Pentecost (Yr A) May 31, 2020



The Service begins on page 80 of the Book of Common Prayer (BCP).


The Invitatory and Psalter

BPC p. 80


Leader              Lord, open our lips.

People              And our mouth shall proclaim your praise.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:

as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever.  Amen.



Alleluia. The Lord is risen indeed: Come let us adore him.  Alleluia.




Jubilate (Psalm 100)

BCP p. 82


Be joyful in the Lord, all you lands; *

serve the Lord with gladness

and come before his presence with a song.


Know this: The Lord himself is God; *

he himself has made us, and we are his;

we are his people and the sheep of his pasture.


Enter his gates with thanksgiving;

go into his courts with praise; *

give thanks to him and call upon his Name.


For the Lord is good;

his mercy is everlasting; *

and his faithfulness endures from age to age.






The Psalm Appointed

Psalm 104:25-35, 37


25 O Lord, how manifold are your works! *

      in wisdom you have made them all;

the earth is full of your creatures.

26 Yonder is the great and wide sea

with its living things too many to number, *

      creatures both small and great.

27 There move the ships,

and there is that Leviathan, *

      which you have made for the sport of it.

28 All of them look to you *

     to give them their food in due season.

29 You give it to them; they gather it; *

     you open your hand, and they are filled with good things.

30 You hide your face, and they are terrified; *

     you take away their breath,

and they die and return to their dust.

31 You send forth your Spirit, and they are created; *

     and so you renew the face of the earth.

32 May the glory of the Lord endure for ever; *

     may the Lord rejoice in all his works.

33 He looks at the earth and it trembles; *

     he touches the mountains and they smoke.

34 I will sing to the Lord as long as I live; *

     I will praise my God while I have my being.

35 May these words of mine please him; *

     I will rejoice in the Lord.

37 Bless the Lord, O my soul. *


At the end of the Psalm:

Glory to the Father, and to the Son,

and to the Holy Spirit: as it was in the beginning,

is now, and will be for ever.  Amen.




The Lessons


A Reading from the Book of Numbers 11:24-30


Moses went out and told the people the words of the Lord; and he gathered seventy elders of the people, and placed them all around the tent. Then the Lord came down in the cloud and spoke to him, and took some of the spirit that was on him and put it on the seventy elders; and when the spirit rested upon them, they prophesied. But they did not do so again.


Two men remained in the camp, one named Eldad, and the other named Medad, and the spirit rested on them; they were among those registered, but they had not gone out to the tent, and so they prophesied in the camp. And a young man ran and told Moses, “Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp.” And Joshua son of Nun, the assistant of Moses, one of his chosen men, said, “My lord Moses, stop them!” But Moses said to him, “Are you jealous for my sake? Would that all the Lord’s people were prophets, and that the Lord would put his spirit on them!” And Moses and the elders of Israel returned to the camp.


The Word of the Lord.

People   Thanks be to God.





Canticle 12: A Song of Creation

BPC p. 88: The Cosmic Order

Begin with the Invocation p. 88

Conclude with the Doxology p. 90


A Reading from the Acts of the Apostles 2:1-21


When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting.  Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability. 


Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem. And at this sound the crowd gathered and was bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in the native language of each. Amazed and astonished, they asked, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us, in our own native language? Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabs—in our own languages we hear them speaking about God’s deeds of power.” All were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “What does this mean?” But others sneered and said, “They are filled with new wine.”


But Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed them, “Men of Judea and all who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and listen to what I say. Indeed, these are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only nine o’clock in the morning. No, this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel: ‘In the last days it will be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams. Even upon my slaves, both men and women, in those days I will pour out my Spirit; and they shall prophesy. And I will show portents in the heaven above and signs on the earth below, blood, and fire, and smoky mist. The sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the coming of the Lord’s great and glorious day. Then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.’”


The Word of the Lord.

People   Thanks be to God.






Canticle 12: A Song of Creation

BPC p. 88: The Earth and its Creatures

Begin with the Invocation p. 88

Conclude with the Doxology p. 90



A Reading from the Gospel according to John 20:19-23


When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.”  When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”



The Word of the Lord.

People   Thanks be to God




 The Sermon




Today is Pentecost Day.


The day that Jesus fulfilled the promise of the Gift of the Holy Spirit to His disciples.


Before Jesus died, He promised that He would not leave His disciples comfortless and that He would send them the Holy Spirit to teach them.


One may ask how the Holy Spirit was given to the disciples.


As the Apostles gathered together to celebrate the Jewish feast of the week, a strong wind rushed into the room where the disciples were gathered and the Holy Spirit came to them as tongues of fire. Every one of them started speaking in different languages as the Holy Spirit gave them utterance. The tongues of fire that landed on Jesus’ disciples fired them up and encouraged them to be able to continue Jesus’ mission.


The fulfillment of the Holy Spirit is why I titled this sermon: ‘Promise made, promise kept.’


It is the power of the Holy Spirit that draws us to God and reminds us that God loves us. Through the Holy Spirit, we believe that our hope is built on nothing less than Jesus Christ righteousness. That Jesus fulfilled His promise to His disciples reminds us not to make rash promises.


The Holy Spirit helps to strengthen our relationship with God, and to praise God for all of God’s love. The Holy Spirit encourages and reminds us to hope even when all hope is gone, and to know there is a God who cares and helps us at our time of helplessness. The Holy Spirit helps us to see the face of God in every human being and to know that we are our brothers and sisters’ keepers; that we should do unto others as we want them to do unto us.

In essence, the Holy Spirit gives our lives meaning and makes the world better. It is the Holy Spirit who helps us to not only talk the talk but also walk the walk. It is the Holy Spirit which reminds us that, like the Cursillo song that says God will raise us up, higher and higher than we ever thought. Thank God Almighty, as the Holy Spirit helps us to listen to one another and especially to listen to God as God whispers to us, “I love you.”


Every time I hear the song: “Lead me and Guide me” I thank God always for the gift of the Holy Spirit who continues to enable me to truly believe that God will continue to lead me and guide me. At each Baptismal when I say to the baptized: You are sealed by the power of the Holy Spirit and marked as God’s own forever. This reminds us that though we walk through we walk through the valley of the shadow of death we shall fear no evil for God is with us.


Through the power of the Holy Spirit we believe the Word of the Lord. We are encouraged to live as children of God and we rejoice that through the power of the Holy Spirit we are intricately connected with God. Thank God with the power of the Holy Spirit we fervently believe that with God all things are possible. Then we, like Jesus’ disciples, can do all things through God who strengthens us. 


Nothing reminds us more, especially during this time of Coronavirus, that through the power of the Holy Spirit that we have what it takes to care for all who are sick and find help for the families of those who have died.  Every time there is an opportunity to enhance Christ’s mission it is the Holy Spirit that calls us to say; “here am I send me” and not “here am I send them.”


As wonderful as it is that Jesus fulfilled the promise of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost Day, the challenge of that fulfillment is that we are reminded not to make promises which we can not fulfill; Every time we fail to fulfill the promises which we make, other people’s hearts are broken. Sometimes it takes a long time to heal. 


The Holy Spirit reminds us that we are all interconnected as children of God. Occasionally, when this connection is broken, the Holy Spirit has a way of helping us to put the relationship back together. There is probably no time this interconnection is more in need than this time of Coronavirus.


Before I finish this sermon, I am reminded of a sermon preached by my boss at St. Edmund’s Episcopal Church in Chicago. The story is about a rich or wealthy woman who had a disagreement with the Priest and promised never to return to church. However, she asked to have her name remain in the church directory because she liked to receive the church newsletter. Later the minister found out that this woman was hospitalized. Knowing that the woman may not be interested in seeing him, the minister decided to send his New Seminarian. When this Seminarian got to the dark private room where the woman was, as he attempted to shake the woman’s hand the Seminarian knocked down the hand railing on the woman’s bed. As if that was not enough as he attempted to lift the hand railing, he accidentally knocked down the woman’s water pitcher and there was water all over the floor. In his humiliation the Seminarian apologized and quickly said a prayer and left the room.


When the Seminarian got back to Church the phone rang, and it was the woman he just visited on the phone. The woman apologized and begged the Seminarian to come back. She apologized because she said she did not render any help to the Seminarian as things fell down in her room. She also said to the Seminarian: “I have not laughed for years, you gave me a precious gift of laughter, because I have been in prison.” There we have it!

The Good news of the Gift of the Holy Spirit is that the Spirit is at work when we do not even know.


Happy Pentecost day! 






Canticle 12: A Song of Creation

BPC p. 88: The People of God

Begin with the Invocation p. 88

Conclude with the Doxology p. 90



The Apostles’ Creed

BCP p. 96


I believe in God, the Father almighty,

creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord.

   He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit

           and born of the Virgin Mary.

    He suffered under Pontius Pilate,

  was crucified, died, and was  buried.

    He descended to the dead.

    On the third day he rose again.

     He ascended into heaven,

   and is seated at the right hand of       the Father.

     He will come again to judge the living    and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,

     the holy catholic Church,

     the communion of saints,

     the forgiveness of sins,

     the resurrection of the body,

     and the life everlasting.  Amen.





The Prayers

BCP p. 97



   Our Father in heaven,

       hallowed be your Name,

       your kingdom come,

       your will be done,

on earth as in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

Forgive us our sins,

      as we forgive those

who sin against us.

Save us from the time of trial,

      and deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power

       and the glory are yours,

       now and for ever.  Amen.




V. Save your people, Lord, and bless your inheritance;

R. Govern and uphold them, now and always.

V. Day by day we bless you;
R. We praise your Name for ever.

V. Lord, keep us from all sin today;
R. Have mercy on us, Lord, have mercy.

V. Lord, show us your love and mercy;
R. For we put our trust in you.

V. In you, Lord, is our hope;
R. And we shall never hope in vain.





The Collect of the Day


Almighty God, on this day you opened the way of eternal life to every race and nation by the promised gift of your Holy Spirit: Shed abroad this gift throughout the world by the preaching of the Gospel, that it may reach to the ends of the earth; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.




A Collect for Peace

BCP p. 99


O God, the author of peace and lover of concord, to know you is eternal life and to serve you is perfect freedom: Defend us, your humble servants, in all assaults of our enemies; that we, surely trusting in your defense, may not fear the power of any adversaries; through the might of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.




A Prayer for Mission

BCP p.100


Almighty and everlasting God, by whose Spirit the whole body of your faithful people is governed and sanctified: Receive our supplications and prayers which we offer before you for all members of your holy Church, that in their vocation and ministry they may truly and devoutly serve you; through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  Amen.




Prayers of the People


In joy and hope let us pray to the source of all life:


That our risen Savior may fill us with the joy of his holy and life-giving resurrection, let us pray to the Lord.

Hear us, Lord of glory!


That isolated and persecuted churches may find fresh strength in the Easter gospel, let us pray to the Lord.

Hear us, Lord of glory!


That God may grant us humility to be subject to one another in Christian love, let us pray to the Lord.

Hear us, Lord of glory!


That we may provide for those who lack food, work or shelter, let us pray to the Lord.

Hear us, Lord of glory!


That through the power of the Prince of Peace wars and famine may cease through all the earth, let us pray to the Lord.

Hear us, Lord of glory!


That the risen Christ may reveal the light

of his presence to the sick, especially those on our Parish Prayer List (N) and on all the weak and the dying, so that they may be comforted and strengthened, let us pray to the Lord.

Hear us, Lord of glory!


That Christ may send the fire of his Holy Spirit upon his people, that we may bear faithful witness to his resurrection, let us pray to the Lord.

Hear us, Lord of glory!


(adapted from The Book of Alternative Services, The Anglican Church of Canada)





The General Thanksgiving

BCP p.101


Almighty God, Father of all mercies,

we your unworthy servants give you humble thanks

for all your goodness and loving-kindness

to us and to all whom you have made.

We bless you for our creation,  preservation,

and all the blessings of this life;

but above all for your immeasurable love

in the redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ;

for the means of grace, and for the hope of glory.

And, we pray, give us such an

 awareness of your mercies,

that with truly thankful hearts we may show forth your praise,

not only with our lips, but in our lives,

by giving up our selves to your service,

and by walking before you

in holiness and righteousness all our days;

through Jesus Christ our Lord,

to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit,

be honor and glory throughout all ages. Amen.



Let us bless the Lord.

Thanks be to God.






May Almighty God, who enlightened the minds of the disciples by pouring out upon them the Holy Spirit, make us rich with his blessing, that we may abound more and more in that Spirit for ever. Amen.


May God, who sent the Holy Spirit as a flame of fire that rested upon the heads of the disciples, burn out all evil from our hearts, and make them shine with the pure light of his presence. Amen.


May God, who by the Holy Spirit caused those of many tongues to proclaim Jesus as Lord, strengthen our faith and send us out to bear witness to him in word and deed.  Amen.


And the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be upon us and remain with us for ever.  Amen.


(The Book of Occasional Services)



The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with us all evermore.  Amen.

2 Corinthians 13:14



The Peace


The peace of the Lord

be always with you.