Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Pentecost Celebration

On our last Sunday of Christian Formation before summer break we celebrated Pentecost in the atrium. Pentecost is a wonderful feast of the Church year. On Pentecost, we remember and celebrate the gift of the Holy Spirit which was given to Jesus' followers after his Ascension. 

The Good Shepherd leads the procession,
with a little help from a friend!

I love celebrating Pentecost with the children! We begin with a procession and together we prepare the prayer table with a red cloth and seven red candles. 
Gathering together to prepare.
Children from all three atria participate in this celebration.

Children lead the service, introducing and reading four lessons for us, including Acts 2:1-4 which tells of the coming of the Holy Spirit, and Isaiah 11:2, which tells of special gifts we can receive when the Holy Spirit comes. We use the flame from the Paschal Candle to light the seven red candles, each one representing a gift of the Holy Spirit. We talk a bit about the gifts -  wisdom, understanding, counsel, might, knowledge, fear of the Lord, and piety - and pray about which gift we desire at this particular time. Then each person is called forward by name to light a candle from the candle of the gift they wish to receive. The celebration includes some of my favorite atrium songs!

Practicing hand gestures with a song.
Because this was the last Sunday of the year, we also recognized and prayed for the children who will be moving up, and thanked our catechists. And of course, we ended with a feast!

Thank you parents and grandparents for all of the great food! I was only able to catch a few photos before and after the celebration, but thought I would share them here for you to enjoy!

The children enjoy being together with children from other atria.

The Paschal Candle and our gift candles.

The disciples gathered in the Upper Room.
Individual candles lit from the gift candles.

The feast!

Enjoying the food...

...and being together!