Tag Archives: Pentecost

Pentecost – And a Rough Night

8 Jun

Our annual Pentecost service is probably unique in all the world. We have a rather small congregation, but we have folks from all over the globe. The Prayer Book Service is printed out in one column, and the spoken words – Swahili, Polish, Japanese, etc. – and printed beside them.

Today’s opening collect was done in French, and then the woman who was to read the Epistle in Japanese flipped over two pages in the booklet and took the lectern.  I could see Fr. Matthew’s head bob around, and I knew he was looking for me, so I walked up the side aisle, and pointed out we’d missed the first two lessons, and did he really want me to sing now? (Organized religion is not our strong suit.)

Ah! So we had part of the First Lesson in Swahili, and then second half in Hindi, and then I climbed aboard and sang the Gradual Hymn in Cherokee. I’ve done Amazing Grace several times, and the last two years it was Just as I Am, so today I chose Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah. None of these are particularly “Pentecost-ish” but my hymnal is very thin, and it’s a case of take what’s there or do without, and I am NOT good enough to do my own translations. The Gospel was read in Chinese, and on a whim, Fr. M decided to do the Prayer of Consecration in Latin.

The Lord’s Prayer was done in a sort of unison, with those who could speak a second language doing their own thing, while the rest of us said it in English. Snatches of Danish, Syrian-Arabic, German floated around us. I wonder how God keeps it all straight. The closing prayer was read in Spanish.

And then we came home and took a nap.

Last night, our next door neighbors had the first of what is probably going to be several summer karaoke parties. We do not have central air, so we had the room closed and the window unit buzzing. The Squire is deaf as a post, and I generally sleep like the dead.

The noise woke us up. It was 1 AM.

I went down stairs and tried to call their house, but everybody was in the yard, so I ended up calling the police. I had stepped out onto the patio so the operator could get the full benefit of this serenade, and she said they would send somebody out. The county noise curfew is 11 PM, and a member of this clan is a retired police officer, so there’s no excuse for this sort of nonsense.

Do not mess with me when I am tired.



29 May

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?