Sunday was the Day of Pentecost. Also known in history and fairy tales as Whitsunday, it is the day celebrated in the church as when the Holy Spirit came into the Apostles a d they began spreading the Gospel around Jerusalem, speaking in the languages of the many people in the streets. "People from from far away places, with strange sounding names."
At least that is how many of us who read the lessons would like to paraphrase the long list of countries that occur in the lesson from Acts traditionally read that day. This year we tried something a little different at St. John's.
I and another parishioner were talking about the reading a couple weeks ago. Since the lesson deals with the Apostles speaking in the tongues and languages of these "far away countries", he said he should do the reading in Russian, since he was lector. Well after thinking about that (never a good thing), I suggested we go one better. We found someone who would be willing to read in Spanish, and another who can do American Sign Language. I volunteered for the English version. And after okaying it with the priest, we did that Acts reading yesterday in all the languages we had available.
Mike started us with a verse in Russian. I then repeated it slowly in English while Bonnie signed. Then Kris in Spanish followed by Bonnie and I again. Mike and Kris alternated languages though the whole reading.
It was kind of fun. I think the congregation liked it, even if we were a little longer going through it. I only wish, with our town's rich Dutch heritage, we could have also had someone read some of the verses in Dutch!