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May 14, 2015

It’s almost Pentecost and that means that it’s 50 days since Easter. Oh boy! Where did that time go? Dare I suggest that it will be Christmas before we know it?! In the meantime, schools and parishes will be getting ready to celebrate this great feast which is often referred to as the birth of the Church. Luke tells us about the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in Acts 2:1-42. But every generation needs to experience their own Pentecost. The Church is always needing to be born in each one of us!

St Ignatius teaches us how to pray with our imaginations. He believed that we can find God in all things and that by imagining that we are part of a scripture story we can let the Spirit speak to us so that it becomes real for us. Why not let your students experience Ignatian Imaginative Prayer in preparation for Pentecost? This is a form of guided meditation whereby we enter into the story as if we are right there as it is happening. The leader draws the pray-ers in and allows generous pauses for the imagination to do its work. If your students are regular meditators, leave plenty of time for the silences. Teachers might like to use this prayer script which begins with the Pentecost story.

Pentecost Imaginative Prayer

All Sing             Chorus of Feel the Power by Michael Mangan 

(Album-True Colours Shine)

Scripture (Acts 2:1-8) 

Reader 1            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.

All Sing              Chorus of Feel the Power 

Reader 2            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?

All Sing              Feel the Power (whole song)


Leader               First, take a moment to still yourself. Make sure you have nothing in your hands. Your feet are both resting   on the floor. Your back is relaxed, but straight. Your eyes are closed. Concentrate on your breathing. Breath is God’s love, the light of Jesus and the wisdom of the Holy Spirit. Remember that you are in the presence of God and the Holy Spirit is upon you. Ask God to open your heart and your imagination.


Imagine now that you are one of the people gathered in the room in the Pentecost story we have just heard. Imagine the scene as if we are standing right there. What is around you? What do you hear in the scene? What noises are in the house or in the street outside? What can you the smell?

Who else is there? What are you all talking about? What is the mood – tense?... joyful?... confused? … angry?


Can you see Peter and John? What are they doing?


The disciples were gathered there to pray because Jesus had told them to wait in Jerusalem until the Holy Spirit came to them. Then they would receive the power they needed to become Jesus’ witnesses throughout the world. But they couldn’t feel Jesus’ spirit. They were huddled in fear in that room. What does it feel like to be part of that?


Jesus’ mother, Mary is there. She was there at the birth of Jesus and here now at the birth of the Church. What is she saying to you? This is someone who knows about the Holy Spirit. Listen to what she is saying. 


There are lots of people outside who had gathered to give thanks for the abundant harvest. What sounds are they making?


Suddenly a huge noise “like a strong driving wind” drowns everything out. It’s like a storm or a cyclone.  What are you feeling now?


Breathe in the wind. Can you sense the Holy Spirit in the wind? Let it take your breath away.


And now something like a flame appears and hovers in the air. It splits into many flame-like presences, which hover over each person in the room. You look around and see the flame on everyone else’s head. You see them being filled with the spirit. You realise that the fire hovers over you too. Feel the fire spread through your body.


Now, empowered by the Spirit, what are you going to do? Will you join the disciples outside telling everyone about Jesus? What will you say or do? What ability has the Spirit given you to spread the good news of Jesus? What has the Spirit fired you up to do?


Open your eyes and return to this room. The Holy Spirit is here, too. We are part of the present, now-happening breathing of God’s Spirit among us.


Leader                Let’s pray together this beautiful prayer by St Augustine.

All                        Holy Spirit Prayer

Breathe into me, Holy Spirit,

That my thoughts may all be holy.


Move in me, Holy Spirit,

That my work, too, may be holy.


Attract my heart, Holy Spirit,

That I may love only what is holy.


Strengthen me, Holy Spirit,

That I may defend all that is holy.


Protect me, Holy Spirit,

That I may always be holy.


Here are some other Michael Mangan songs which are great to help celebrate Pentecost.

(Substitute one of these into the prayer above, if preferred.)

Song Title


Come, O Come Holy Spirit

This We Believe

Feel The Power

True Colours Shine

Hearts On Fire

Setting Hearts On Fire

Holy Spirit Come

True Colours Shine

Holy Spirit Of Fire

Setting Hearts On Fire

Holy Spirit Rock

This Is The Time / Sing Your Joy

Maybe We Can imagine

This We Believe

Send Out Your Spirit(Ps 104)

Forever I Will Sing

Surrounded By Grace

This We Believe

This We Believe

This We Believe