Sunday, June 15, 2008

O Come, Great Spirit, Come

The Sundays after Pentecost go on for quite a while until we get back to Advent and the beginning of another church year. I've chosen a few favorite themes to fill in these Sundays if there is no other commemoration to be marked. Sometimes I think that hymns of the Holy Spirit get overlooked a bit, but all the ones I know I generally like, so that's going to be one of the possible themes this summer and fall.

Spirit divine, attend our prayers,
And make our hearts thy home;
Descend with all thy gracious powers;
O come, great Spirit, come!

Come as the light; to us reveal
Our emptiness and woe;
And lead us on those paths of life,
Whereon the righteous go.

Come as the fire, and purge our hearts
Like sacrificial flame;
Let our whole souls an offering be
In Love’s redeeming name.

Come as the dew, and sweetly bless
This consecrated hour;
Earth's barren places will rejoice
In thy renewing power.

Come as the dove, and spread thy wings,
The wings of peaceful love;
And let the church on earth become
Blest as thy Church above.

Come as the wind, with rushing sound,
And Pentecostal grace,
That all of humankind may see
The glory of thy face.

Spirit divine, attend our prayer,
Make all this world thy home;
Descend with all thy gracious powers,
O come, great Spirit, come!

Andrew Reed, 1829; alt.
Johann Crüger, 1647

You can't really cut any of the verses here because which of the attributes of the Spirit would you choose to leave out?


Can Bass 1 said...

Not the Andrew Reid currently Organist and Master of the Choristers at Peterborough Cathedral, I take it?

Dorothy said...

I've never seen (or sung) this hymn before but I really like the words! You simply couldn't leave cut any of these verses!

Leland Bryant Ross said...

Minor point of correction: the tune name is spelled Gräfenberg, "Berg"="Mountain", cf. iceberg, not Gräfenburg, "Burg"="Borough, City", cf. Ellensburg. And completely off the subject, the female erogenous zone called the "G-spot" is short for "Gräfenberg spot", named for Ernst, a German gynecologist who shared a name with this tune.

Leland aka Haruo

Leland Bryant Ross said...

So when you say you've "chosen a few favorite themes to fill in these Sundays if there is no other commemoration to be marked" do you make an effort to tie in the lectionary texts (or rather, perhaps, their topics)? Just curious about what factors influence you besides favoritism and feasts. ;)

Leland aka Haruo

C.W.S. said...

I don't usually post hymns connected to specific lectionary passages, because they differ so from church to church, even within the same denomination sometimes. The commemorations I'm speaking of are the usual birthdays of hymnists, which sometimes fall on Sundays, and the (usually Episcopal) calendar of saints found on Wikipedia.

Going back throuh the archives you can see that Sunday postings usually followed the liturgical season, at least, and will again when Advent comes around.