29 May 2020, The Tablet

Pope and Archbishop seek 'outpouring of Holy Spirit'

Pope and Archbishop seek 'outpouring of Holy Spirit'

Pope Francis will take part in a special online service on Sunday with the Archbishop of Canterbury.
Evandro Inetti/Zuma Press/PA Images

Pope Francis is to take part in his first ever online service with the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby.

Other senior UK church leaders will also be involved in the Pentecost service on Sunday, marking the culmination of Thy Kingdom Come.

The annual ecumenical global prayer movement for evangelisation, which takes place between Ascension Day and Pentecost, was moved online to comply with Covid-19 lockdown restrictions around the world.

Pope Francis will urge all Christians to seek a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit in order that they might be bearers of Christ’s love, light and hope, in a world “experiencing a tragic famine of hope” but also urges a turning away from the “selfish pursuit of success without caring for those left behind’ and to be united in facing the “pandemics of the virus and of hunger, war, contempt for life and indifference to others”.

In the service, which can be seen on the Church of England’s digital platforms from 9am on Sunday, he says: “Today, more than ever, it is necessary to implore the Holy Spirit to pour forth into our hearts the life of God, who is love. Indeed, if there is to be a better future, our hearts must change for the better.

“Today our world is experiencing a tragic famine of hope. How much pain is all around us, how much emptiness, how much inconsolable grief. Let us, then, become messengers of the comfort bestowed by the Spirit. Let us radiate hope, and the Lord will open new paths as we journey towards the future.”

He urges Christians worldwide to be “more deeply united as witnesses of mercy for the human family so severely tested in these days” and “to ask the Spirit for the gift of unity, for only if we live as brothers and sisters can we spread the spirit of fraternity”.

Archbishop Welby will preach and there will also be contributions from other senior UK church leaders including the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, who is due to retire in June, and who will give the final blessing.

The Coptic Orthodox Archbishop of London, Archbishop Angaelos, says the creed and there are also prayers from Pastor Agu Irukwu, the Pentecostal president of Churches Together in England.

Heidi Crowter, a young advocate for people with Down’s Syndrome and Thelma Commey, the current Methodist Youth president, will also participate in the service.

The service includes a number of prayers from children and music by worship leader Matt Redman and the choirs of St Martin-in-the-Fields directed by Andrew Earis. A special version of the well-known hymn Amazing Grace, bringing together a diverse range of singers from across the UK concludes the service.


  Loading ...
Get Instant Access
Subscribe to The Tablet for just £7.99

Subscribe today to take advantage of our introductory offers and enjoy 30 days' access for just £7.99