Rector's Blog

Feast of Pentecost

The Feast of Pentecost is not on a set date very year.  In the Christian calendar it is known as a moveable feast, falling fifty days after Easter Sunday.  Whilst the date is not set it is an important day as it is a day when Christians celebrate the birth of the Christian Church.  

The events of the first Pentecost  are set out in chapter two of the Book of the Acts of the Apostles. It was a day when all the Apostles were gathered together, a day when they were filled by the Holy Spirit, something that Jesus had promised before His death on the Cross.

As the Apostles received the Holy Spirit those around them heard them speaking different languages, the scoffers immediately accused them of being drunk! But it was not gobbledegook or Jabberwocky language they had been given a gift, a gift to ensure that the Gentiles were able to hear the Good News proclaimed in their own languages.  This would ensure the growth of the fledgling Christian Church in the known world.

And so, language, has been at the forefront of the Christian Church throughout its history, enabling the development of the Church, from those first Apostles who were mocked, to the needs of current day worldwide church. The importance of language has not diminished.  

Indeed, in the Church in Wales we are committed to a bilingual Church, Welsh and English with each language having parity with the other.  Without doubt this an important issue but there is also a need to recognise how the language, Welsh, or English, can influence the listeners in the context of our communities today. 

This is not an issue of bilingualism but about accessibility, some would say that the language we use in our worship, in our liturgies, and even in our hymns, is archaic, or unintelligible to some, and so the scoffers remain.  

Personally, I do not accept this argument, yes there are times when there is a need to have a simpler style, say at services for families with children, or specific services where there is a need to change the traditional style of worship, such as a Nativity service, or a Christingle service or indeed a carol service.  Language in such services can be modern, can be of a light touch, perhaps making it attractive to those who feel uncomfortable in a church.  

This is all well and good but there are times in the Church year when quietness, reflection and the mystery of faith must take precedence and the use of traditional language must lead our worship and that includes, at St Deiniol’s Church our weekly Holy Eucharist Service…a service where we proclaim the mystery of faith…which for me is a simple and clear-cut statement in language accessible to all!

‘Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come in Glory’.