Praise the Spirit in Creation

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).


Praise the Spirit in Creation

Words of Praise

Blessed be our God at all times,
now and always and forever and ever. Amen.
Glory to you, our God! Glory to you!
Holy Spirit, Lord and Comforter,
Spirit of truth everywhere present, filling all that exists,
treasury of good gifts and source of life, come and dwell in us;
cleanse us from all sin and in your love bring us to salvation:
God, holy; God, strong and holy;
God, holy and immortal; have pity on us. Amen.
[ecumenical prayer from France]
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

How right and fitting it is, almighty and loving God,
to give you all thanks and praise.
We bless you in this day of celebration and hope
for the gift of your Spirit.
In the beginning your Spirit moved over the face of the waters,
bringing forth light and life.
Throughout history your Spirit moved over the world you love,
renewing the face of the earth.
In the fullness of time, you sent your Spirit-filled Son
to be our Savior, full of grace and truth.
Then you sent the Spirit of your Son into our hearts,
teaching us to pray to you as your adopted children.
With gratitude and delight, we savor these lavish gifts,
confident that your Spirit is the first fruit of the age to come,
where we will join, with undivided hearts, all your saints and angels
who forever sing your praise: [conclude with“Holy, Holy, Holy” or another song of praise.]
[The Worship Sourcebook]


Reader 1: “Lord God, we hear your Word today:
Reader 2: “When the day of Pentecost came, they were together in one place,
and those disciples heard a violent wind and saw tongues of fire upon each of them.
Filled with the Holy Spirit, they spoke in strange tongues,
and the people around them thought they were drunk!
But Peter quieted the crowd,
reminding them of the prophet Joel’s words from long ago,
that our God would pour out his Spirit,
and that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
Reader 1: “So now too, Lord, may we, your people,
speak your name and trust your Spirit;
may we see your Son at your right hand and not be shaken.
With glad hearts and rejoicing tongues, may we call upon your name.”
—based on Acts 2
[The Worship Sourcebook]
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Additional Prayers

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

Loving God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
we thank and praise you for raising Jesus from the dead,
the firstfruits of your new creation,
and for sending your Spirit, that we too
may have new life in Christ.
Thank you for giving us your Spirit.
We thank and praise you
for the power and promise of your Holy Spirit
to lead and guide us in all our ways.
Help us live in accordance with your Spirit,
setting our minds on what the Spirit desires,
so that we may be joyfully alive in Christ.
Thank you for giving us your Spirit.
We thank and praise you that the Spirit testifies to us
that we are your children and that through the Spirit
we can approach you in confidence as our compassionate Father.
Thank you that as co-heirs with Christ, we will share in his glory.
Comfort us with the knowledge that your Spirit also helps us in our weakness
and intercedes for us according to your will.
Thank you for giving us your Spirit.
In the name of Jesus Christ,
who lives and reigns with you and the Spirit,
one God, now and forever, Amen.
[The Worship Sourcebook]
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Grant us, Lord, the spirit of wisdom and insight,
the spirit of counsel and power,
the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord;
to make us quick in understanding and true in judgment,
according to the example of Christ and by his grace. Amen.
—based on Isaiah 11:2
[The Worship Sourcebook]
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Lord of heaven and earth,
may these words from long ago,
fulfilled by your Son, our Savior,
be once again made present in us today
by the power and persuasion of your Spirit,
and may we live in the assurance they provide. Amen.
[The Worship Sourcebook]
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

May the Word of God this morning
burn in our minds, our wills, our feelings,
as we sense the light and heat of your presence in that Word.
Speak to us, O burning power of God! Amen.
[Reformed Worship 31:4]
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Eternal God, our Father, you are the source of our being,
the breath of our life, and the joy of our living.
We know that you delight in the worship of your children
and that you eagerly send your Holy Spirit upon us.
As your Spirit came upon your people of old,
giving them understanding and the knowledge of truth,
so send your Spirit today,
that we may speak in words not taught by human wisdom,
but taught by the Spirit.
Your Spirit came upon the prophets.
You sent your Spirit to your Son and your church,
giving them each power and wisdom to follow your ways,
speak your truth, and accomplish your purposes.
So grant us your Spirit with all fruit and equipping gifts,
that we may reflect your glory
and the world might believe,
for the honor of your holy name. Amen.
[The Worship Sourcebook]
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Praise the Spirit in Creation

Tune Information

F Major

Praise the Spirit in Creation

Hymn Story/Background

David Hurd composed the tune JULION in 1974; it was first published in The David Hurd Hymnary (1983), a collection of Twenty-Nine New Hymntunes with various texts for Congregation, Choir and Organ. The tune there included an organ introduction and conclusion, as well as a choral descant. In the introduction to that volume, he wrote that this was one of the “generic” tunes in the collection, by which he meant that he composed the tune first, and later paired it with a text. He suggested that “This tune is best accompanied with rich foundation tone (8’s and 4’s) with, perhaps, the addition of a touch of reed color in the spirit of Franck’s obblicatory oboe. If not several sopranos, a soprano soloist may sing the descant to good effect.”
David Hurd later suggested pairing JULION with “Praise the Spirit in Creation,” written by Michael Hewlitt as a processional hymn for Pentecost Sunday. The combination of this text and tune was included in the Episcopal Hymnal 1982 and in many hymnals since. 
— Emily Brink

Author Information

Michael Edward Hewlett (b. 1916; d. 2000) was ordained in England as an Anglican priest in 1949, and served several parishes as curate, vicar, or parish priest. For most of his career he was vicar in the diocese of Exeter. He was author of about seventy hymn texts and contributed to many hymnals in the UK and North America. 
— Emily Brink

Composer Information

David Hurd (b. Brooklyn, New York, 1950) was a boy soprano at St. Gabriel's Church in Hollis, Long Island, New York. Educated at Oberlin College and the University of North Carolina, he has been professor of church music and organist at General Theological Seminary in New York since 1976. In 1985 he also became director of music for All Saints Episcopal Church, New York. Hurd is an outstanding recitalist and improvisor and a composer of organ, choral, and instrumental music. 
— Bert Polman

In 1987 David Hurd was awarded the degree of Doctor of Music, honoris causa, by the Berkeley Divinity School at Yale. The following year he received honorary doctorates from the Church Divinity School of the Pacific, Berkeley, California, and from Seabury-Western Theological Seminary, Evanston, Illinois. His I Sing As I Arise Today, the collected hymn tunes of David Hurd, was published in 2010.
— Emily Brink

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