Sunday, June 2, 2013

To Do and to Endure

This Sunday begins the long journey to the end of the church year, with few particular commemorations or feast days falling on a Sunday until late November.  The Sundays after Pentecost do go on a bit.

As in previous years I am thinking about a few different themes to explore in hymns for this period, some new, some not.  I always think that hymna of the Holy Spirit are approprioiate for this time, as they are sometimes overlooked during the earlier part of the church year as the life of Christ is explored.

Breathe on me, Breath of God,
Fill me with life anew,
That I may love what thou dost love,
And do what thou wouldst do.

Breathe on me, Breath of God,
Until my heart is pure,
Until with thee I will one will,
To do and to endure.

Breathe on me, Breath of God,
Till I am wholly thine,
Until this earthly part of me
Glows with thy fire divine.

Breathe on me, Breath of God,
So shall I never die,
But live with thee the perfect life
Of thine eternity.

Edwin Hatch, 1878
Robert Jackson, 1888

Edwin Hatch was ordiained in the Church of England and also spent time in Canada.  Some of his hymns and poetry were published after his death in 1889 as Towards Fields of Light (1890).  This pariuclar hymn remains in several hymnals today.

Of course, new hymns of the Holy Spirit are still being written and sung today.  One of these  more modern texts was introduced to my own church at last week's Thursday Celtic Eucharist service, Soaring Spirit, set us free by Carl P. Daw.  You can find it at the Hope Publishing Company website.

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