Celebrating the Pentecost Vigil

There are many different ways to host a Pentecost Vigil Celebration. They are easy to arrange because they can involve as much or as little as desired. At minimum, they can involve simply the Vigil Mass itself. At maximum, they can involve a day-long celebration with a wide variety of indoor and outdoor activities.

What each celebration includes depends on the local parish or diocese.

  • The event can last all day, or it can be an evening-only event. Day-long events can include more social activities and might be attractive to a broader range of participants; evening-only events are shorter and easier to arrange.
  • All day celebrations might include outdoor activities, informal faith discussion, or cookouts with live music.
  • The evening program and especially the Vigil Mass is heart of the Pentecost Vigil Celebration. The evening program takes place mostly in the church. Typically there is time for prayer and then the Vigil Mass, followed by a reception or social event.
  • The reception after Mass can include a thanksgiving offering of talents. In a loosely arranged program, young adults with particular talents might play music, read poems, perform sketches, and otherwise offer their gifts for the uplifting of the community. To lift up the work of young adults with talents in the visual arts, displays can be set up featuring artwork, photography, and sculpture.
  • The reception can also find ways to include elements from different cultural traditions, especially from the young adults present, thus highlighting the way Pentecost recalls the Church’s mission to every nation.
  • Leadership gatherings can be convened to support young adult leader and foster young adult ministry in the diocese. These leadership gatherings can take place either before the Pentecost Celebration begins or during a less busy time during the event.

When the time for Pentecost was fulfilled, they were all in one place together. And suddenly there came from the sky a noise like a strong driving wind, and it filled the entire house in which they were. Then there appeared to them tongues as of fire, which parted and came to rest on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in different tongues, as the Spirit enabled them to proclaim. (Acts of the Apostles 2:1-4)