Soplo de Dios (O Living Breath)

Scripture References

Thematically related:

Further Reflections on Scripture References

Stanza 1 (“the wind at the beginning upon the waters”) sends us to Genesis 1:2.

Stanza 2 sings of the Breath of God “by whose power the Son came to brith….”, a clear reference to Luke 1:34-35.

Stanza 3 recalls the Breath of God “bearing us to life through baptismal waters” and we are led to reference Ezekiel 37:1-14, John 3:8 and Romans 6:3-4.

When the Refrain sings of the Spirit who pours out “gifts abundant”, we recall Paul’s words particularly in I Corinthians 12:1-11. 

Confessions and Statements of Faith References

Further Reflections on Confessions and Statements of Faith References

This beautiful prayer for the Holy Spirit to come and pour out his gifts has three foci: creation, the Son, and through baptismal waters.


In stanza 1 the Spirit brings creation to birth, a prayer that is supported by Our World Belongs to God, paragraph 8, where the Spirit also was involved in calling “this world into being out of nothing and giving it shape and order.”


In stanza 2, the Spirit brings the Son to birth among us, a prayer that is supported by Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 14, Question and Answer 35, which testifies that the conception and birth of Jesus Christ happened “through the working of the Holy Spirit.”


And in stanza 3, the Spirit’s work is seen in “bearing us to life through baptismal waters,” a prayer that also appears in Belgic Confession, Article 34 when it teaches that just as water washes away the dirt of the body, “so too the blood of Christ does the same thing internally, in the soul, by the Holy Spirit.”


Soplo de Dios (O Living Breath)

Call to Worship

How magnificent for us to ponder, triune God of grace,
how your Word spoke creation into being,
how your Spirit breathed life into every living creature.
Receive now our praise in concert
with the symphony of praise
and saints and angels in heaven—
all offered through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Words of Praise

We gather in your presence, King of the universe,
to acclaim your great salvation.
You have done marvelous things.
You rescued your people from sin and death,
through the mighty work of Jesus, your Son.
You send missionaries to the ends of the earth.
You raise up prophets to witness to justice.
You reveal your righteousness to the nations.
Send forth your Spirit, Lord;
renew the face of the earth.
The whole earth rejoices.
Waves crash over waves in echoes of praise.
Rivers proclaim your goodness as they cascade against their beds.
Mountains, standing together as a chorus, declare your faithfulness.
Wind whispering through the leaves makes music to you.
Creatures of all shapes and sizes join in the song.
Into this glorious harmony
send forth your Spirit, Lord;
renew the face of the earth.
We too raise our voices, almighty God.
With all the earth, we shout for joy.
We burst into jubilant song
for the marvelous things you have done.
For your faithfulness, for your love, for your salvation,
for the promise of your return in glory,
we make music to you, our Lord and King.
While we wait for your coming,
send forth your Spirit, Lord;
renew the face of the earth. Amen.
—based on Psalm 98; 104:30
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Additional Prayers

A Petitionary Prayer
Living Breath of God, you who brooded over the waters at creation,
come now, and fill our spirits.
Living Breath of God, you who conceived Jesus by the Virgin Mary,
pour out your gifts abundant.
Living Breath of God, you who groan for the redemption of the whole creation,
breathe in us, we pray, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
— Cornelius Plantinga, Jr.

Lord God,
at the beginning of time your Spirit moved over the waters.
So send your Spirit to us now to open our hearts and minds
to receive the re-creating power of your Word.
Through Christ, Amen.
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Soplo de Dios (O Living Breath)

Tune Information

e minor
Meter refrain

Soplo de Dios (O Living Breath)

Hymn Story/Background

This hymn on the work of the Holy Spirit combines a text from Argentina with a popular folk tune from Scandinavia. The combination was first published in 1983 in Spanish only in Cancionero Abierto, Vol. 4 by the Instituto Superior Evangelico de Estudios Teologicos (ISEDET). It was published again with English translation in Libro de Liturgia y Cántico (1998), developed by and recommended for use in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. 
— Emily Brink

Author Information

Osvaldo Catena (b. 1920; d. 1986) was an Argentinian priest and composer. Showing an early interest in music, he entered the Metropolitan Seminary in Santa Fe, Argentia, where he learned multiple instruments and studied for ordination. He was ordained as a priest in 1943. He started the first School of Sacred Music in Santa Fe, and in 1950 organized the first University Choir. He was soon appointed chaplain at the College of Our Lady of Calvary, but moved his ministry to the poor, harsh areas of Santa Fe, in what he named Villa Prak, “the triangle” outlined by railroad tracks, garbage dumps, and caves near the Rio Saldo. He termed this area Villa Park. He spent much of his life in this area, working to develop the area and provide fellowship and guidance for those living there in a time of turmoil and violence, during the military dictatorship in Argentia (1976-1983). 
— Laura de Jong

Gerhard Cartford (b. Madagascar, 1923) was educated in the United States and became an influential Lutheran church musician, writer, and professor of music and liturgics (Texas Lutheran College and Luther-Northwestern Seminary, St. Paul, Minnesota). As a Fulbright scholar he studied folk music and hymnody and lived for many years in South America. 

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