Hymn, readings and prayers for Sunday



" Send forth your Spirit, O Lord, and renew the face of the earth”



Breathe on me, Breath of God
fill me with life anew,
that I may love what thou dost love,
and do what thou wouldst do.

Breathe on me, Breath of God,
until my heart is pure;
until with thee I will one will,
to do and to endure.

Breathe on me, Breath of God,
till I am wholly thine; 

until this earthly part of me
glows with thy fire divine.

Breathe on me, Breath of God:
so shall I never die,
but live with thee the perfect life
of thine eternity. 
Edwin Hatch


The collect for 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.





Vita Christi (Life of Christ)
France, perhaps Corbie, ca. 1175

Morgan Library




Pentecost is the third of the three great Christian festivals and  on this day we celebrate and give thanks for the coming of the Holy Spirit.

Pentecost is also seen as  the birthday of the Church although it should be remembered  that the early believers were Jews and not members of a separate Christian church.  

The name Pentecost derives from the Greek word for 50, ‘pente’. Fifty days after Passover, the Jewish Spring Harvest festival of Pentecost / Shavuot  took place with  the  commemoration of the giving of the law to Moses on Mt. Sinai.   



The First Reading: Acts  2:1-21

When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.  Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem. And at this sound the crowd gathered and was bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in the native language of each. Amazed and astonished, they asked, ‘Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us, in our own native language? Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabs – in our own languages we hear them speaking about God’s deeds of power.’ All were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, ‘What does this mean?’ But others sneered and said, ‘They are filled with new wine.’   But Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed them: ‘Men of Judea and all who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and listen to what I say. Indeed, these are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only nine o’clock in the morning. No, this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel: “In the last days it will be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams. Even upon my slaves, both men and women, in those days I will pour out my Spirit; and they shall prophesy. And I will show portents in the heaven above and signs on the earth below, blood, and fire, and smoky mist. The sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the coming of the Lord’s great and glorious day. Then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” 

Pentecost: El Greco



Psalm 1: 104:25-35, 37 

Lord, how manifold are your works! in wisdom you have made them all; the earth is full of your creatures.  Yonder is the great and wide sea with its living things too many to number, creatures both small and great. There move the ships, and there is that Leviathan, which you have made for the sport of it.
All of them look to you to give them their food in due season. 

You give it to them; they gather it; you open your hand, and they are filled with good things.   

You hide your face, and they are terrified; you take away their breath, and they die and return to their dust.   

You send forth your Spirit, and they are created;  and so you renew the face of the earth.  May the glory of the Lord endure for ever; may the Lord rejoice in all his works.  He looks at the earth and it trembles;  he touches the mountains and they smoke.   

I will sing to the Lord as long as I live; I will praise my God while I have my being.  May these words of mine please him; I will rejoice in the Lord.   Bless the Lord, O my soul.  Hallelujah!   

The Ship of the Church  Peter Koenig



The Epistle:  Romans 8:22-27

We know that the whole creation has been groaning in labour pains until now; and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly while we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies. For in hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what is seen? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words. And God, who searches the heart, knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.


The Old Covenant, which the Passover commemorated, was completed at Mt. Sinai with the giving of the law to Moses.The New Covenant, established in the cross and resurrection, was completed in Jerusalem with the giving of the Holy Spirit &the founding of a Church that would be for all people


Gospel reading: St John 15:26-27 & 16:4b-15







Pentecost: Giotto






Jesus spoke to his disciples: ‘When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who comes from the Father, he will testify on my behalf. You also are to testify because you have been with me from the beginning. I have said these things to you so that when their hour comes you may remember that I told you about them.

‘I did not say these things to you from the beginning, because I was with you. But now I am going to him who sent me; yet none of you asks me, “Where are you going?” But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your hearts. Nevertheless I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will prove the world wrong about sin and righteousness and judgement: about sin, because they do not believe in me; about righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will see me no longer; about judgement, because the ruler of this world has been condemned. I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.  When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own, but will speak whatever he hears, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, because he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine. For this reason I said that he will take what is mine and  declare it to you.  El Greco



When Jesus ascended into Heaven, the apostles must have felt bereft and very uncertain of themselves.  How wondrous it must have been when the Holy Spirit fell upon them in a rushing wind with tongues of fire, enabling people from across the nations to hear of God’s loving purposes for the world! Jesus was no longer there  in the flesh but through the Holy Spirit his presence was with them, giving  renewed strength and courage. Today Jesus may not be physically present with us but through the Holy Spirit he is always there to guide, comfort and strengthen in ways that go beyond our understanding. We have every reason to rejoice!

  • On the day when we celebrate the Church’s founding, we pray for her work across the world. May all who celebrate today know the emboldening power of the Spirit of Pentecost and the loving assurance of the Comforter.
  • We pray for those whose wellbeing is threatened by violence and persecution that the Spirit of peace may come among them.
  • We pray for all who are in a queue for health care that the Spirit of healing and reassurance may find a place in their midst. We pray too for the NHS and the challenges it faces.
  • We continue to pray for those known to us who are in poor health, thinking especially of .................................................... May they be consoled by the presence of the Holy Spirit.
  • We pray for the repose of the souls of those who have recently departed this life, and those who mourn them.

 Faithful God, who fulfilled the promises of Easter by sending us your Holy Spirit and opening to every race and nation the way of life eternal: open our lips by your Spirit, that every tongue may tell of your glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen






Prayer from Archbishop Hosam Naoum of Jerusalem

O God of all justice and peace we cry out to you in the midst of pain and trauma of violence and fear which prevails in the Holy Land.

Be with those who need you in these days of suffering; we pray for people of all faiths – Jews, Muslims and Christians and for all the people of the land.

While we pray to you, O Lord, for an end to violence and the establishment of peace, we also call for you to bring justice and equity to the peoples.

Guide us into your kingdom where all people are treated with dignity and honour as your children, for to all of us you are our Heavenly Father. In Jesus’ name we pray.  Amen.



Lord, you promise us a future in which the weapons of war will be transformed into instruments of peace.  
Today is not such a day, as missiles rain down on Ukraine  and innocent people take refuge underground..
You taught us to pray your kingdom come on earth  as it is in heaven,
and so we pray that you will restrain the aggressor, grant courage and wisdom to the resistance, and bring peace to this part of your world.  
Look with mercy on the peoples of Ukraine and Russia, and grant our leaders wisdom and courage to seek a resolution that will allow truth and freedom to return to these lands.
Grant Lord, that through this conflict that we would have unimaginable two years  ago, we may recognise anew our need for you, and live to thank you for answering our prayers.






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