Tag Archives: Holy Spirit

Holy Spirit, Ever Living

Christ_the_King_Catholic_Church_(Ann_Arbor,_Michigan)_-_interior,_Holy_Spirit_window

Holy Spirit, ever living
as the Church’s very life;
Holy Spirit, ever striving
through her in a ceaseless strife;
Holy spirit, ever forming
in the Church the mind of Christ;
thee we praise with endless worship
for thy fruits and gifts unpriced.

Holy Spirit, ever working
through the Church’s ministry;
quickening, strengthening and absolving,
setting captive sinners free;
Holy Spirit, ever binding
age to age and soul to soul,
in a fellowship unending
thee we worship and extol.

Words: Timothy Rees (1874-1939)
Tune: ABBOT’S LEIGH, Cyril Vincent Taylor (1907-1991)

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Advent Reflection – 22

Purify our conscience, Almighty God, by your daily visitation, that your Son Jesus Christ, at his coming, may find in us a mansion prepared for himself; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

–Collect for the fourth Sunday of Advent, from the Book of Common Prayer, according to the use of The Episcopal Church, p. 212

Throughout the year, many Christian faith traditions involve seasons of fasting, repentance, or purification. These seasons are meant to simplify our lives, and focus our minds and energies on feeding and nourishing our souls and bodies. Our bodies are sacred creations where God’s love can be born in us, if we welcome that love in. Taking time periodically in your spiritual life to do a bit of “housecleaning” is so very meaningful and important. It enables you to renew your commitment to God, to simplify your spiritual life, and to refocus your energies on listening to the calm, quiet voice of God’s Spirit in your life and your world. Serving God is not easy. Staying focused on God’s word and Spirit is not easy. Don’t forget to periodically do some “housecleaning” so that you can always welcome Christ into your life anew. May this Advent season provide you a time of calm, quiet, and patient waiting as you, once again, invite God’s presence into your life and your home.

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Gloria in Excelsis Deo (William Mathias)

The Gloria in Excelsis is one of the oldest hymns in Christian tradition. Also known as the “Greater Doxology,” its beginnings go back to the 2nd century. Many Christians around the world still recite these words as part of weekly worship, prayer, and devotionals, including Roman Catholics, Anglicans, Orthodox, Lutherans, and many others. Its text has been translated from the original Greek of the New Testament (the opening words are the words spoken by the Angels in Luke 2:14), and many different variants exist. Among all versions, the joyful message is clear: God is to be glorified, Christ died for our sins, and God alone is holy and in unity with Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.

The version I share here (composed by William Mathias) was recorded at Washington National Cathedral on May 5, 2013 during the 11:15 Holy Eucharist.

Click here to listen to the Gloria.

Glory to God in the highest,
And peace to his people on earth.
Lord God, heavenly King,
Almighty God and Father:
We worship you,
We give you thanks,
We praise you for your glory.

Lord Jesus Christ,
Only Son of the Father,
Lord God, Lamb of God:
You take away the sin of the world,
Have mercy on us.
You are seated at the right hand of the Father,
Receive our prayer.

For you alone are the Holy One,
You alone are the Lord,
You alone are the most High:
Jesus Christ with the Holy Spirit,
In the glory of God the Father.
Amen.

A medieval icon depicting the Trinity, painted by Andre Rublev c. 1400.

A medieval icon depicting the Trinity, painted by Andre Rublev c. 1400.

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Wind of God, dynamic Spirit

Wind of God, dynamic Spirit,
breathe upon our hearts today;
that we may your pow’r inherit,
hear us Spirit, as we pray:
Fill the vacuum that enslaves us,
emptiness of mind and soul;
and, through Jesus Christ who saves us,
give us life and make us whole.

Voice of God, prophetic Spirit,
speak to every heart today,
to encourage or prohibit
urging action or delay:
Clear the vagueness which impedes us.
Come, enlighten mind and soul;
and, through Jesus Christ who leads us,
teach the truth that makes us whole.

Fire of God, volcanic Spirit,
burn within our hearts today;
cleanse our sin. May we exhibit
holiness in every way:
Purge the squalidness that shames us,
soils the body, taints the soul;
and, through Jesus Christ who claims us,
purify us, make us whole.

–Words (Acts 2:1-4) Copyright Michael Saward, Jubilate Hymns, Ltd.

Download a photo of the score here.

Sung to the tune Abbot’s Leigh.

Here’s a version of Abbot’s Leigh on organ:

Here’s a version of the tune on piano:

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Eternal Father, strong to save

Eternal Father, strong to save,
whose arm hath bound the restless wave,
who bidd’st the mighty ocean deep
its own appointed limits keep:
O hear us when we cry to thee
for those in peril on the sea.

O Christ, whose voice the waters heard
and hushed their raging at thy word,
who walkedst on the foaming deep,
and calm amid the storm didst sleep;
O hear us when we cry to thee
for those in peril on the sea.

Most Holy Spirit, who didst brood
upon the chaos dark and rude,
and bid its angry tumult cease,
and give, for wild confusion, peace:
O hear us when we cry to thee
for those in peril on the sea.

O Trinity of love and power,
our brethren shield in danger’s hour;
from rock and tempest, fire and foe,
protect them wheresoe’er they go;
thus evermore shall rise to thee
glad hymns of praise from land and sea.

Words: William Whiting, 1860; as revised in Hymns Ancient and Modern, 1861;
Tune: Melita

From the album Favourite Hymns from Westminster Abbey, sung by the Westminster Abbey Choir.

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Holy, Holy, Holy! Lord God Almighty

This hymn is one of my absolute favorites. It is sung to the hymn tune Nicaea, and is one of the most classic hymns ever written. It never gets old, and still sends shivers down my spine when it brings to mind the absolute awesomeness that is God: Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer.

The first version here is a traditional version, sung by the choir of St. Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral in Edinburgh, Scotland (from the album Famous Hymns of Praise).

The second version is a modern interpretation of this classic hymn by Sufjan Stevens, one of my favorite artists (from the album Songs for Christmas).

Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!
Early in the morning our song shall rise to thee.
Holy, holy, holy! Merciful and mighty,
God in three Persons, blessèd Trinity.

Holy, holy, holy! All the saints adore thee,
casting down their golden crowns around the glassy sea;
cherubim and seraphim falling down before thee,
which wert, and art, and evermore shalt be.

Holy, holy, holy! Though the darkness hide thee,
though the eye of sinful man thy glory may not see,
only thou art holy; there is none beside thee,
perfect in power, in love, and purity.

Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!
All thy works shall praise thy Name, in earth, and sky, and sea;
Holy, holy, holy! Merciful and mighty,
God in three Persons, blessèd Trinity.

Words: Reginald Heber (1783-1826)
Tune: Nicaea by John Bacchus Dykes (1823-1876)

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Holy Spirit, Ever Living

Holy Spirit, ever living
As the Church’s very life;
Holy Spirit, ever striving
Through her in a ceaseless strife;
Holy Spirit, ever forming
In the Church the mind of Christ;
Thee we praise with endless worship
For thy fruits and gifts unpriced.

Holy Spirit, ever working
Through the Church’s ministry;
Quick’ning, strength’ning, and absolving,
Setting captive sinners free;
Holy Spirit, ever binding
Age to age and soul to soul
In a fellowship unending,
Thee we worship and extol.

Words: Timothy Rees (1837-1939)
Tune: Abbot’s Leigh, by Cyril V. Taylor (b. 1907)

–From the album Hymns Through the Ages, sung by the Beverly Hills All Saints’ Episcopal Church Choir

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