When Todd was in seminary he did a pastoral internship at Northside Drive Baptist Church in Atlanta. As part of their Pentecost Sunday celebration, the church staged a multilingual choral reading of Acts 2:1-21. This scripture passage describes the coming of the Holy Spirit who enabled Jesus’ followers to speak in a variety of other languages. In the choral reading of this chapter, members of the congregation take turns reading excerpts from the chapter in different languages.
It is a great opportunity to highlight the diversity of members in your church and might also provide a chance for older children and youth who are studying a language at school to participate. Another option might be inviting members of other congregations in your area to participate. In past Pentecost services, I have even dusted off my ancient Greek, and Todd has flexed his mad Latin skills to add some first century flare to the event.
To adapt this choral reading for an online worship service, speakers’ recordings could be edited together into a presentation to show during the worship service. A pre-recorded presentation also allows for participation from others connected to congregation including family members and missions personnel living in other countries.
Below is the first page of the script for the choral reading from a Pentecost service at our church in Toronto, Canada. Consider it a guide when creating your own worship service using the languages present in your congregation. A PDF of the entire script is available for download below.