Pentecost roundup

SONGS: The Holy Spirit Prayer is a traditional Catholic prayer that’s sung at Mass on the feast of Pentecost: “Come, Holy Spirit; fill the hearts of your faithful, and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created, and you shall renew the face of the earth. O God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever enjoy his consolations, through Christ our Lord. Amen.” The following two songs are settings of the first part of this prayer.

>> “Kindle in Us Your Love” by Deanna Witkowski: This funky refrain by jazz composer Deanna Witkowski “works well as a gospel acclamation, prayer response, or opening song,” especially for Pentecost. I’m planning to introduce it to my Presbyterian congregation this Sunday. (For church services, Witkowski charges a licensing fee of just $3 per use.) You can purchase the piano score here; it also appears in the Voices Together hymnal. Hear a high school choir perform the piece in the video below, with Witkowski accompanying on keys.

Come, Holy Spirit
Kindle in us the fire of your love
Come, Holy Spirit
Kindle in us your love

>> “Holy Spirit, Come to Us” by Jacques Berthier (Taizé chant): Taizé is an ecumenical Christian monastic community in France comprising more than one hundred Catholic and Protestant brothers from some thirty different countries. They welcome in around a hundred thousand young pilgrims a year, who come for prayer, Bible study, and communal work and worship. The songs of Taizé use simple musical phrases and few words that are repeated. Composed in 1998, “Holy Spirit, Come to Us” is one of 232 songs Jacques Berthier wrote for Taizé. It consists of solo verses sung by a leader over an ostinato refrain sung by the people.

Holy Spirit, come to us
Kindle in us the fire of your love
Holy Spirit, come to us
Holy Spirit, come to us

Jesus said, “It is by your love for one another
That everyone will recognize you as my disciples.”

Jesus said, “No one has greater love than this:
To lay down one’s life for those one loves.”

We know love by this,
That Christ laid down his life for us.

This is love: it is not we who have loved God
But God who loved us.

Taizé songs may be sung in public worship settings free of charge, provided their simplicity is preserved (i.e., no elaborate arrangements are permitted); for other uses, see here.

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DIGITAL DOWNLOAD: Pentecost Party: Word & Wonder is offering a free twelve-page PDF of resources for celebrating Pentecost with children. Besides a list of party ideas, it includes an imaginative retelling of the Pentecost story from the perspective of a child, a prayer guide, prompts for talking about the Holy Spirit, coloring pages, and a pinwheel craft. On their website you will also find other family-friendly resources for the church year. [HT: Global Christian Worship]

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BLOG POST: “Whitsun Week” by Eleanor Parker: “The week following Pentecost is a lost holiday. From the Middle Ages until the early 20th century the period around Whitsun was the principal summer holiday of the year – especially Whit-Monday”—which is June 6 this year. “It was the time for fairs, Morris dancing, games, ale-drinking, school and church processions, weddings, wandering into the countryside, and generally having a good time.” Gooseberries and cheesecakes were broken out for the occasion, and communities engaged in fun activities like cricket, archery, sack races, and donkey derbies.

British medievalist Eleanor Parker compiles several sources that describe the Whitsuntide festivities of medieval western Europe and calls her readers to revive the week’s outdoor merrymaking!

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SHORT FILM: Stickmatch: Created in 2020 by London-born animator William Crook, this twenty-second stop-motion animation uses autumn leaves to simulate flames. [HT: Colossal]

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Here’s a new Spotify playlist I made for the month of June.

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Previous posts on the blog that are related, either directly or indirectly, to Pentecost include:

4 thoughts on “Pentecost roundup

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