Non secular holidays punctuate the 12 months to remind us of God’s grace breaking into unusual time. A very good religious apply is to note these particular instances and categorical gratitude for them.
One such time happens when Christians observe Pentecost, which is related to the Jewish remark of Shavu’ot. A pageant occurring fifty days after the primary day of Passover, historically this was when the primary fruits of the harvest have been dropped at the Temple. It additionally commemorates the giving of the Torah to Moses, and the day’s studying within the synagogue contains the Ten Commandments.
Throughout one such pageant, in accordance with the account given in Acts 2, Jesus’ disciples have been gathered collectively when there got here a sound like the frenzy of wind, tongues of flames appeared to the touch every of them, and so they have been crammed with the Holy Spirit. (The fresco above, from Saint Anatasia Church in Verona, depicts a scene of Pentecost; discover the flames over the heads.)
This, then, is a time for celebrating the various presents of God, particularly the continued presence of the Spirit. We encourage you to call this special occasion with acceptable actions — as we’ve got performed for a few years.
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We have been married the Saturday earlier than Pentecost. We selected the date to honor our deep perception that the Spirit had introduced us collectively. We had borders of flames carved into our marriage ceremony rings to remind us of the tongues of fireplace that came across the early followers of Jesus. Throughout our marriage ceremony ceremony a member of the bridal social gathering learn us the Pentecost lesson from Acts 2:17: “I’ll pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your younger males shall see visions, and your outdated males shall dream desires.”
For greater than 45 years we’ve got celebrated each our anniversary and Pentecost collectively, even when the precise dates have been weeks aside. We are going to accomplish that once more this 12 months.
In Encountering God Diana Eck describes the dramatic and inventive methods Pentecost was celebrated within the Center Ages. Some church buildings had “Holy Spirit holes” within the ceiling to represent their openness to God. On Pentecost, doves have been launched by the holes and bundles of rose petals have been dropped from them onto the individuals gathered inside. Choirboys moved by the congregation making whooshing sounds and enjoying drums to remind everybody of the frenzy of the Spirit. What a ritual that should have been!
Our personal remark of Pentecost shouldn’t be fairly so dramatic, however it is rather significant to us. We have now a ritual tree product of twisted willow vines. Every year (besides when we’ve got foster kittens) we embellish it for Pentecost with silk rosebuds and small pink doves. One 12 months when our good friend Ieva, a Lutheran minister from Sweden, visited, we spent a day making flames out of pink, yellow, and orange building paper. As we hooked up these to the branches of the tree, we talked about how the Holy Spirit flames up in our lives.
Ieva recalled a current go to with a really aged lady who had misplaced the sight of 1 eye however rejoiced that she may nonetheless see clearly with the opposite. Such gratitude amid issue is an indication of the Spirit.
We talked about how it appears that evidently each time we’re feeling burned out and questioning if anybody is studying our books or visiting our web site, the cellphone rings or an e-mail arrives. And it is going to be somebody ordering a dialogue information, or telling us she cherished a film we would advisable that she would have in any other case missed, or thanking us for protecting his guide, or simply expressing help for what we’re doing. “That was the Spirit calling,” we’ll say. It is just like the outdated hymn goes, “Typically I really feel discouraged, and suppose my work’s in useless. However then the Holy Spirit revives my soul once more.”
This Pentecost we encourage you to search out methods to have fun “the shy member of the Trinity” (a time period coined by Christian theologian Jurgen Moltmann).
Arts & Images
Suppose flames, doves, wind, and motion. Make a cellular utilizing toy doves or photographs of flames.
Place totally different sized pink candles — one to signify every member of your loved ones or group — within the heart of your eating desk.
Eat pink issues: tomatoes, raspberries, strawberries, cherries, chilies.
Prayers & Mantras
Start your meal by holding fingers and saying to the particular person in your proper: “You’re the temple of God and the Holy Spirit dwells inside you.”
Rituals & Ceremonies
One of many causes we love Pentecost a lot is that it signifies wild freedom and intoxicating pleasure. The Holy Spirit is all the time confounding our expectations, slipping out of our restrictive concepts, and opening new doorways for the individuals of God. So on this very special occasion, we recommend you supply the next toast.
Invite household and buddies to convey a particular goblet, glass, or mug to a Pentecost gathering. Fill them with celebratory drinks. Then stand in a circle. Have every particular person share a short instance of feeling blessed by the Holy Spirit. The youthful individuals could need to share visions, and the older individuals, desires. After every particular person has spoken, elevate your goblets and toast “To the Holy Spirit”!
If you cannot be with those you’re keen on at the moment, you possibly can tailor this ritual to your circumstances: for example, by making your toast collectively by a videoconferencing platform. Neither your love nor the Spirit are hampered by distance.