A Pentecost Hymn for Times of Pandemic

On Pentecost they gathered
while we are still apart;
we dedicate the distance,
we hold it in our hearts.

We gaze out of our windows.
We pray and wash our hands.
We feel the weight of sadness
and solitude’s demands.

Where will the Spirit find us,
our gathering space now closed?
Where will the bright flames hover;
where will Your fresh wind blow?
There may not be much drama
but more the quiet breath
of One who goes before us,
the Presence in absence.

You touch us now so softly
like hands that brush the grass.
You breathe your life into us,
the flame that swells the glass
When Pentecost comes to us,
though not in gathered rooms
Its life will live within us;
our lives may be made new

When Pentecost comes softy
its strength is not subdued.
It draws us all together;
it opens up our view.
Our love will be rekindled,
our witness made more bold.
Apart we still are gathered
Your heart the room that holds.

Words:  Catherine Smith © 2020
Tune:  7676D  Aurelia   (The Church’s One Foundation)


  1. Kerry Howarth on May 28, 2020 at 8:15 pm

    How lovely, Catherine! Before I saw the tune you assigned it I started singing a different one in my head as I was reading it. Many work well. Thank you for this Pentecost blessing!

    • Catherine Smith on May 29, 2020 at 8:22 am

      What tune are you singing it to, Kerry? It certainly doesn’t have to be sung to one I’ve suggested. In fact when I started to write I had other music in my head. But then the meter just grabbed hold of that one 🙂 which is so familiar and it worked.

  2. Margie Ann MacDonald on May 28, 2020 at 3:26 pm

    Thank you Catherine, you way with words to express what is in our heart always amazes me. This is wonderful.

    • Catherine Smith on May 29, 2020 at 8:20 am

      Thank you Margie Ann for always taking the time to encourage. I’m so glad you sense this joins itself to what is in the heart of others.

  3. Shirley Childs on May 28, 2020 at 2:59 pm

    Catherine, this is a beautiful capturing and naming of this present Pentecost time. Thank you.

    • Catherine Smith on May 29, 2020 at 8:18 am

      Thank you Shirley. My own congregation has recently had the conversations about waiting to open its building and I know in others the sense of dislocation from that gathered place. I needed to write what I was feeling and – so it was.

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