Pentecost is the church celebration where we remember and celebrate the gift of the Holy Spirit and the birth of the modern church. This festival is very visual with the liturgical color of red and often the use of flames and doves, both of which are symbols of the Holy Spirit. Use as many visual symbols as you can for the visual learners in your congregation.
Below are several ideas for bringing in the theme of Pentecost. Use whatever you like to enrich your normal worship pattern, be that contemporary or traditional. Add in some more Pentecost songs and your regular Communion liturgy. The readings are for Year C of the lectionary, but use whichever readings you like. Try the Psalm responsively or use a musical setting.
The Call to Worship
Leader: We begin in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. God says, “I will pour out my Spirit on everyone.”
All: Come, Holy Spirit, and pour out your power on us.
The Opening Song
Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise (LSB #802)
Introduction to Pentecost
Leader: Today is Pentecost. It is the day that the Holy Spirit first came to us.
Sometimes the Holy Spirit comes as a bright flame.
Sometimes the Holy Spirit comes to us as a mighty wind.
Always, the Holy Spirit comes as the breath of God when the Word is proclaimed.
Always, the Holy Spirit comes to us in the waters of Baptism.
The Prayer for the Day
Let us pray…Lord God, today you sent you Spirit to us, the Church. May the Holy Spirit breathe on our lives and set us aflame for you and your Son Jesus Christ. Amen.
The Scripture Lessons
Acts 2:1-21 The Holy Spirit comes to the disciples as a mighty rushing wind and flame.
John 20:19-22 Jesus breathes the Holy Spirit on the Disciples
The Sharing of the Peace
Leader: As Disciples of Christ, who have received the Spirit of God, we share the peace of God with one another.
Friends in Christ, our Heavenly Father and our Lord Jesus Christ poured out His Holy Spirit on us, so that we might breathe in His rich mercy, forgiveness, and life. We are also called to breathe out by the same Holy Spirit to call out in prayer to our loving God for ourselves and all people. So we breathe in the Lord’s gifts and breathe out in prayer.
We ask for the energy and vision of your Spirit
For those who are struggling with poverty, hunger, injustice and illness.
We ask for the hope and comfort of your Spirit
For those who are grieving, depressed or lonely.
We ask for the peace and joy of your Spirit
For those who are struggling to follow you.
We ask for the guidance and strength of your Spirit
For all of us to know how to best honor and serve you.
We ask for the love and courage of your Spirit
For those who are reaching out to those in need, and those who do not know you.
We ask for the assurance of your Spirit
to know your presence with us in all the ups and downs of our daily lives
In Jesus’ name: AMEN
Leader: The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. May God fill you with His breath every day, so that everyone may see through you that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the World.
Leader: Go in peace! Serve the Lord!
All: Thanks be to God! Alleluia!
The Closing Song
Holy Spirit, Light Divine (LSB #496)
Some additional ideas:
Consider adding in lots of color to your processional. Add in red banners, or ribbons perhaps held by extra people dancing with the processional.
Pray in different languages. If you have a multi-cultural congregation, invite people forward to share the Lord’s Prayer in different languages.
Light candles at prayer time.
At the end of service, have a special coffee hour time, with a birthday cake for the church, celebrating the Holy Spirit given to the disciples, which sparked the modern Christian Church.