The Pentecost Mobile
A piece of art…
To celebrate Pentecost
Pentecost can sometimes be the forgotten holiday of the church year.
The Festival of Pentecost is 50 days after Easter. Compared with the
boisterous celebrations of Easter and Christmas, Pentecost is a rela-
tively minor affair. It also often occurs during the busy time of the year:
just at the end of Spring and all the activities that come with the end of
the school year. So it’s easy to pass by Pentecost without much fanfare.
A piece of art, like this Pentecost mobile, which is unveiled each year
on the Festival of Pentecost, helps to mark Pentecost as a very special
event in the life of the church. As we welcome the bright, vivid colors,
we are reminded of the excitement on the first Pentecost when the apos-
tles spoke with so much joy declaring the wonders of God.
To focus our worship
Much like the Christmas trees that come and go with the season of
Christmas, the Pentecost mobile helps us focus on what Pentecost
means in worship. When we come to worship, we are celebrating what
God has done for us: how he has come to us with his powerful word,
how he sends us his Holy Spirit to create faith and sustain faith, how he
sets us on fire to go and share the good news of Jesus in the world. The
dove of the Pentecost mobile reminds us of the Holy Spirit when he
took the form of a dove and lighted on Jesus at his baptism. The flames
of fire surrounding the dove remind us of the tongues of fire that rested
on the heads of the apostles. The location of the mobile is above the lec-
tern where the proclamation of God’s Word is given, reminding us that
the Holy Spirit works through the Word of God. The Holy Spirit is liv-
ing and active when we come into the presence of God in worship.
To inspire our faith
When we look at a piece of beauty, our eyes grow wide, we might
smile, and are filled with wonderment and joy. The Pentecost mobile
inspires our faith not by its beauty or its charm, but through a physical
reminder of the Holy Spirit’s presence in our life through the Means of
Grace. The Means of Grace is the gospel in Word and Sacrament. God
communicates his love to us through his Word, through Baptism and
through Holy Communion. The mobile reminds us of this and inspires
us to reconnect with the Means of Grace on a daily basis so that our
faith might be inspired to live and proclaim the wonders of God.
Description of the piece
The piece is constructed of acrylic panels in various colors that depict
the different color temperatures of a flame of fire. This reminds us of
the tongues of fire that rested on the heads of the disciples as they pro-
claimed the wonders of God. The fire is blue—hottest—at the top of the
piece as it’s closest to it’s source, God. The flame then cools slightly as
it is carried by the Holy Spirit—depicted as a dove—to believers.
The piece suggests movement through the canted elliptical orbits of the
flames which swirl around each other. The light weight of the piece also
allows some physical movement as air moves through the space. The
movement reminds us that the activity of the Holy Spirit is not stale,
stagnant and static, but living and active in the lives of believers and in
the life the church.
The acrylic panels are suspended by copper rods from a circular
disk suspended from the ceiling. A rigging system allows the piece to
be lowered and raised for display.
The entire piece is about 9’ tall and 2’ wide. The mobile itself is about
The entire piece was designed by Mr. Paul Mattek (member of Garden
Homes Ev. Lutheran Church) and his associates of Design Fugitives, a
Milwaukee-based design company which specializes in liturgical art.