Touch, Worship

A hymn for Pentecost

Gift of Christ from God our Father

Gift of Christ from God our Father, Come, Spirit, come!
Well of life and generous giver, Come, Spirit, come!
With Your light our minds enlighten,
With Your grace our talents heighten,
With Your joy our worship brighten,
Come, Spirit, come!

Gift of Christ to guide and teach us,
Come, Spirit, come!
Counselor so swift to reach us,
Come, Spirit, come!
Christ is Lord, so may we name Him,
Never fearfully disclaim Him,
But to all the world proclaim Him.
Come, Spirit, come!

Gift of Christ to help us praying,
Come, Spirit, come!
Advocate beside us staying,
Come, Spirit, come!
In the work of intercession,
In the healing of confession,
In success and in depression,
Come, Spirit, come!

Gift of Christ for our salvation,
Come, Spirit, come!
Bring to birth Your new creation,
Come, Spirit, come!
All the devil’s work undoing,
Christ’s own ministry pursuing,
Glory in the Church renewing!
Come, Spirit, come!

Text: David Mowbray (b.1938)
Music: AR HYD Y NOS, Welsh melody (see UMH 688)

ON MAY 19 THIS YEAR, the Church will celebrate Pentecost Sunday. (Pentecost means “fiftieth” in Greek.) Pentecost Sunday is celebrated fifty days after Easter Sunday, and marks the end of the Easter Season. It also marks the beginning of the “new community (the church)” of God.

Acts 2:1-21 narrates the story: The Jews were celebrating when suddenly a violent wind filled the house (Acts 2:1-2).

The people saw “tongues of fire” and they were filled by the Holy Spirit and they began to speak in other tongues. (Acts 2:3-4)

From this passage, we learn about an older festival, the Festival of Weeks (established in Leviticus 23:15-21) that takes on a fresh meaning: the coming of the Holy Spirit on the believers of Christ.

So how can we celebrate this occasion and make it distinct from the other festivals we celebrate, for example Christmas or Easter?

The colour for Pentecost is red, from the image of fire. Fire also symbolises the Holy Spirit. These images may be used creatively during worship, for example as background for PowerPoint slides (if used), church bulletins or other creative ways.

Another example would be the speaking of tongues. This can be symbolised in the reading of scriptures. Three or four persons may read the passage simultaneously, or in different languages. These are just ideas but the worship committee can be more creative with their worship design.

On the other hand, music offers a variety of songs, hymns and choral anthems for Pentecost.

Here is a suggestion. Using the Welsh tune AR HYD Y NOS (UMH 688), sing “Gift of Christ from God our Father” in different places in the order of worship. The first stanza can be sung as an “Invocation” just before the “Call to Worship”. The second stanza may be used as the “Prayer for Illumination”; the third as prayer before the “Prayers of the People” and the fourth stanza as the “Closing Prayer”.

Singing “Come Holy Spirit!” repeatedly provides a sense of unity, signifying the work of the Holy Spirit throughout the worship service.

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 Judith Mosomos is a lecturer in Church Music at the Methodist School of Music.