As the feast of Pentecost approaches, Caroline Stanton, of our Theology team, shares some ideas about how you might celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit with your family.
I love the feast of Pentecost, which we celebrate this Sunday. We recall the great story, from the Acts of the Apostles, of the disciples receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit, accompanied by a powerful wind and tongues of flame, that fired them up to proclaim the good news of Jesus.
This year we’ve created some brand-new resources to help you to celebrate the gift of the Holy Spirit as a family. We hope that these ideas will help people of all ages to come together to celebrate the birthday of the Church and pray in solidarity with our global family.
There is a range of ideas so that you can choose the ones you feel will work best for the ages and interests of your children. Feel free to adapt content and questions to work for your family.
Pentecost is the Church’s birthday so celebrate it together as a family. You could decorate with orange, red and yellow streamers or balloons.
You might like to make a birthday cake, perhaps using a recipe from a different country as a reminder that, since the first Pentecost, the Church has spread throughout the world. You may want to use our Peruvian banana cake recipe.
Stories of surprise
As a family take turns to share a story of a time when something good happened that took you by surprise.
Explain that when we celebrate Pentecost, we remember the day when the Holy Spirit surprised the church arriving like tongues of fire and powerful gusts of wind. The power of God came to be with the disciples, giving them the strength to be the body of Christ in the world,
You may like to take a moment to share The World Can’t Wait prayer.
Make your own family newspaper, Good News, and fill it with stories about the work of the Holy Spirit in our world today. How can we see the Holy Spirit at work? Think of stories you know of people being brave, kind, generous and loving in your family, your community and the wider world. You may like to use Kidz-Zone to research some examples across the world.
In the story of the first Pentecost (Acts 2:1-8) the crowd hears the disciples speaking in their own languages. The coming of the Holy Spirit reminds us that we are all connected, even though we speak different languages, we are one global family. We thank God for his gift of worldwide community.
As a family see how many different languages you can say “thank you” in. You could always use the internet to research new examples together.
You may like to download our template to write “thank you” in as many languages as possible
Holy Spirit windmills
Use this template to create your own windmill. Discuss together what will make the windmill spin.
The Holy Spirit is often compared to the wind. When the wind blows, the windmill spins. We cannot see the wind, but we can see what a difference it makes. We cannot see the Holy Spirit either. But the Holy Spirit brought great change and transformation to the lives of the first disciples and continues to do so for us today. The Holy Spirit gives us courage to make the world a better place.
Take turns blowing on the windmill as you pray about something in the world you would like the Holy Spirit to inspire people to change.
You may like to finish with this short prayer:
Blow away the things that keep people apart.
Light your flame of love and hope in us,
so that we can be your Pentecost people today.
This is our first set of family prayer ideas and we would welcome your feedback, so we can improve this offering going forward. You can email us at email@example.com.
We’d also love to see any pictures of your family using these resources. You can email us at the address above or tag us on social media #CAFODFamilyPrayer
Wishing you all the blessings of the feast. Come Holy Spirit.