Every year, our parish celebrates Pentecost by doing the entire service in various languages. The Prayer Book is typed out in one column, and the “foreign” language is written next to it, so you can follow the service. Dr. J does preach in English (British!) and the Prayer of Consecration is in English, but the rest of the service is something else, really something else, indeed. We only have seventy-two families, but we manage to pull together an impressive roster of languages. Yesterday, we had Swahili, Hindi, Japanese, French, Latin, Chinese, Zulu, Spanish, and some silly old lady who sang in Cherokee.
OK, so Just As I Am is not particularly “Pentecostal” but my repertoire is limited. I’ve been told my accent is not bad for a unega, but I don’t think I would fool anybody. At the end of the service, we have a sheet with the Lord’s Prayer written in Russian, German, Greek, and a couple of other languages we missed during the service. I heard a voice behind me doing the German (as was I) so I think we have another poor soul who is going to get nabbed for next year.
And every single person was “home-grown”. We’d welcome visitors to join us, but that has only happened once. A friend from DBE did a reading in Welsh. It’s a wonder the spell-checker doesn’t have a nervous break down.
It isn’t often you get Episcopalians speaking in tongues, so the entire service was filmed. And yes, my Cherokee in-laws do call me Pale Face. Why do you ask?