“Blaze, Spirit, blaze,
set our hearts on fire”


Pentecost,  or Whitsunday, is an important date in the church’s calendar when Christians celebrate the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Pentecost is regarded as the birthday of the Christian church and the start of the church’s mission to the world.  Red vestments are worn as a symbol of the flames in which the Holy Spirit came to earth.

The articles, readings and prayers below tell something of the story and importance of this very special season.

Follow the links at the foot of this page for words and pictures from previous Pentecosts at St Faith's.


The Pentecost Theme

At this time we celebrate the great feast of Pentecost, the birthday of the Church. We celebrate God amongst us in power. Through the Holy Spirit we become not just a group of  believers but we are made into Christ’s presence in the world, unafraid and empowered to share the message of the Gospel.

Prayers for use at Pentecost

Holy Spirit, sent by the Father, ignite in us your holy fire; strengthen your children with the gift of faith, revive your Church with the breath of love, and renew the face of the earth, through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen

God,  who as at this time taught the hearts of your faithful people by sending to them the light of your Holy Spirit: grant us by the same Spirit to have a right judgement in all things and evermore to rejoice in his holy comfort; through the merits of Christ Jesus our Saviour, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.


The Pentecost Scriptures: a reading from the Acts of the Apostles

(There appeared tongues of fire which rested above them. They were filled with the Holy Spirit and people marvelled that they could understand their words as they spoke about the goodness of God.)

When Pentecost day came round, the apostles had all met in one room, when suddenly they heard what sounded like a powerful wind from heaven, the noise of which filled the entire house in which they were sitting; and something appeared to them that seemed like tongues of fire; these separated and came to rest on the head of each of them. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak foreign languages as the Spirit gave them the gift of speech.

Now there were devout men living in Jerusalem from every nation under heaven, and at this sound they all assembled, each one bewildered to hear these men speaking his own language. They were amazed and astonished. Surely they said all these men speaking are Galileans? How does it happen that each of us hears them in his own native language? Parthians, Medes and Elamites; people from Mesopotamia, Judaea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya round Cyrene; as well as visitors from Rome - Jews and proselytes alike - Cretans and Arabs; we hear them preaching in our own language about the marvels of God.

The Pentecost Gospel

(While they were afraid, Jesus appeared and gave his disciples his peace. He breathed his Spirit on them and sent them out for the forgiveness of sins.)

In the evening of the first day of the week, the doors were closed in the room where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews. Jesus came and stood among them. He said to them, 'Peace be with you', and showed them his hands and his side. The disciples were filled with joy when they saw the Lord, and he said to them again, 'Peace be with you.

'As the Father sent me, so am I sending you.'

After saying this he breathed on them and said:

'Receive the Holy Spirit. For those whose sins you forgive,
they are forgiven: for those whose sins you retain, they are retained.'


Jesus said, 'All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, therefore, make disciples of all the nations; baptise them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit... And know that I am with you always; yes, to the end of time.'
                                                                                        (S. Matthew, Chapter 28)


Hymns of the Holy Spirit

We are your people:
Lord, by your grace,
you dare to make us
Christ to our neighbours
of every nation race.

How can we demonstrate
your love and care?
speaking or listening?
battling or serving?
help us to know when and where.

Called to portray you,
help us to live
closer than neighbours
open to strangers,
able to clash and forgive.

Glad of tradition,
help us to see
in all life's changing
where you are leading,
where our best efforts should be.

Joined in community,
breaking your bread,
may we discover
gifts in each other,
willing to lead and be led.

Lord, as we minister
in different ways,
may all we're doing
show that you're living,
meeting your love with our praise.

(AMNS 515)

There's a spirit in the air,
telling Christians everywhere:
'Praise the love that Christ revealed,
living, working, in our world'.

Lose your shyness, find your tongue,
tell the world what God has done:
God in Christ has come to stay;
we can see his power today.

When believers break the bread,
when a hungry child is fed,
praise the love that Christ revealed,
living, working, in our world.

Still his spirit leads the fight,
seeing wrong and setting right:
God in Christ has come to stay;
we can see his power today.

When a stranger's not alone,
where the homeless find a home,
praise the love that Christ revealed,
living, working, in our world.

May his spirit fill our praise,
guide our thoughts and change our ways.
God in Christ has come to stay;
we can see his power today.

There's a spirit in the air,
calling people everywhere;
Praise the love that Christ revealed,
living, working, in our world.

(AMNS 519)

Come, Holy Ghost, our souls inspire,
And lighten with celestial fire;
Thou the anointing Spirit art,
Who dost thy sevenfold gifts impart.

Thy blessed unction from above
Is comfort, life, and fire of love;
Enable with perpectual light
The dullness of our blinded sight.

Anoint and cheer our soiled face
With the abundance of thy grace:
Keep far our foes, give peace at home;
Where thou art guide no ill can come.

Teach us to know the Father, Son,
And thee, of both, to be but One;
That through the ages all along
This may be our endless song:

'Praise to thy eternal merit,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit.'

(AMNS 93)


See how we celebrated Pentecost in 2011

See how we celebrated Pentecost in 2005

A page of poetry for Pentecost and springtime

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