Pentecost marks the end of the season of Easter as the promised Spirit is poured out on the Church. This is the seal of the New Covenant—the presence of the Lord descends on His people just as the pillar of fire descended on the tabernacle and the temple on the Holist of Holies. With the veil of the temple torn in two at the death of Christ, the access to God—the mercy seat and the symbols of the sacraments—is bestowed on the Church who is now collectively the temple of the Holy Spirit. Pentecost is effectively the birthday of the Church.
It is difficult to find songs about the Holy Spirit or the Trinity that speak clearly about the biblically defined role of the Spirit. Following are a few potential hymns and songs:
Holy Spirit, Living Breath of God
Text ad Music: Keith Getty and Stuart Townend, 2006.
“Holy Spirit, living Breath of God, Breathe new life into my willing soul.
Bring the presence of the risen Lord to renew my heart and make me whole.”
Come, Thou Almighty King
Text: Anonymous, 1757; Music: TRINITY, Felice de Giardini, 1769.
“Come, Holy Comforter, Thy sacred witness bear in this glad hour.
Thou Who almighty art, now rule in every heart,
And ne’er from us depart, Spirit of power!”
Come Down, O Love Divine
Text: Bianco da Siena, d. 1434, Tr Richard Littledale, 1867;
Music: DOWN AMPNEY, Ralph Vaughan Williams, 1906.
“Come down, O Love divine!
seek out this soul of mine
and visit it with your own ardour glowing;
O Comforter, draw near,
within my heart appear,
and kindle it, your holy flame bestowing.”
Holy God We Praise Your Name
Text: Based on Te Deum, 4th c., Attr Ignace Franz, 1774;
Music: GROSER GOTT, Katholisches Gesangbuch, 1774.
“Holy Father, holy Son,
Holy Spirit, three we name you,
Though in essence only one;
Undivided God we claim you
And, adoring, bend the knee
While we own the mystery.”
O God, the Holy Spirit
Text and Music: David L. Ward, 2006.
“…my Comforter and Teacher, be merciful to me.
You hovered over chaos the land and sea to part
So manifest Your power to calm my restless heart.”
“O God the Holy Spirit, put Jesus on display;
remind me how my Savior took all my guilt away.
My sins were all forgiven and satisfaction made,
Atonement was completed, my captive soul was saved.”
Breathe on Me, Breath of God
Text: Edwin Hatch, 1878, Music: TRENTHAM, Robert Jackson, 1888
There is a Redeemer
Text and Music: Melody Green-Sievright, 1982
“Thank you, O my Father, for giving us Your Son,
And leaving Your Spirit till the work on earth is done.”
Gregory Wilbur is Chief Musician at Cornerstone Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Franklin, TN where he also serves as a Ruling Elder. In addition to his work at the church, Greg serves as Dean and Senior Fellow of New College Franklin—a Christian liberal arts college that he helped to start.His music for congregational worship can be found at www.wilburmusic.com.