A Pentecost Blessing

I’m about as loosey-goosey as one who has twice taken a vow of loyalty to the “doctrine, discipline, and worship of Christ as this Church has received them” can be, but the reality of my low-church, liberal reading of the rubrics, is that here at Saint Paul’s, our worship has a strong Episcopal/Anglican identity even if we do wear cassock-albs and there is nary a chasuble in sight.  For example, rather than offering any blessing that might come to mind in the closing minutes of Sunday worship, we tend to use the blessings suggested in The Book of Occasional Services (2003) instead.

As I read the Gospel lesson for Trinity Sunday, it brought to mind the powerful words of the single blessing option for The Day of Pentecost (which, I would argue is appropriate straight through ordinary time), and while there is a blessing provided for Trinity Sunday, because of the lectionary’s prescribed texts for Year C, I would instead recommend using this blessing at the end of services this weekend.

In John 16, Jesus tells his disciples, “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.”

The Pentecost blessing reads, “May the Spirit of truth lead you into all truth, giving you grace to confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, and to proclaim the wonderful works of God; and the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be among you, and remain with you always. Amen.

While our cultural context is ever evolving (or devolving, as the case may be), it is the Spirit whose job it is to guide us into all truth.  Sometimes, this means making tough decisions toward new theologies.  Sometimes, this means being the conservative voice in a culture that seems to have lost its way.  Sometimes, perhaps more often than not, it means living into the mantra of Kairos Prison Ministry: listen, listen.  Love, love.

As I prepare to be the celebrant at three services for Trinity Sunday, I do so fully prepared to ask for myself and on behalf of my congregation, that the Spirit of truth might lead us into all truth, and that we might we made willing enough to go there.

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