you always. AMEN.
Knock us off our seats, O Lord, with the wind of your Holy Spirit. Don’t let us just sit back and rest as though nothing important was happening. Remind us that you have come to bless and prepare us for your service. Now is the time of proclamation and celebration! Now is the birth of your church, not as an exercise in futility, but as a dynamic group of people who know you and love you as you know and love each of us. Flame up our hearts! Make us so joyful that we find it difficult to sit back and watch. We want to be part of your healing love and mercy. We want to be people who bear the word that your love for us is eternal; that Jesus Christ, our Savior, proclaimed and taught that love in all that he did and said, modeling for us a new way to live. Pick us up and propel us forward into your world. Help us to remember that you have given to us what we need to be your disciples. We just need to say a resounding "Yes!" to you. Thank you for all the wondrous patience and blessings you pour into our lives each and every day, as we offer our lives back to you in joy and hope. AMEN.
[This is an active litany and may involve people moving about the sanctuary/worship space. Children should have red streamers (crepe paper streamers about 8" in length taped to popsicle sticks so that they can hold them. You may want to have all the children speak the lines or selected children who can read with enthusiasm. Make sure that they are loud enough for all to hear. Doves, cut out from white poster board and threaded on fishing line, suspended from dowels about 2' in length. These may be carefully waved above the heads of the youth as they proclaim their parts, either as a group or a specified enthusiastic reader. The megaphones for the Adults can be made from red poster board and emblazoned with a white dove (see symbol books for a pattern) and can be raised and used during their portion of the Celebration Reading. If some people are not able to come forward to present their gifts, have someone in the congregation bring their gifts forward for them]
L: What is that sound?
Children (waving their flame sticks over their heads): That sound is us! We are here to laugh, sing, and pray! We are here because God absolutely loves us! We can’t sit still because God’s Spirit is making us move and dance. We are part of the church - and we love it!!
L: What is that sound?
Youth (waving their doves over their heads): It’s us, the youth! Come on, get up and join us! Clap your hands, stamp your feet! Sing for joy! Don’t just sit there! This is a time to get moving! We are part of the church - and we want to serve!!
L: What is that sound?
Adults (using their megaphones): We are that sound! We are the sound of new life stirring! We are the sound of ministry and mission given joyfully to all in need throughout all the world! We are part of the Church - and we want to witness to Jesus Christ and be his disciples.
L: What are you bringing to this celebration? Children come forward and present your gifts.
[Note: during this next section, each group brings their items forward to place in the worship center (see Artistic Elements for suggestions about placement)]
Children (bringing their flame sticks forward and placing them in the designated spot): Look, we’re bringing red streamers to wave in the air. They look like flames of fire dancing over our heads.
L: Youth, what are you bringing to this celebration? Come forward and present your gifts.
Youth (bringing their doves forward and placing them in the designated spots): We are bringing doves of peace, waving over our heads, as a reminder that the Spirit of God has come to us like a dove.
L: Adults, what are you bringing to this celebration? Come forward and present your gifts.
Adults (bringing their megaphones forward and placing them in the designated spots): We are bringing megaphones, reminding us that we have to loudly proclaim the good news so that everyone can hear. We want the news to be shouted not whispered!
L: Rejoice! God’s Holy Spirit is with us, uniting us in witness and worship, in ministry and mission. Celebrate! Clap your hands! Shout for joy!
God, out of God’s great love, has created you. Jesus Christ, out of his great love, has redeemed you. The Holy Spirit, out of great love, has lifted and inspired you to go in peace and service throughout God’s world, proclaiming the good news of peace, love, hope, and joy to all. Go in peace. AMEN.
The traditional color for this day is RED - a very bright red - flame colored! White is also used for the dove.
This service should be exciting and vibrant. It is the birthday of the church, the time when the disciples boldly came forward to proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord. I believe in lots of activity during this service. The following artistic elements are interwoven with some of the liturgy I have prepared for the day. They will involve prior planning and participation of the congregation.
You will want to have extra people to assist with the placement of items in the worship center and to create the flame sticks, dove rods, and megaphones
SURFACE: Place a large riser (about 1' high) across the back of the worship center. If you are using the Celebration Litany as part of your worship service, make the following riser placements. Place several lower risers (about 4-6" high) in front of the large riser. Some of the lower risers should be slightly forward (stagger the line - don’t have it all in a row). Place six risers of various heights in front of the worship center, with the lowest being at the center. If you are not using the Celebration Litany, do not use any other risers, other than the one at the back of the worship center. You will not need risers in front of the worship center
FABRIC: Cover the entire worship center with red fabric, making sure that all surfaces are covered. The fabric should puddle, somewhat, on the floor in front of the worship center
CANDLES:Because of the other items recommended for the worship center (see liturgy), I don’t recommend candles for this setting. However, if you are not using the Celebration liturgy, you may want to use a large white pillar candle (about 10") and two shorter white pillar candles (about 6-8") on either side of the white candle.
FLOWERS/FOLIAGE: Large ferns may be placed on the floor to the right and left of the worship center. Other leafy plants may be placed on the ends of the top risers for the worship center. No flowers are recommended for this display. However, if it is your tradition to give out red carnations in celebration for Pentecost, you may want to have them in a basket in front of the worship center
ROCKS/WOOD Not recommended for this setting
OTHER: If you are using the Celebration Reading you will need to create the following:
Flame sticks (popsicle sticks in which are taped red crepe paper streamers, about 8" long)
Dove sticks (dowels from which doves, made from poster board, are suspended on fishing line)
Megaphones (made from red poster board with a white dove emblazoned on the side)
A basket for the red flowers if you are giving out flowers.