With the new 3rd edition of the Roman Missal comes the option and opportunity to celebrate an "extended" Vigil of Pentecost, somewhat like the great Easter Vigil, with additional readings that lead us into the Pentecost celebration. We chose to celebrate the extended vigil at our parish, and, except for those who never like anything different or who are always in a hurry, it was met with great success. As the introductory address states " ... Let us meditate on how many great deeds God in times past did for his people and let us pray that the Holy Spirit, whom the Father sent as the first fruits for those who believe, may bring to perfection his work in the world."
The extended Liturgy of the Word includes the four readings from the Hebrew Scriptures (rather than simply choosing one of the four), the Gloria, the reading from Romans and the Gospel.
Those additional readings begin with Genesis and the story of a people who spoke one language, who communicated with each other through their reliance upon the grace of God. These people, through their arrogance and pride and their desire to be on a par with God (a tower that would reach to the heights of God?), lost their ability to communicate with one voice and accomplish anything for their own glory. Exodus reminds us of God renewing his Covenant with his people and their YES to that Covenant. Ezekiel tells of his vision of a field of dry bones (the people going through the motions of their YES, but not fleshing it out), and his command given by God to bring then to life. And finally the inspiring words of Joel the Prophet laying the groundwork for the future. It is interesting that the confusion of many tongues at Babel may be gathered in the Holy Spirit into one great confession of His Name at Pentecost.
I am very glad that we chose this alternative. Seeing how God has worked and seeing how God continues to work is a joy to behold.