This Sunday, May 31 is Pentecost, the feast of the Holy Spirit.
After Christmas and Easter, Pentecost is one of the most important feasts of the whole church year, when we celebrate the day that Jesus’ followers received the gift of the Holy Spirit. Even over zoom, this is going to be a special Sunday at Incarnation! Our youth and children will help lead the service. Here’s how you can be ready to participate:
Wear red! Or gather a red flower, table cloth, or something else. With our youngest children in church, colors offer a simple and meaningful way to connect with what’s going on in worship. White for the feasts (like Christmas and Easter, also baptisms!), purple to prepare for the feast, green after the feast, red for Pentecost.
Of course, kids aren’t the only ones who connect with visuals like this. I’ve been wondering why the church chose red for Pentecost—we also use red on the altar on Palm Sunday during Holy Week, and on All Saints Day; red is the color of flames, the color of blood, the color of wine, the color of great love. What a primal, powerful color! How do I feel about that? Holy Spirit, do I too quickly dismiss your power?? (See what I mean? Adults, don’t dismiss the power of kids’ Sunday school!)
OK. What else?
Bring a candle to zoom church and/or light a candle at your meals on Sunday. Think about fire and how it transforms things: something that’s cold becomes hot. Hard becomes soft. Dark becomes illuminated. How do the Holy Spirit’s gifts transform us?
Pen and paper. Gather a writing utensil (perhaps even a red pen?! or colored pencils and other art supplies), as well as index cards or slips of paper for each person in the household. During our Pentecost celebration, each of us will have time to ask for a gift from the Holy Spirit. Be ready to write down your selection.
Other embodied ways to give ourselves and our kids space to enjoy Pentecost:
Enjoy the wind on Pentecost. Fly a kite, or just take time to notice it.
We consider Pentecost the church’s birthday. If you’d like, you could celebrate by making a cake or cupcakes! Bonus tip: sliced strawberries on top resemble flames.
Gifts are given to be opened, used, and enjoyed! After church, discuss with your household how you will enjoy and use the Holy Spirit's gifts.
Curious? This document from CGSUSA contains some of the ideas above, as well as more about the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd Pentecost celebration.
Come, Holy Spirit!