C of E

Published on 30 May 2020

Return to Top

¶  D. I. Y. Service for Pentecost Sunday


As a focus of attention you may wish to use again
an icon/ cross/ candle as before
and today some “holy oil” substitute, e.g. nice hand cream or face cream,
 or perfume/ aftershave, or even hand sanitizer!

Our Pentecost custom at St Matthew’s (following the Church of England recommended liturgy) is to celebrate Pentecost with a “general anointing” – anointing all who wish with the oil of Chrism.  This is the oil used at Baptism, Confirmation, Ordination, Marriage … and any other occasion where we are celebrating the gifts of God in human lives.  We are used to asking for anointing when there’s something wrong with us – the anointing of the sick with oil specially blessed by the Bishop for the purpose.  This anointing is for when “there is something right with us” – we are taking steps forward in faith to discover and live out the fullness of our calling, whatever that may be.  The words we use for the anointing are :

May God the Holy Spirit

renew in you

your calling

and the gifts of God.

In biblical times, olive oil really was an all-purpose product.  It was food, fuel for lamps, soap and cosmetic, and medicinal balm.  In our day and age we have a multiplicity of products for these things, ranging from the common-or-garden to the outrageously expensive and exotic.  In this “d.i.y.” service, we use a little of one of these products as a simple sign of God’s loving care, blessing, and so much more in our lives.



Introductory Prayers
(from “Psalming the New Testament” -
Psalm-like prayers based on texts from throughout the New Testament)

God, send your Spirit still more upon us
That, as your anointed people
We may bring good news to the afflicted

Send us to proclaim release to the captives
Recovery of sight to the blind
And to let the oppressed go free

We want to be your witnesses
Deepen in us the power of your Spirit

Open our hearts to the guidance of your Spirit
- openness like that of Simeon
Knowing your Spirit will always teach us what we ought to say

Build up our churches with the gift of peace
May we all know your Spirit’s comforting

May the Spirit so fill our minds and hearts
That we speak your word with boldness

Let us know in fullness your Spirit’s joy
Even when captive to the Spirit without knowing

Send your Holy Spirit anew on the earth
Overshadowing it with your power
That all may be born anew into holiness
And know they are children of God

We thank you, God of heaven and earth
And rejoice in your Holy Spirit
Because things you have hidden from the wise and clever
You have revealed to infants like us

Our prayer is that all may receive your Spirit
As you lay your hands gently upon them

Like Stephen, may we be filled with the Spirit
And gaze on your glory in heaven



Scripture 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.”

Our faith in the Holy Spirit:

We believe in the Holy Spirit,

the Lord, the giver of life,

who proceeds from the Father and the Son,

who with the Father and the Son is worshipped and glorified,

who has spoken through the prophets.

We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.

We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.

We look for the resurrection of the dead,

and the life of the world to come.




At this point consider the offering of your life to God.
We offer to God our ordinary lives
Just as they are

Remember the ways you express your gratitude to God
By giving to others, to charities, to the Church’s work

(You may wish to use this link to give something

to the work of St Matthew’s)

Take your “holy oil substitute” and say this prayer:

Blessed are you, Lord our God, King of the universe
You cleanse, heal, nourish and beautify us
In body, mind, and spirit, every day!
We offer to you this fruit of the earth
And pray that as we receive it back from you now
We may be more conscious of your blessings
And the power of your Spirit

At work in our lives
This we ask
Through Jesus Christ our Lord

Then apply your cream (or whatever) in an appropriate way!
Don’t rush - take time to enjoy the pleasant physical sensation.

Give thanks for God’s blessings.
What new blessings does God have in store for you??




This first collect for Pentecost prays for individual believers, for the Church, and for the world in the most far-reaching terms.  Consider your experience of the “fire” of God.  Pray that Christians may be better at expressing the love that God gives.  Consider what it means to pray for the renewal of the earth:  better health not just for humans but for all creatures, and for earth, air, and waters.

Holy Spirit, sent by the Father,

ignite in us your holy fire;

strengthen your children with the gift of faith,

revive your Church with the breath of love,

and renew the face of the earth,

through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The second collect (the traditional Prayer Book collect for Pentecost) speaks of light and good judgement, and the comfort (strength) that the Spirit gives.  A good prayer for governments and leaders at this critical time.  And thinking of the responsibility we all share for bringing out the best in ourselves and others, and working for a better world.

God, who as at this time

taught the hearts of your faithful people

by sending to them the light of your Holy Spirit:

grant us by the same Spirit

to have a right judgement in all things

and evermore to rejoice in his holy comfort;

through the merits of Christ Jesus our Saviour.  Amen.

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever.


Holy Spirit, who set the Church on fire upon the day of Pentecost,

bring us and all the world alive with the love of the risen Christ.  Amen.



CoronaVirus Home