Short songs for Pentecost

Pentecost can be one of the most vibrant celebrations in the church year. While its focus on the Holy Spirit and the church may make it harder to capture public imagination in the same way as Christmas or Easter, the fact that the congregation will be mostly regulars means there is great scope for being creative in worship. Here we offer two new short songs which could be used as part of your service.

Fan into flame” was written by Margaret McLarty and Lynsey Martin for worship at the National Youth Assembly. The lyrics are a paraphrase of 2 Timothy: 6-7 and it invites people to consider the gifts God has given them which they can ask the Spirit to help them develop and use.

Fan, fan into flame the gift of God resting in you.
Fan, fan into flame faith to be bold, loving and true.

It was written to be used as a responsive chant and can be easily taught to a congregation by singing each phrase to ‘la’ and asking them to repeat it, before adding the words. There’s also four part harmony which could be sung by a choir. This song was just a small part of a full liturgy which includes songs, prayers, responsive actions, edible liturgy and post service bonfire/fireworks ideas! You can find the full material here.

Breathe in me, O Holy Spirit” uses a simple yet beautiful prayer by St Augustine of Hippo.

Breathe in me, O Holy Spirit, that my thoughts may all be holy. 
Act in me, O Holy Spirit, that my work, too, may be holy. 
Draw my heart, O Holy Spirit, that I love but what is holy. 
Strengthen me, O Holy Spirit, to defend all that is holy. 
Guard me, then, O Holy Spirit, that I always may be holy. 
Amen.

The music for this was written by Iain McLarty and could also be used either by a full congregation or a choir. If used for responses during a prayer then either just the first verse could be used or the different verses could give a structure to the words of the prayer. Alternatively, this could be used as a simple introit or anthem for a choir.

We will be sharing more new music with you in the future and would also be delighted to hear from people who have written songs that they would like to share with the wider church. Please get in touch via email or our contact form.

This article was first posted on the Different Voices Blog on 26 May 2014