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Hallo again to all.

Today is Pentecost, Whitsunday, and the end of the Great Fifty Days. A feast considered by many as the birthday of the church.  A feast celebrated in many congregations with services of the Holy Eucharist featuring hymns and anthems to the Holy Ghost, the gospel read in many tongues foreign to the audience, processions with kites and streamers, red floral arrangements, baptisms, and occasionally the red balloon or two.

It is a common day for visiting bishops and guest homilists. We walked into mass this morning expecting a muted version of much the same, to find, rather, the only clergy person in the building to be the parish vocational deacon. Through a combination of a scheduled holiday and medical emergencies, the remaining clergy available at the last minute was reduced to this deacon. Thus, on Pentecost we found ourselves participating in a deacon's mass*, with a semi-improvised homily and a lack of invocation of the Holy Ghost. There were no baptisms scheduled for this day, and the service was conducted with aplomb.

The homily, originally composed as the 'children's sermon' and later adapted to fill the primary role, focused on the inspiration of the Holy Spirit—in a service clearly filled with her. Subtle changes were, of course, made to the 'absolution' and final 'blessing' as well as to where the Eucharistic Prayer would be, but the service ran otherwise smoothly, and the Personhood of God in the Holy Ghost was worshipped and praised.

Veni, Sancte Spiritus,
et emitte caelitus
lucis tuae radium.

Veni, pater pauperum,
veni, dator munerum,
veni, lumen cordium.

Consolator optime,
dulcis hospes animae,
dulce refrigerium.

In labore requies,
in aestu temperies,
in fletu solatium.

O lux beatissima,
reple cordis intima
tuorum fidelium.

Sine tuo numine,
nihil est in homine,
nihil est innoxium.

Lava quod est sordidum,
riga quod est aridum,
sana quod est saucium.

Flecte quod est rigidum,
fove quod est frigidum,
rege quod est devium.

Da tuis fidelibus,
in te confidentibus,
sacrum septenarium.

Da virtutis meritum,
da salutis exitum,
da perenne gaudium. ‡

Come, Holy Spirit;
send down from heaven’s height
your radiant light.

Come, lamp of every heart,
come, parent of the poor;
all gifts are yours.

Comforter beyond all comforting,
sweet unexpected guest,
sweetly refresh.

Rest in hard labour,
coolness in heavy heat,
hurt souls’ relief.

Refill the secret hearts
of your faithful,
O most blessed light.

Without your holy power
nothing can bear your light,
nothing is free from sin.

Wash all that is filthy,
water all that is parched,
heal what is hurt within.

Bend all that is rigid,
warm all that has frozen hard,
lead back the lost.

Give to your faithful ones,
who come in simple trust,
your sevenfold mystery.

Give virtue its reward,
give, in the end, salvation
and joy that has no end.†

In last year's Pentecost letter, Richard Mammana eloquently wrote of the violence and fear experienced during that time, especially in light of the London Bridge attack. This year, this month, it is violence in Palestine, Syria, and Texas, USA and a natural disaster in Hawaii. Though we commend the entirety of the letter to you, we highlight his conclusion:

'Singing when speaking fails, praying when comprehension fails, following centuries of holy experience against the vagaries of organisational turbulence—we pray for the ongoing gift of the Holy Spirit in the entire human community. It is the rushing wind of an antidote to the ideologies that sow fear, destruction, division, cruelty, and every kind of malice. The songs must be the substance of our hope until they are fulfiled.'

Come, Holy Ghost.

See you again next week.

Our Signatures

All of us at Anglicans Online

20 May 2018

*There was sufficient reserve sacrament to last throughout the service.
Veni Sancte Spiritus.
Common Worship: Daily Prayer. © The Archbishops' Council 2005 and published by Church House Publishing.

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