We don't often ask for money. Just twice a year. This is one of those times. 

So, please, before you hit the "close" button on this box, would you consider a donation to keep Hymnary.org going? 

In April 2020, according to Google Analytics, our Hymnary website had roughly 1.5 million sessions from approximately 1 million users. Both numbers were up 40% from April 2019. Amazing. And what a blessing! But it is expensive to serve all of these people -- worship leaders, hymnologists, hymn lovers and more -- people like you who love hymns.

And we have limited sources of revenue. This fund drive is one critical source. 

So if you benefit from Hymnary.org, would you please consider a donation today? Even small amounts help, and they also let us know you're behind us and support what we do. 

You can make your tax-deductible contribution by sending a check to Hymnary.org at 3201 Burton SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546, or you can click the Donate button below. 

On behalf of the entire Hymnary.org team,
Harry Plantinga


Spirit of God, Unleashed on Earth

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).


Spirit of God, Unleashed on Earth

Call to Worship

God of life,
as we prepare for worship today,
help us not to take lightly the highly charged message we proclaim.
Help us sense the power, beauty, and mission of your Spirit.
Through Christ, our Lord, Amen.
[The Worship Sourcebook]
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two


The Holy Spirit builds one church,
united in one Lord and one hope,
with one ministry around one table.
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.
—from Our Song of Hope, st. 17
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two


The Holy Spirit sends the church
to call sinners to repentance,
to proclaim the good news
that Jesus is personal Savior and Lord.
The Spirit sends us out in ministry
to preach good news to the poor,
righteousness to the nations,
and peace among all people. Amen.
—from Our Song of Hope, st. 16
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

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

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

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.
[The Worship Sourcebook]
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Spirit of God, Unleashed on Earth

Tune Information

C Major



Spirit of God, Unleashed on Earth

Hymn Story/Background

TRURO is an anonymous tune, first published in Thomas Williams's Psalmodia Evangelica, (second vol., 1789) as a setting for Isaac Watts' "Now to the Lord a noble song." Virtually nothing is known about this eighteenth-century British editor of the two-volume Psalmodia Evangelica, a collection of three-part psalm and hymn tunes for "Churches, Chapels, and Dissenting Meetings in England, Scotland, and Ireland." The tune is named for an ancient city in Cornwall, England, famous for its cathedral and for its pottery.
Sing the outer stanzas in unison, the middle ones in harmony. This tune needs brisk accompaniment and would be enhanced by brass instruments.
— Bert Polman

Author Information

John W. Arthur (b. Mankato, Minnesota, 1922; d. 1980) was born in Mankato, Minnesota. He was educated at Gustavus Adolphus College (B.A., B.Mus. 1944), Augustana Seminary (B .D.), Western Theological Seminary (now Pittsburgh Theological Seminary) Th.M. 1949). Arthur was ordained into the Lutheran ministry (1946) and served several pastorates. He was a campus minister and administrator for campus ministries in California after which he taught liturgics and was director of worship at Lutheran School of Theology, Chicago (1967-1970). His final pastorate was in Palo Alto, California (1970-1976), from which he retired because of ill health.

Arthur served on the Inter-Lutheran Commission on Worship, the Committee, on Common Texts, the Liturgical Conference, and the board of directors of the Center for Contemporary Celebration, and was on the worship committee of the Illinois Synod of the Lutheran Church in America. He wrote several books on worship.
— The Presbyterian Hymnal Companion, 1993
Hymnary.org does not have a score for this hymn.
Suggestions or corrections? Contact us


It looks like you are using an ad-blocker. Ad revenue helps keep us running. Please consider white-listing Hymnary.org or subscribing to eliminate ads entirely and help support Hymnary.org.