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The Holy Spirit and Pentecost

To illustrate the work of the Holy Spirit in relation to Pentecost.

by Janice Ross

Suitable for Key Stage 1


To illustrate the work of the Holy Spirit in relation to Pentecost (23 May 2010).

Preparation and materials

  • You will need 4 jam jars of various sizes, 4 candles, all the same size, placed on 4 plates or saucers.

  • Some Blu-Tack, matches, and tealights (optional).


  1. Use the smallest jam jar for the first demonstration. Light a candle. Now cover the candle with the jam jar. What happens? What put the light out? Ask for suggestions.

    Identify that the candle needed oxygen, from the air, to burn.
  2. Show the three other identical candles. Show the different sized jam jars. Before you carry on with this investigation, ask the children to choose quietly which candle they think will go out first.

    Do the experiment. Who was right? What did this show?
  3. Explain to the children that this little investigation will help them understand a special time in the Christian calendar called Pentecost.

    After Jesus died and had risen, he appeared many times to his followers. Then he left to go back to his Father in heaven. Before he left he told them that they should all wait in Jerusalem until he sent them a promise – the Holy Spirit.

    The Holy Spirit would help them to do the job of sharing God’s message of love with the whole world. They would not be able to do this big task without the Holy Spirit’s help.

    They waited, and on the Day of Pentecost an amazing thing happened to the disciples. It was as though a mighty wind overpowered them, blew right through them, filled them up. The Bible actually says that it looked as though there were tongues of fire coming from the tops of their heads!

    After that experience they found that they had a new courage and a new power to share the good news of Jesus with everyone.
  4. The Holy Spirit is called the Helper in the Bible. If we are trying to live a Christian life, the help of the Holy Spirit is as essential to us as oxygen is to the candle.

Time for reflection

Light a candle.

Jesus told his disciples that it was good for them that he went away because only then could he send his Holy Spirit. His Holy Spirit, like the air we breathe every day, would be with them for ever.

Optional: You could light a number of tealights to demonstrate followers of Jesus lighting up the world.

Dear God,
Thank you for sending your Holy Spirit at Pentecost.
Thank you that he will be with us for ever
and will always be ready to help us live in a way that is pleasing to you.


‘The Spirit lives to set us free’ (Hymns Old and New, 494)

Publication date: May 2010   (Vol.12 No.5)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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