Sunday, June 12, 2011

Pentecost 2011

Today is Pentecost, and many worshipers at the 10:30 service wore red. From the chancel, in fact, one looked out on a sea of red. Appropriately, all the hymns were about the Church and the Holy Spirit:
  • “Hail thee, festival day!” (Hymnal 225)
  • “Come down, O Love divine” (Hymnal 516, to the lovely tune Down Ampney, by Ralph Vaughn Williams)
  • “The Church’s one foundation” (Hymnal 525, though, unfortunately, only the first two verses)
  • “O Holy Spirit, by whose breath” (Hymnal 501)
  • “Holy Spirit, ever living” (Hymnal 511)
“O Holy Spirit, by whose breath” was sung as a communion hymn. It was new to me, to the choir, and, likely, to the congregation. Unfortunately, we did not sing all of this hymn either. Both the words and music are exquisite. The words are an English paraphrase of Veni Creator Spiritus. The music is from the sixteenth century. Here is the hymn as it appears in our hymnal:

Hymn 501
The tune, played using slightly different rhythm, can be played blow.
If you find it difficult to appreciate the poetry from the hymnal page, you can read the words alone here.

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