232

Come, Holy Ghost

Scripture References

Confessions and Statements of Faith References

Further Reflections on Confessions and Statements of Faith References

It is difficult to isolate certain confessional themes in each song about the Holy Spirit. Rather, there are several themes that are woven together in nearly all of these songs. The Holy Spirit is identified as one with the Father and the Son in the Holy Trinity; we plead for the coming and indwelling of the Spirit in our lives; the Spirit’s work is evident in creation and in God’s people throughout redemptive history; the Spirit calls and empowers the church for mission; and the Spirit is the source of power, fruit, and hope. These themes are expressed in confessional statements such as these:

  • Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 20, Question and Answer 53 testifies, “…the Spirit, with the Father and the Son, is eternal God.” In addition, the Spirit “makes me share in Christ and all his benefits, comforts me, and will remain with me forever.”
  • Our World Belongs to God has helpful references to these multiple themes of the Spirit’s work and ministry.
    • “Jesus becomes the baptizer, drenching his followers with the Spirit, creating a new community where Father, Son and Spirit make their home” (paragraph 28)
    • “The Spirit renews our hearts and moves us to faith… stands by us in our need and makes our obedience fresh and vibrant” (paragraph 29).
    • “God the Spirit lavishes gifts on the church in astonishing variety…equipping each member to build up the body of Christ and to serve our neighbors.”
    • “The Spirit gathers people from every tongue, tribe and nation into the unity of the body of Christ” (paragraph 30).
    • “Men and women, impelled by the Spirit go next door and far away…pointing to the reign of God with what they do and say” (paragraph 30).  
  •       Our Song of Hope also contributes very clearly regarding the Spirit’s work:
    • “The Holy Spirit speaks through the Scriptures…has inspired Greek and Hebrew words, setting God’s truth in human language, placing God’s teaching in ancient culture, proclaiming the Gospel in the history of the world” (stanza 6).

    •  “The Holy Spirit speaks through the church, measuring its words by the canonical Scriptures…has spoken in the ancient creeds, and in the confessions of the Reformation” (stanza 7).
    • “The Spirit sends [the church] out in ministry to preach good news to the poor, righteousness to the nations, and peace among all people” (stanza 16).
    • “The Holy Spirit builds one church, united in one Lord and one hope, with one ministry around one table” (stanza 17).
    • The Spirit calls all believers in Jesus to respond in worship together, to accept all the gifts from the Spirit, to learn from each other’s traditions, to make unity visible on earth” (stanza 17).

“…The Spirit works at the ends of the world before the church has there spoken a word” (stanza 20).

232

Come, Holy Ghost

Call to Worship

Come, Creator Spirit, and move over this chaotic world.
Come, Creator Spirit, and bring life to this world.
Come, Creator Spirit, and move over the chaos of our lives.
Come, Creator Spirit, and bring us new life. Amen.
[Reformed Worship 35:20]
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Spirit of the living God, visit us again on this day of Pentecost.
Come, Holy Spirit.
Like a rushing wind that sweeps away all barriers,
come, Holy Spirit.
Like tongues of fire that set our hearts aflame,
come, Holy Spirit.
With speech that unites the Babel of our tongues,
come, Holy Spirit.
With love that overlaps the boundaries of race and nation,
come, Holy Spirit.
With power from above to make our weakness strong,
come, Holy Spirit. Amen.
[Reformed Worship 39:32]
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Confession

Our God, we come in humility, confessing who and what we are.
We are often unresponsive, for we are afraid.
When your Spirit speaks, we turn deaf ears,
for we fear what you might call us to do.
When your Spirit touches our lips,
we close our mouths,
embarrassed to speak your Word.
When the wind of your Spirit blows,
we close the windows of our hearts,
afraid the breeze will disrupt our ordered lives.
When the fire of your Spirit touches us,
we quench the flame, afraid of the new life it might bring.
Forgive us, O Lord. Amen.
[Reformed Worship 39:33]
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Assurance

All the promises of God find their “Yes” in Christ.
That is why we utter the “Amen” through him, to the glory of God.
It is God who has put his seal upon us
and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.
In Christ, by the power of the Spirit, we are redeemed.
Praise God, from whom all blessings flow!
—based on 2 Corinthians 1:20-22
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

We trust in God the Holy Spirit,
everywhere the giver and renewer of life.
The Spirit justifies us by grace through faith,
sets us free to accept ourselves and to love God and neighbor,
and binds us together with all believers
in the one body of Christ, the church.
The same Spirit
who inspired the prophets and apostles
rules our faith and life in Christ through Scripture,
engages us through the Word proclaimed,
claims us in the waters of baptism,
feeds us with the bread of life and the cup of salvation,
and calls women and men to all ministries of the church.
In a broken and fearful world
the Spirit gives us courage
to pray without ceasing,
to witness among all peoples to Christ as Lord and Savior,
to unmask idolatries in church and culture,
to hear the voices of peoples long silenced,
and to work with others for justice, freedom, and peace.
In gratitude to God, empowered by the Spirit,
we strive to serve Christ in our daily tasks
and to live holy and joyful lives,
even as we watch for God’s new heaven and new earth,
praying, Come, Lord Jesus!
With believers in every time and place,
we rejoice that nothing in life or in death
can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus, our Lord.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. Amen.
—from A Brief Statement of Faith
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Blessing/Benediction

May the God of hope fill you
with all joy and peace in believing
so that you may abound in hope
by the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
—from Romans 15:13, NRSV
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

May the Holy Spirit fall upon you, encompass you, and support you.
May the Holy Spirit transform you, lead you, and equip you.
May the Holy Spirit give you encouragement, strength, and comfort
to serve and worship our triune God both now and forever. Amen.
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Additional Prayers

Come, Spirit God, Creator blest,
and in our hearts take up your rest;
come with your grace and heavenly aid
to fill the lives which you have made.
O Comforter, to you we cry,
O heavenly gift of God Most High,
O fount of life and spark of love,
anoint us with fire from above.
You bless us with gifts sevenfold,
inspiring Christians to be bold,
for you, the promised breath of God,
help us to speak Christ’s name abroad.
Kindle our senses from above,
and make our hearts o’erflow with love;
with patience firm and virtue high
the weakness of our flesh supply.
Drive far from us the foe we dread,
and grant to us your peace instead;
so shall we not, with you as guide,
turn from the path of life aside.
O Spirit God, through you alone
know we the Father and the Son;
for we confess in ancient creed
that you from both of them proceed.
Praise to the Father and the Son
and Holy Spirit with them one;
to whom all honor, glory be
for now and for eternity. Amen.
—based on “Veni Creator Spiritus”; the entire text may be sung to OLD HUNDRETH or other LM [Long Meter] tunes,
identified in most hymnals in a metrical tune index.
[The Worship Sourcebook]
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Gracious God, your Holy Spirit hovered over the waters at creation.
You made a world that was breathtaking and life-giving.
Sin invaded this world and shattered it.
Pollution, disease, and natural disasters plague our world.
God, our provider, heal the sick, give peace to the dying,
shelter the homeless, and protect the vulnerable.
With your Holy Spirit, renew your creation.
When you formed humanity, you breathed your spirit into us.
You walked in the garden. You wanted fellowship with us.
Our sin separated us from you, so we live in a world of pain and hurt.
Some are hungry. Some are lonely. Some are empty.
Almighty God, giver of strength, feed the hungry, quench the thirsty,
support the orphans, uplift the depressed, and free the downtrodden.
With your Holy Spirit, point us to new life in Christ.
You called a people to be your own and to be a light to the world.
Throughout the world your church suffers.
Some are mocked for professing your name. Some are killed for praying to you.
Some pursue personal preferences rather than loving unity.
God, our refuge, shield from harm those who love you,
surround us with your mercy, and gird your church with the fruit of your Spirit.
With your Holy Spirit, empower your church to witness to your glory.
Through the grace of Jesus Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit we pray.
Amen.
[The Worship Sourcebook]
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two
232

Come, Holy Ghost

Tune Information

Name
BE NOT AFRAID
Key
F Major
Meter
8.8.8.8.8 refrain 4.8.4.8

Recordings

232

Come, Holy Ghost

Hymn Story/Background

I wrote this hymn while visiting my parents home in Virginia shortly after Easter in 2005. I was thumbing through their Methodist hymnal and starting working through the text ‘Come Holy Ghost’ as a potential anthem for Pentecost Sunday coming up. Satisfied with the tune I had written I shared it with one of my worship leaders at Redeemer Presbyterian (Indianapolis) where I was leading music at the time. Ray Mills quickly composed a chorus to fit my verses and we shared it as special music. It was so well received that it eventually became a congregational favorite. The song has now gone on to be enjoyed by a number of congregations in the US and abroad. 
— Bruce Benedict

Author Information

Rabanus (or Hrabanus or Reabanus) Maurus (b. Mainz, circa 776; d. Winkel on the Rhine, February 4, 856), son of one Ruthard, was born probably at Mainz, about 776. At an early age he was sent to the Monastery of Fulda to receive a religious education. In 801 he was ordained Deacon, and the following year he went to the monastic school of St. Martin at Tours to study under Alcuin, a celebrated teacher of that time, who pave to Hrabanus the name of Maurus to which Hrabanus added Magnentius. On his return to Fulda in 804 he became the head of the school connected with the Monastery. Towards him Ratgar the abbot showed great unkindness, which arose mainly from the fact that Ratgar demanded the students to build additions to the monastery, whilst Hrabanus required them at the same time for study. Hrabanus had to retire for a season, but Ratgar's deposition by Ludwig the Pious, in 817, opened up the way for his return, and the reopening of the school In the meantime, in 814, he had been raised to the Priesthood. Egil, who succeeded Ratgar as abbot, died in 822, and Hrabanus was appointed in his stead. This post he held for some time, until driven forth by some of the community. In 847, on the death of Archbishop Otgar, Ludwig the younger, with whom Hrabanus had sided in his demand for German independence as against the imperialism of his elder brother Lothar, rewarded him with the Archbishopric of Mainz, then the metropolitan see of Germany. He held this appointment to his death. He was buried first in St. Alban's, Mainz, and then, during the early days of the Reformation, in St. Maurice, Halle, possibly because of the opposition he is known to have made to the doctrine of Transubstantiation.
 
With German historians Hrabanus is regarded as the father of the modern system of education in that country. His prose works were somewhat numerous, but the hymns with which his name is associated are few. We have the "Christe sanctorum decus Angelorum”; “Tibi Christe, splendor Patris”; and the "Veni Creator Spiritus”; but recent research convinces us that the ascription in each case is very doubtful; and none are received as by Hrabanus in Professor Dümmler's edition of the Carmina of Hrabanus in the Poetae Latini aevi Carolini, vol. ii. 1884. Dümmler omits them even from the "hymns of uncertain origin."
— John Julian Dictionary of Hymnology

Author and Composer Information

Bruce Benedict is currently a ThD Student at Duke Divinity. Previously he was the Worship and Community Life Director at Christ the King Presbyterian in Raleigh, NC. From 2007-2009 he and his wife lived in London, England and helped plant Camden Town Church with the International Presbyterian Church (IPC). From 2003-2007 he was the Worship-Arts Director at Redeemer Presbyterian in Indianapolis, IN. He graduated with an M.Div from Reformed Theological Seminary in 2003. He is a graduate of James Madison University and a Harrisonburg ‘townee. His wife PJ is a local performance/theatre artist and mother to their current foster child.
— Bruce Benedict

Arranger: Diane Dykgraaf was born into a hymn-singing family, and by age 10 was accompanying her school choir. She studied music and organ at Calvin College. Along with raising 5 children and teaching piano and organ, she led the music ministry in her church in Kentwood, MI. She has a love for traditional hymns, gospel music, and contemporary Christian music—anything that helps us worship. She assisted editor, Joyce Borger, and the editorial team for Lift Up Your Hearts, and did much of the copyright work for the hymnal. Her passions are music, serving the church, and engaging with the next generation in song, scripture, and prayer. 
— Diane Dykgraaf
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