The Vigil of Pentecost and the Day of Pentecost
May 23 & 24, 2015 – Remember to wear RED
This Church Year we continue celebrating the Three Great Festivals of the Church. We are also including the Three Great Vigils of the Church Year. These are:
- The Nativity of our Lord
Celebrating the birth of Jesus
- The Resurrection of Our Lord
Celebrating Jesus rising from the tomb
- The Day of Pentecost
Celebrating the outpouring of the Holy Spirit
Each of these three major Church Year festivals has a vigil service on the evening before the festival day. These are times of prayerful waiting and preparation for the joyous celebration of the Festivals. Each vigil service includes readings, prayers, singing and Holy Communion. The Vigils of Easter and Pentecost also include a special emphasis on the Sacrament of Holy Baptism. The most well known vigil here at MLLC is the Vigil of the Nativity of our Lord, also known as Christmas Eve.
The Day of Pentecost and its vigil are taking place this month. You are strongly encouraged to participate in both of these unique worship experiences. The liturgical color of both these days is red. Therefore, you are invited to wear RED in celebration of the gift and outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
The Vigil of Pentecost
Saturday, May 23 6:00 p.m.
We will hear readings about the Holy Spirit. The congregation will be invited into a deeper time of prayer, including prayer for the newly confirmed youth of the church.
Here is what a noted worship writer says about the Vigil of Pentecost:
“From history, we know that Easter and Pentecost were the first two and only feasts of the original Church Year from apostolic times. We also know that the ancient church celebrated a vigil with Easter as early as the second century and with Pentecost universally from the fifth century, likely earlier in various places. We further know that baptisms were also a part of these services, given its promise of resurrection with Christ and gift of the Holy Spirit. Easter, having the earlier vigil, was clearly preferred, with those not baptized then being transferred to Pentecost. If a baptism occurred at some time other than Easter or Pentecost, it not only was highly unusual, but actually limited access to holy orders in the church.
The purpose of the ancient Vigil of Pentecost therefore would have been an awaiting of/preparation for/rehearsing of the great themes of the Day of Pentecost, meaning primarily the Holy Spirit and the Christian life lived under the power and guidance of that same Spirit. You could add to that the idea of the birth of the Church as well.” – (Pr. Thomas L. Weitzel)
The Day of Pentecost
Sunday, May 24 9:00 a.m.
The Day of Pentecost of the fiftieth day of the Easter season. On that fiftieth day we celebrate God the Holy Spirit, through whom and in whom the people of God are created and re-created. We give thanks for the dramatic outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Disciples as they were gathered in one place in Jerusalem. On that day the Holy Spirit came as a rush of violent wind and as tongues of fire on the disciples. They were then sent out by the Spirit to proclaim in various languages the mighty acts of God, specifically the saving work of Jesus through his death on the cross and his rising from the dead. Pentecost is sometimes called the church’s birthday, but might more appropriately be called its baptism day, since the gift of the Spirit is the fullness of baptism.
The Arts in Worship on Pentecost are lively. Look for red banners, red paraments, doves of the Holy Spirit on banners, and more.
Scriptures for Pentecost Weekend
Read ahead as your devotions for May 17-14
Vigil of Pentecost Day of Pentecost
Genesis 11:1-9 Ezekiel 37:1-14
Exodus 19:3-8a, 16-20b Psalm 104:24-34, 35b
Ezekiel 37:1-14 Acts 2:1-21
Joel 2:28-32 John 15:26-27; 16:4b-15
Romans 8:14-17, 22-27
John 15:26-27; 16:4b-15
Remember to wear Red on Pentecost Weekend.