Readings for this day:
Vigil : Genesis 11:1–9 or Exodus 19:3– 8a, 16–20b or Ezekiel 37:1–14 or Joel 3:1–5 / Psalm 104:1–2, 24, 35, 27–28, 29, 30 / Romans 8:22–27 / John 7:37–39
Extended Vigil : Use all readings above.
Day : Acts 2:1–11 / Psalm 104:1, 24, 29–30, 31, 34 (Rx see 30 or Alleluia) / 1 Corinthians 12:3b–7, 12–13 or Galatians 5:16–25 / Sequence: Veni, Sancte Spiritus / John 20:19–23 or John 15:26–27; 16:12–15
Last year on Pentecost, protests broke out in Minneapolis and around the world in response to the torturous eight-minute and 46 second recorded murder of George Floyd by a police officer. We all heard the “noise like a strong driving wind” of hard conversations—ones that our Black sisters and brothers have been demanding for 400 years—in our churches, homes, and cities, looking at systemic racism and white privilege. One by one, organizations began tearing down long-standing structures and symbols of injustice against the Black community. And a few weeks later, the same was happening to the systems that harbored sexual abuse and violence against women in the church as reports revealed multiple allegations against a beloved liturgical composer.
Every year, Catholics around the world pray these words in the Pentecost Sequence: “Bend the stubborn heart and will; / Melt the frozen, warm the chill.”
The Spirit of Truth will not be silenced by our complicity or cowardice. The Truth the Spirit reveals will not be confined to dogmas in a catechism but will expose the lies of injustice in all our relationships. For too long, as a church, we thought the Spirit was here to lull us with gentle breezes. We know better now to believe it when we ask the Spirit to come and renew the face of the earth.
A Blessing by Fire
G-10022 · Two-part mixed voices, cantor, assembly, piano, guitar
A portion of Diana Macalintal’s notes on this piece read: “[Blessings] are reminders to us that God, who has blessed all creation from its very beginning, is still blessing us in this moment. Therefore, when we bless one another we are blessing God and giving praise. God’s blessings are given that we, by our presence and work, may be a blessing for others, especially those most in need.”
The Holy Spirit continues to bless us and we, in turn, should share this blessing with others. It is our responsibility as members of the human family. We ourselves can be bearers of the Holy Spirit in the way that we interact with our brothers and sisters. In his book, Sacraments of Life: Life of the Sacraments, Leonardo Boff shows us how our ordinary actions and traditions can be sacramental. With the help of the Holy Spirit, can you become a sacrament for someone who is struggling?
More suggestions for Pentecost…
Envía tu Espíritu / Send Out Your Spirit Chris de Silva • SAB, cantor, solo, assembly, keyboard, guitar • G-9501
Go Now in Peace Kevin Keil • Two-part choir, assembly, keyboard, guitar, C instrument • 005247
Go Out In the World Ed Bolduc • SATB, solo, cantor, assembly, keyboard, guitar • 008212
Holy Spirit Prayer Paul Hillebrand • SATB, cantor, assembly, keyboard, guitar, violin, oboe or C instrument • 005937
Holy Spirit, Ever Dwelling (NAVAN) Larry Visser • SATB, SSAA, assembly, organ, oboe • G-10322
I Have Been Anointed Steven C. Warner• SATB, solo, assembly, hand drum • 007225
It Started with an Idle Tale (KAIROS) Sally Ann Morris, text by Mary Louise Bringle • SATB, assembly, keyboard, guitar • G-9572
Jesus Christ the Cornerstone Rory Cooney • SAB, assembly, keyboard, guitar, flute • G-9598
Let Us Pray for Understanding Marty Haugen • SAB, assembly, keyboard, guitar • G-9856
Lord, Send Out Your Spirit Paul Lisicky • Unison, cantor, assembly, keyboard, guitar, C instrument, B-flat instrument • G-10268
O Holy Spirit, Flowing Light Nicholas Palmer, text Mary Louise Bringle • SATB, reduction • G-9668
One Lord, One Faith Lorraine Hess • SAB, cantor, assembly, keyboard, guitar • 007932
Partners in the Mission (BEAMS OF LOVE) Peter Fisher Hesed • SAB, descant, assembly, keyboard, opt. violin or C instrument • 008825
Pentecost Sequence (VENI SANCTE SPIRTUS) Ed Bolduc • Three-part, cantor, assembly, keyboard, guitar • 007889
Send Forth Your Spirit O Lord: Psalm 14 Steven C. Warner • SATB, cantor, assembly, keyboard, guitar, opt. C instrument • 007227
Sing O Church Karen Schneider Kirner, text by Alan J. Hommerding • SAB, descant, assembly, keyboard • 008995
Songs of the Spirit: Come and Pray in Us / Tu sei sorgente viva / Tui amoris ignem Jacques Berthier, Taizé Community • SATB, cantor, assembly, keyboard • G-9824