In the Christian calendar, Pentecost is celebrated fifty days after Easter, recalling the time (in Chapter 2 of the Acts of the Apostles) when the disciples were gathered together when tongues of flame descended on them and they started to speak of other languages.
But why were the disciples gathered on that day of all days. It goes back the the Jewish Feast of Weeks (Shavuot). Originally an harvest-style festival when the first fruits of the spring harvest were offered.
At Southwark Cathedral, as part of the celebration, and that of the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible, the second lesson today, and for the next four weeks is being read in a language other than english. Today, the lesson from the First Letter (Epislte) to the church in Corinth was read in russian.
At St Mary’s Cathedral in Glasgow, this year and for the past few years, those with other languages have said the Lord’s Prayer in those languages at the Feast of Pentecost. Also as Kelvin reports in his blog in the spirit of the gospel the sacristan (who has been an altar server for fifty years) had appointed the young person expecting to be the boat boy as thurifer for the day and had appointed himself as the boat boy. Gordon has posted some pictures on his Flickr gallery.
Back at Southwark, the Canon Chancellor was preaching, and as the light relief at the beginning of her sermon, recalled the story of a parishioner who when offering a cherry brandy to the visiting vicar requested an acknowledgement in the following Sunday’s pewsheet. The following Sunday the notice read that cherries have been given, and they had been received in spirit
As part of another Pentecost tradition at Southwark, twelve cakes had been baked. After the service they were blessed by the Acting Dean, and served with the after service tea/coffee – one cake for each month of the year.
As can be seen from the picture above, the candelabra above the tower space altar in Southwark Cathedral was lit.
- Two postscripts from Hillhead Baptist Church in Glasgow
- Their service was also multilingual, including the Lord’s Prayer in Yoruba, Shona, Xhosa, High German, French, Swahili, Welsh, Latin, Gaelic and Czech
- Their service was followed by one of their ‘Philosophy Cafe’ events as part of the Glasgow West End festival. You can read all about it in Catriona’s Blog.