Sunday, May 23, 2021

The Holy Communion on the Day of Pentecost, May 23, 2021: 10:30 a.m.

The livestream may be found here.



The color red, used for Pentecost Sunday, represents the ‘tongues of fire’ which descended upon the apostles.


FIRST READING: The languages given to the apostles are not strange spiritual tongues, but the languages of the world; the division of languages at Babel (Gen. 11) is overcome, and the good news will be proclaimed to all nations, beginning with the Jews from all parts of the Roman Empire who have come to Jerusalem to live and worship.


Before his resurrection, Jesus did not permit his disciples to reveal that he was the Messiah. But now that the Spirit has come, the Jesus who died and rose again is proclaimed as Messiah. Peter, the one who denied Jesus in the courtyard of the high priest, is now the one who, in the power of the Spirit, fearlessly declares before all that Jesus is the one who will come to judge the living and the dead.


SECOND READING: We do not see the ascended Jesus. We do not see the new creation we long for, in ourselves or in the world. But in Romans, Paul teaches us that it is the Holy Spirit that works faith and hope in Jesus and the new creation, and helps us in our weakness, when we have trouble trusting in God and grow weary of waiting for the redemption of all things. The Spirit intercedes for us when we cannot find words to express our longing for God’s final victory.


GOSPEL: The Spirit is the one who guides the Church into all truth. However, the Spirit of truth always guides us deeper into the mystery of Jesus as the anointed of God the Father. The Spirit can never guide us beyond Jesus or make him simply a man with great spiritual insights. This is why, of all the different ‘gospels’ about Jesus that were known to the early Church, the Church included only Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John in its Scripture. These four Gospels differ in their details, even about the specifics of Jesus’ words and the events of his life. But they all clearly proclaim Jesus as the Son of God.



OPENING MUSIC                                        Come, Holy Ghost, Our Souls Inspire

I.                    Paul Manz

II.                  Wilbur Held


Please meditate on the text of the hymn as it is played:


1              Come, Holy Ghost, our souls inspire,

                and lighten with celestial fire;

                thou the anointing Spirit art,

                who dost thy sev’nfold gifts impart.


2              Thy blessed unction from above

                is comfort, life, and fire of love.

                Enable with perpetual light

                the dullness of our blinded sight.


3              Anoint and cheer our soiled face

                with the abundance of thy grace.

                Keep far our foes; give peace at home;

                where thou art guide, no ill can come.


4             Teach us to know the Father, Son,

                and thee, of both, to be but one;

                that through the ages all along

                thy praise may be our endless song!


5              Praise to thine eternal merit,

                Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen


Text: attr. Rhabanus Maurus, 776-856; tr. John Cosin, 1594-1672


                                THE HOLY COMMUNION



In the name of the Father, and of the X Son, and of the Holy Spirit.




Alleluia! The Spirit of God fills the whole world.

  O come, let us worship him. Alleluia!

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God,

and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

  And also with you.



In peace, let us pray to the Lord.                                 Lord, have mercy.

For the peace from above,

and for our salvation, let us pray to the Lord.       Lord, have mercy.

For the peace of the whole world,

for the well-being of the Church of God,

and for the unity of all, let us pray to the Lord.    Lord, have mercy.

For this holy house,

and for all who offer here their worship and praise,

let us pray to the Lord.                                                   Lord, have mercy.

Help, save, comfort and defend us, gracious Lord.                       Amen


HYMN OF PRAISE Gloria in excelsis Deo


The pastor sings:


Glory to God in the highest, and peace to his people on earth.       Luke 2:14


The cantor sings:


Lord God, heavenly king, almighty God and Father:

                We worship you, we give you thanks,

we praise you for your glory.


The pastor sings:


                Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father,

Lord God, Lamb of God:

                You take away the sin of the world; have mercy on us.

                You are seated at the right hand of the Father;

receive our prayer.

All sing:


For you alone are the Holy One, you alone are the Lord,

                you alone are the Most High,

                Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit,

in the glory of God the Father. Amen



The Lord be with you.

  And also with you.


God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,

as you sent upon your disciples the promised gift of the Holy Spirit,

look upon your Church and open our hearts to the power of the Spirit.

  Kindle in us the fire of your love,

  and strengthen our lives for service in your kingdom.

We ask this through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord,

who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and forever.




In our own language,

we hear the testimony of God’s deeds of power.                           Acts 2:11b

  Let us hear the Word of the Lord.



First READING                                                                              Acts 2:1-21



1When the day of Pentecost had come, [the apostles] were all together in one place. 2And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. 3Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. 4All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.
5Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem. 6And at this sound the crowd gathered and was bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in the native language of each. 7Amazed and astonished, they asked, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? 8And how is it that we hear, each of us, in our own native language? 9Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, 11Cretans and Arabs—in our own languages we hear them speaking about God’s deeds of power.” 12All were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “What does this mean?” 13But others sneered and said, “They are filled with new wine.”

14But Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed them, “Men of Judea and all who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and listen to what I say. 15Indeed, these are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only nine o’clock in the morning. 16No, this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel:
17‘In the last days it will be, God declares,
 that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh,
  and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
 and your young men shall see visions,
  and your old men shall dream dreams.
18Even upon my slaves, both men and women,
  in those days I will pour out my Spirit;
   and they shall prophesy.
19And I will show portents in the heaven above
  and signs on the earth below,
   blood, and fire, and smoky mist.
20The sun shall be turned to darkness
  and the moon to blood,
   before the coming of the Lord’s great and glorious day.
21Then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.’


The Word of the Lord.                  

  Thanks be to God.


PSALM 104:25-35, 37

Read responsively between pastor and congregation.


Send forth your Spirit and renew the face of the earth.                      (vs. 31)

  Send forth your Spirit and renew the face of the earth. 


25 O Lord, how manifold | are your works!*

                In wisdom you have made them all;

the earth is full | of your creatures.

26 Yonder is the great and wide sea with its living things

too man- | y to number,*

                creatures both | small and great. 

27 There move the ships, and there is | that Leviathan,*

                which you have made for the | sport of it.

28 All of them | look to you*

                to give them their food | in due season.

29 You give it to them; they | gather it;*

                you open your hand, and they are filled | with good things.

30 You hide your face, and | they are terrified;*

                you take away their breath,

and they die and return | to their dust.

31 You send forth your Spirit, and they | are created;*

                and so you renew the face | of the earth.

32 May the glory of the Lord en- | dure forever;*

                may the Lord rejoice in | all his works.

33 He looks at the earth | and it trembles;*

                he touches the mountains | and they smoke.

34 I will sing to the Lord as long | as I live;*

                I will praise my God while I | have my being.

35 May these words | of mine please him;*

                I will rejoice | in the Lord.

37 Bless the Lord, | O my soul.*

                 | Hallelujah!


Send forth your Spirit and renew the face of the earth. 


SECOND READING                                                             Romans 8:22-27



22We know that the whole creation has been groaning in labor pains until now; 23and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly while we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies. 24For in hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what is seen? 25But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.
26Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words. 27And God, who searches the heart, knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.


The Word of the Lord.                                                            

  Thanks be to God.






From the traditional antiphon for Pentecost          Setting by Paul Bouman

Sung by the Cantor                            

Alleluia. Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful people; set them on fire with your love. Come, Holy Spirit. Alleluia.



Gospel                                                                     John 15:26-27, 16:4b-15


The Holy Gospel according to St. John.

  Glory to you, O Lord.


[Jesus said,] 26“When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who comes from the Father, he will testify on my behalf. 27You also are to testify because you have been with me from the beginning.

16:4b“I did not say these things to you from the beginning, because I was with you. 5But now I am going to him who sent me; yet none of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ 6But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your hearts. 7Nevertheless I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. 8And when he comes, he will prove the world wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment: 9about sin, because they do not believe in me; 10about righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will see me no longer; 11about judgment, because the ruler of this world has been condemned.
12“I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own, but will speak whatever he hears, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. 14He will glorify me, because he will take what is mine and declare it to you. 15All that the Father has is mine. For this reason I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.”


The Gospel of the Lord.                                

  Praise to you, O Christ.







HYMN OF THE DAY                                              Filled With the Spirit’s Power


Stanza 1 – Cantor; Stanza 2 – Pastor; Stanza 3 – All






1              Filled with the Spirit’s pow’r, with one accord

                the infant church confessed its risen Lord.

                O Holy Spirit, in the church today

                no less your pow’r of fellowship display.



2              Now with the mind of Christ set us on fire,

                that unity may be our great desire.

                Give joy and peace; give faith to hear your call,

                and readiness in each to work for all.



3              Widen our love, good Spirit, to embrace

                in your strong care all those of ev’ry race.

                Like wind and fire with life among us move,

                till we are known as Christ’s, and Christians prove.



Text: John R. Peacey, 1896-1971

© 1978 Hope Publishing Co. All rights reserved.




The pastor and people confess the faith of the Church in the words of the Nicene Creed.


X At the words ‘For us and for our salvation,’ and continuing through ‘and was made man,’ a solemn bow is appropriate to praise the incarnation of our Lord.


We believe in one God,

                the Father, the Almighty,            

                                maker of heaven and earth,

                                of all that is, seen and unseen.


We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,

                the only Son of God,

                eternally begotten of the Father,

                God from God, Light from Light,

                true God from true God,

                begotten, not made,

                of one Being with the Father.

                Through him all things were made.

                X For us and for our salvation

                                he came down from heaven;

                                by the power of the Holy Spirit

                                he became incarnate from the virgin Mary,                                                       and was made man. X

For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;

                                he suffered death and was buried.

                On the third day he rose again

                                                in accordance with the Scriptures;

                                he ascended into heaven

                                                and is seated at the right hand of the Father.

                He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,

                                and his kingdom will have no end.


We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,

                who proceeds from the Father and the Son.

                With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified.

                He has spoken through the prophets.

                We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.

                We acknowledge one Baptism for the forgiveness of sins.

                We look for the resurrection of the dead,

                                and the life of the world to come. Amen




Rejoicing in the power of the Spirit, let us pray for the whole people of God in Christ Jesus, and for all people according to their needs.


Silence is kept.


Father, stir up the Spirit of truth in your Church, and save from sin, death, and evil everyone who calls upon your name. Lord, in your mercy,

  hear our prayer.


Renew the life of this faith family, and strengthen pastors and missionaries to preach the Gospel. Lord, in your mercy,

  hear our prayer.


Give wisdom and compassion to our public servants; temperance, courage, and devotion to duty to the members of our armed forces, law enforcement, healthcare workers, and first responders; and grant peace and justice in our community, our nation, and the world. Lord, in your mercy,

  hear our prayer.


Stir up your Spirit and come to the aid of the poor, the oppressed, the sick of body, mind and spirit, those who mourn, those who doubt your love and your truth, and those who have lost hope. Bless those we name before you:


The pastor reads the names submitted for prayer.

The people may offer spoken or silent intercessions.


Lord, in your mercy,

  hear our prayer.


We hope for what we do not see; the redemption of our bodies. By your Spirit help us in our weakness, and keep us in unity with all who have gone before us. Lord, in your mercy,

  hear our prayer.


Into your hands, Father, we commend all for whom we pray, trusting in your mercy, through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.






God has made us one in Christ.

He has set his seal upon us and, as a pledge of what is to come,

has given the Spirit to dwell in our hearts. Alleluia.

                                                                                                              cf. 2 Corinthians 1:22

The peace of the Lord be with you always.

  And also with you.


The people exchange a sign of peace with the simple words, Peace be with you.



The Lord’s Table is prepared.



OFFERTORY  Ephesians 5:15, 18-20            Setting by Randall Sensmeier

Sung by the Cantor

Look carefully how you walk, not as unwise but as wise; be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with all your heart, always and for everything giving thanks in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God the Father.



Blessed be God, by whose grace creation is renewed,

by whose love heaven is opened,

by whose mercy we offer our sacrifice of praise.





   It is indeed right and salutary that we should at all times and in all places offer thanks and praise to you, O Lord, holy Father, through Christ our Lord; who rose beyond the bounds of death, and, on this day, as he had promised, poured out your Spirit of life upon your chosen disciples. At this the whole earth exults in boundless joy. And so, with the Church on earth and the hosts of heaven, we praise your name and join their unending hymn:



You are indeed holy, O God, the fountain of all holiness;

                you bring light from darkness, life from death,

speech from silence.

We worship you for our lives and for the world you give us.

We thank you for the new world to come

                and for the love that will rule all in all.

We praise you for the grace shown to Israel, your chosen,

                the people of your promise:

                the rescue from Egypt, the gift of the promised land,

                the memory of the fathers, the homecoming from exile,

                and the prophets' words that will not be in vain.

In all this we bless you for your only-begotten Son,

                who fulfilled and will fulfill all your promises.


In the night in which he was betrayed,

                our Lord Jesus took bread, and gave thanks;

                broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying:

                Take and eat; this is my body, given for you.

Do this for the remembrance of me.

Again, after supper, he took the cup, gave thanks,

                and gave it for all to drink, saying:

                This cup is the new covenant in my blood,

                shed for you and for all people for the forgiveness of sin.

Do this for the remembrance of me.


For as often as we eat of this bread and drink from this cup,

                we proclaim the Lord's death until he comes.

  Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ will come again.


Therefore, O God, with this bread and cup

                we remember the incarnation of your Son:

                his human birth and the covenant he made with us.

We remember the sacrifice of his life:

                his eating with outcasts and sinners,

and his acceptance of death.

But chiefly on this day we remember his rising from the tomb,

                his ascension to the seat of power,

                and his sending of the holy and life-giving Spirit.

We cry out for the resurrection of our lives,

                when Christ will come again in beauty and power

                to share with us the great and promised feast.

  Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.

Send now, we pray, your Holy Spirit,

that we and all who share in this bread and cup

may be united in the fellowship of the Holy Spirit,

may enter the fullness of the kingdom of heaven,

and may receive our inheritance

with all your saints in light.

  Amen. Come, Holy Spirit.


Join our prayers with those of your servants

of every time and every place,

and unite them with the ceaseless petitions

of our great high priest

until he comes as victorious Lord of all.



Christ is in our midst.

By the power of the Spirit,

we pray to his Father, saying:


Our Father, who art in heaven,

                                hallowed be thy name,

                                thy kingdom come,

                                thy will be done,

                                                on earth as it is in heaven.

                Give us this day our daily bread;

                and forgive us our trespasses,

                                as we forgive those who trespass against us;

                and lead us not into temptation,

                                but deliver us from evil.

                For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory,

                                forever and ever. Amen

The eyes of all look to you, O God,

and you give us our food in due season.

  You open your hand,

  and we are filled with good things. Alleluia! 



AGNUS DEI (Lamb of God)          




Admission to the Sacrament is by invitation of the Lord, presented through the Church to those who are baptized.


They may receive the Lord’s Body and Blood who are baptized in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, who commune in their home churches, and who believe that Jesus Christ, crucified and risen, is truly present in, with, and under the forms of bread and wine for the forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation.




Please meditate on the text of the hymn as it is played.

Come, Holy Ghost, God and Lord


1              Come, Holy Ghost, God and Lord,

                with all your graces now outpoured

                on each believer’s mind and heart;

                your fervent love to them impart.

                Lord, by the brightness of your light

                in holy faith your church unite;

                from ev’ry land and ev’ry tongue,

                this to your praise, O Lord, our God, be sung:

                Alleluia! Alleluia!


2              Come, holy Light, guide divine,

                now cause the Word of life to shine.

                Teach us to know our God aright

                and call him Father with delight.

                From ev’ry error keep us free;

                let none but Christ our master be,

                that we in living faith abide,

                in him, our Lord, with all our might confide.

                Alleluia! Alleluia!


3              Come, holy Fire, comfort true,

                grant us the will your work to do

                and in your service to abide;

                let trials turn us not aside.

                Lord, by your pow’r prepare each heart

                and to our weakness strength impart,

                that bravely here we may contend,

                through life and death to you, our Lord, ascend.

                Alleluia! Alleluia!


Text: German hymn, 15th cent., st. 1; Martin Luther, 1483-1546, sts. 2-3; tr. composite


After all have returned to their places, the congregation stands at the direction of the pastor.


The body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ strengthen you and keep you in his grace.




Faithful God,

you fulfilled the promises of Easter

by sending us your Holy Spirit

and opening to every race and nation the way of life eternal:

open our lips by your Spirit,

that every tongue may tell of your glory:

through Jesus Christ our Lord.







May the Spirit who hovered over the waters

when the world was created

breathe into you the life he gives.



May the Spirit by whose power our Lord was conceived

in the womb of the virgin Mary

make you joyful in his service.



May the Spirit who set the Church on fire upon the day of Pentecost

bring the world alive with the love of the risen Christ.



Almighty God, Father, X Son, and Holy Spirit,

bless you now and forever.            




Go in peace. Serve the Lord.                                        

  Thanks be to God!





The Altar Flowers are given to the Glory of God by Charlene Kleen in loving memory of her mother.



 Organist/ Joyce M. Strobel

Assisting Minister/ Rebecka Frontz




·         Registrations are NO LONGER REQUIRED to attend worship.

·         Masks are no longer required – however, if you are not vaccinated, you are strongly urged to continue wearing a mask for your own and others’ protection.

·         Upon entering and leaving the church, you must sanitize your hands or wash them with soap and water.

·         Everyone must sign in when entering the church. This way we can keep track of who was in the church and when.

WORSHIP SERVICES are held every Saturday evening at 6:30 PM and Sunday morning at 10:30 AM. Pastor Frontz also livestreams Compline (Prayer at the Close of the Day) on Sunday at 9:30 p.m. and Vespers (Evening Prayer) on Wednesday at 7 p.m. These can be accessed on the church’s Facebook page (


AN ONLINE BIBLE STUDY meets on Wednesday evenings at 7:30, following the livestreamed service of Evening Prayer. The topic is Paul’s letter to the Ephesians. Please contact Pastor Frontz if you would like the ZOOM link. You can also watch Facebook Live if you do not want to or cannot ZOOM.





Sun/ May 23       WORSHIP 10:30 AM

                                Prayer at the Close of the Day (livestream) 9:30 PM

Wed/ May 26     Evening Prayer (livestream) 7:00 PM

                                ZOOM Bible Study 7:30 PM

Sat/ May 29        NA Meeting 11 AM

                                SATURDAY EVENING WORSHIP 6:30 PM

Sun/ May 30       WORSHIP 10:30 AM

                                Prayer at the Close of the Day (livestream) 9:30 PM



From Sundays and Copyright 2021 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved.

Reprinted by permission under Augsburg Fortress Liturgies Annual License #20540.

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the

 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Common Worship: Times and Seasons, material from which is included in this

service, is copyright © The Archbishops’ Council of the Church of England, 2006.

Unknown Miniaturist, French (active 12th century in Limoges). Pentecost, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. [retrieved May 17, 2021]. Original source:

Agnus Day appears with the permission of






St Stephen Lutheran Church

55 Forsythe Road

Pittsburgh PA 15220

(412) 279-5868


Saturday Evening Worship – 6:30 pm

Sunday Morning Worship – 10:30 am