Pentecost - Sunday 23rd May

    St. Michael and All Angels                    Amersham on the Hill





Pentecost, (from the Greek pentekoste, “fiftieth” of fifty days of celebration), has its roots in the Jewish Feast of Weeks, which was completed on the fiftieth day after Passover. 

On the fiftieth day of Easter, God sends his Holy Spirit to empower the Church to perform the mission which the risen Christ has entrusted to it.  In this way, Pentecost celebrates both the Holy Spirit and the Christian Church.

The Gathering 

The Greeting     

The Lord be with you      All   and also with you.


Jesus Christ, whom we worship, is our crucified, risen and ascended Lord, and we have walked with him through his journey of love. We have faced the agony of his suffering and death on a cross. We have rejoiced at his bursting free from the bonds of death. We have enjoyed his risen presence with us and his revelation of himself through the breaking of bread. We have seen his return to the throne before which every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that this Jesus is Lord. And now, with the followers of his own time, we await the coming of the promised Holy Spirit, his gift to his people, through whom we make Christ known to the world.


The love of God has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.   All     We dwell in God and he in us. 

Give thanks to the Lord and call upon his name:    All      make known his deeds among the peoples.

Sing to him, sing praises to him:                             All       and speak of all his marvellous works.

Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty:               All       who was and is and is to come.

Invitation to Confession

The Spirit of the Lord fills the world and knows every word and deed. Let us then open ourselves to the Lord and confess our sins in penitence and faith.  

You raise the dead to life in the Spirit: Lord, have mercy.    All   Lord, have mercy.

You bring pardon and peace to the broken in heart: Christ, have mercy.     All  Christ, have mercy.

You make one by your Spirit the torn and divided: Lord, have mercy.     All  Lord, have mercy.


May the God of love and power forgive you and free you from your sins, heal and strengthen you by his Spirit, and raise you to new life in Christ our Lord.        All   Amen.

The Collect

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, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.    All   Amen.

The Liturgy of the Word         

A reading from the Acts of the Apostles

Acts 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.”’ 

For the word of the Lord       All   Thanks be to God.

A reading from Romans 8.22–27

We know that the whole creation has been groaning in labour pains until now; and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly while we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies. For in hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what is seen? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words. And God, who searches the heart, knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.

For the word of the Lord      All     Thanks be to God.

Gospel Reading                               

Alleluia, alleluia. Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful people and kindle in us the fire of your love. 

Alleluia, alleluia.  The Lord be with you        All    and also with you.

Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to John.        All    Glory to you, O Lord.

John 15.26–27, 16.4b–15 Jesus spoke to his disciples: ‘When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who comes from the Father, he will testify on my behalf. You also are to testify because you have been with me from the beginning. I have said these things to you so that when their hour comes you may remember that I told you about them. I did not say these things to you from the beginning, because I was with you. But now I am going to him who sent me; yet none of you asks me, “Where are you going?” But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your hearts. Nevertheless I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will prove the world wrong about sin and righteousness and judgement: about sin, because they do not believe in me; about righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will see me no longer; about judgement, because the ruler of this world has been condemned. I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own, but will speak whatever he hears, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, because he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine. For this reason I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.’

This is the Gospel of the Lord.             All    Praise to you, O Christ.

Sermon John 15:26-27 &16:4b-15. St M & AA 8

Affirmation of Faith                         

Let us declare our faith in the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.

All     Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures; he was buried; he was raised to life on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures; afterwards he appeared to his followers, and to all the apostles: this we have received, and this we believe. Amen.                                             (cf 1 Corinthians 15.3-7)

The Lord’s Prayer

Being made one by the power of the Spirit, let us pray with confidence as our Saviour has taught us:

All    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.  Amen. 

Prayers of Intercession            

We pray to God to fill us with his Spirit, saying

Lord, come to bless us     All   and fill us with your Spirit.

Generous God,  we thank you for the power of your Holy Spirit.

We ask that we may be strengthened  to serve you better.

Lord, come to bless us    All    and fill us with your Spirit.

We thank you for the wisdom of your Holy Spirit.

We ask you to help us understand better your will  for us.

Lord, come to bless us   All     and fill us with your Spirit.

We thank you for the peace of your Holy Spirit.

We ask you to keep us confident of your love  wherever you call us.

Lord, come to bless us    All     and fill us with your Spirit.

We thank you for the healing of your Holy Spirit.

We ask you to bring reconciliation and wholeness  where there is division, sickness and sorrow.  

Lord, come to bless us.    All     and fill us with your Spirit.

We thank you for the gifts of your Holy Spirit.

We ask you to equip us for the work which you have given us.

Lord, come to bless us     All     and fill us with your Spirit.

We thank you for the fruit of your Holy Spirit.  We ask you to reveal in our lives the love of Jesus. 

Lord, come to bless us     All     and fill us with your Spirit.

We thank you for the breath of your Holy Spirit given on Easter Day.

We ask you to keep the whole Church, living and departed, in the joy of eternal life.

Lord, come to bless us     All      and fill us with your Spirit.

Generous God,  You sent your Holy Spirit upon the Messiah at the  river Jordan, and upon the disciples in the upper room:

In your mercy fill  us with your Spirit,

All   Hear our prayer,  and make us one in heart and mind  to serve you in Christ our Lord.   Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer

Being made one by the power of the Spirit, let us pray with confidence as our Saviour has taught us: All

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. Amen. 

The Dismissal

The Blessing of Light

The president goes to the Easter candle. Blessed are you, sovereign God, overflowing in love. With Pentecost dawns the age of the Spirit. Now the flame of heaven rests on every believer. Strong and weak, women and men tell out your word; the young receive visions, the old receive dreams. With the new wine of the Spirit they proclaim your reign of love. Amid the birth pangs of the new creation the way of light is made known. Source of freedom, giver of life, blessed are you, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
All     Blessed be God for ever.

The Commission 

For fifty days we have celebrated the victory of our Lord  Jesus Christ over the powers of sin and death. We have  proclaimed God’s mighty acts and we have prayed that the  power that was at work when God raised Jesus from the  dead might be at work in us. As part of God’s Church here  in Amersham on the Hill, I call upon you to live out what you proclaim.


The Spirit of truth lead you to embrace each other and grow together in love; to share your riches in common and minister to each other; to pray for each other until your hearts beat with the longings of God; and to carry the light of Christ into the world. And the blessing of God almighty, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, be among you, and remain with you always.   All     Amen.

Filled with the Spirit’s power, go in the peace of Christ.  Alleluia, alleluia.

All     Thanks be to God. Alleluia, alleluia.  

Recessional hymn verse

Father, we love you, we praise you, we adore you. Glorify your name in all the earth. Glorify your name, glorify your name, Glorify your name in all the earth.

Enriching the Christian Year (1993), Common Worship: Services and Prayers for the Church of England (2000), New Patterns for Worship (2002) and Times and Seasons (2006), material from which is included in this service, is copyright © The Archbishops’ Council.  CCL No 908682.  St. M. & AA. 2020