The Day of Pentecost
is one of the Principal Feasts in the Church and always takes place on a Sunday. Often in the Episcopal Church, this day is celebrated with a church filled with symbols of the Holy Spirit. To help the children know that they are one of those symbols, Last Sunday, in Children’s Church, I asked the kids to wear Red to church next Sunday. Some churches go well beyond: adorning their sanctuaries with red balloons, red roses, flying kites and banners. With parishioners and the building decked in Red, the service takes on a festive and joyful air. At St John’s, my other parish, we will be reading the lesson from Acts in the three languages of the congregation: English, Spanish and Creole with the hope of bringing to life the experience of the disciples and people in the passage. As a church, we take seriously the premise that the Holy Spirit is the outward sign of our God that sustains us. The Holy Spirit in invoked at baptism: “You are sealed by the Holy Spirit in Baptism...”(
, p. 308); at confirmation: “...and daily increase in your Holy Spirit more and more...”(
, p. 418); in the consecration of bread and wine at Eucharist and of oil for chrism and for anointing; in the anointing for healing; and in the ordination of a deacon, priest and bishop.
I invite you to have a conversation with your children in which you imagine the experience of the Pentecost from the perspective of the followers of Jesus and from the perspective of the hearers. It might also help to remind the children that the Holy Spirit is one of the persons of God (thinking of the hand motions from the Children’s Creed) and is a gift from God to us. As Jesus ascended into heaven, he promised that the Holy Spirit would be sent to us to sustain us and guide us and give us the ways to proclaim the message of God to others.
See you in Church (And don’t forget to wear that festive Red outfit!)