The Armchair Liturgist: Pentecost

C’mon, fess up. How many of you are doing a Pentecost vigil in your parish this Saturday? Fr Bosco Peters has some resources at this link. And by vigil, I mean the proper readings, not just doused lights.

Anybody daring enough to include all four Old Testament readings? Genesis 11:1-9; Exodus 19:3-8a, 16-20b; Ezekiel 37:1-14; Joel 3:1-5 with accompanying psalms (33, 103, 51, and 104, I think) and prayers. (It would sure make some inattentive Catholics think they had stumbled into an Easter Vigil.)

Over on the left, is B16 with everybody’s favorite liturgist and somebody wearing the red.

Need I ask if anybody is asking the whole parish to dress up in red? Serving birthday cake instead of donuts? Releasing white pigeons into the skies above your steeple?

If you were in the purple chair, how would you enhance your parish’s liturgical observance of Pentecost?

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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9 Responses to The Armchair Liturgist: Pentecost

  1. Gavin says:

    If it were up to me, I’d say Latin Canon (of course, if it were up to me, that’d be the norm for Easter) and the prayers (collect, preface and dialog, post-communion, dismissal) in Latin as well. And then the Gospel in English and readings and psalm in languages reflective of the heritage and ethnic makeup of the parish. Emphasize the diverse makeup of the universal Church as well as the unity.

  2. Anne says:

    I have never experienced a true Pentecost Vigil. I suggested it a couple of times only to be turned down. I actually don’t know of any in this area. Liam?

  3. Liam says:

    I experienced a Pentecost Vigil in a former community of mine where Pentecost Sunday coincided with a major event that had much of the congregation away.

    Btw, I have to say that the only times I have assisted at Mass to find the EP offered in Latin have been on Pentecost (a couple of times) and I found it an interesting compare/contrast, as it were. I also like the practice of my current community where the presider invites all to pray the Lord’s Prayer in their mother tongues while he (and some others) pray it in the mother tongue of the Roman Rite, Latin.

  4. OK, Todd – you asked us to “fess up…”

    No, we’re not celebrating a true Pentecost Vigil at least in part because:

    – 12 children will be receiving Eucharist for the first time at that Mass;
    – it’s the first weekend for post-Mass CORI form processing;
    – and our young people will selling chances on Red Sox seats to help support their summer service trips.

    My staff has begun some earnest discussion on not overloading the Sunday liturgy with announcements and peripheral activities. That might be a good topic for the Purple Chair.

    In our defense, we ARE celebrating sung Evening Prayer on Pentecost Sunday!

  5. I’d like to do it, but everyone is exhausted.

  6. Liam says:

    Btw, in case any Catholic folk wander over to the link, it’s an Anglican link. The Catholic ritual for the Vigil was dramatically simplified after Vatican II (one of the mistakes of the calendrical reforms, in my personal opinion). There’s now a choice of four OT readings.

  7. Can anyone give us a sense of what the old Pentecost Vigil was like?

  8. DavAnnb says:

    For Fr. Fox and anyone else who is interested here is the basic outline of the old Pentecost vigil as it is given in the Anglican Missal. The Anglican Missal is generally just a translation of the Roman Missal as it was prior to the 1950s.

    The Vigil starts with six old testament readings, during which time the priest is vested in violet. Each reading, except the first, is followed by a tract and a prayer. After the readings there is a the blessing of the baptismal font in the same way it was done at the Easer Vigil (including the use of the Easter Candle, it’s last appearance in those days until easter the next year).

    After the blessing of the font, the ministers would switch to red vestments and the candles on the altar would be lit. Then mass would begin in the usual way. At the gospel candles are not carried. The rest of the mass followed as usual.

    So, in many ways, it sounds like a mini Easter Vigil. I can see why it was removed, but it does seem like a loss. I do like that there is an option for a vigil in the current ritual and I hope more places make use of it.

  9. Hi there,

    We’ll be doing a full pentecost vigil as we do every year, with all the readings along with anointing with oil, then mass on Sunday with the sequence sung and then a prayer meeting at 4pm on the Sunday – We like to do things properly!

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