O Breath of Life

Representative Text

1 O Breath of life, come sweeping through us,
revive your church with life and power.
O Breath of life, come, cleanse, renew us;
and fit your church to meet this hour.

2 O Wind of God, come bend us, break us,
till humbly we confess our need.
Then in your tenderness remake us;
revive, restore, for this we plead.

3 O Breath of love, come breathe within us,
renewing thought and will and heart.
Come, love of Christ, afresh to win us;
Revive your church in every part.

Source: Worship and Song #3146

Author: Bessie Porter Head

[Elizabeth Ann Porter Head] Head, Elizabeth Ann (`Bessie'; née Porter) b. Belfast: 1850 d. Wimbledon, Surrey: 28 June 1936 She was the youngest daughter of Tobias Porter, manager of John Alexander's flour mill in Belfast. Of her early life nothing is known; but in 1894 she became secretary of the YWCA in Swansea. She then served with the South Africa General Mission from 1897-1907, mostly in Port Elizabeth, Cape Town and Johannesburg, helping to found several branches of the YWCA. With the chairman of the Mission and a fellow missionary she toured North America in 1906-7; her intended return to South Africa in November 1907 was cancelled in favour of marriage, on 17 December, to the chairman, Albert Alfred Head (1844-192… Go to person page >



The name SPIRITUS VITAE derives from the Latin translation of Bessie P. Head's text "O Breath of Life, " for which Mary Jane Hammond (b. England, 1878; d. St. Albans, Hertfordshire, England, 1964) composed the tune around 1914. That text and SPIRITUS VITAE were first published in Heavenly Places and…

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The Cyber Hymnal #4704
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Worship and Rejoice #328


Instances (1 - 37 of 37)

Australian Hymn Book #322

Baptist Hymnal 1975 #d282

TextPage Scan

Chalice Hymnal #250

Choir Favorites. Volume 4 #d23

Christian Praise #d238

Church Family Worship #464

Church Hymnal, Fifth Edition #305


Church Hymnary (4th ed.) #595


Complete Anglican Hymns Old and New #476

Complete Mission Praise #488

Favorites Number 8: A Collection of Gospel Songs #61

Great Hymns of the Faith #170

Hymnal of the Church of God #471

Hymns and Psalms: a Methodist and ecumenical hymn book #777

TextPage Scan

Hymns for the Living Church #196


Hymns for Today's Church (2nd ed.) #237

Hymns Old and New: New Anglican #356


Praise! Our Songs and Hymns #88


Revival Hymns and Choruses #233

TextPage Scan

Sing Joyfully #152

Singing the Faith #391


Small Church Music #7027

The Australian Hymn Book with Catholic Supplement #322

The Book of Praise #266

The Covenant Hymnal: a worshipbook #599


The Cyber Hymnal #4704

TextPage Scan

The Hymnal for Worship and Celebration #291

The Hymnal of the Evangelical Mission Covenant Church of America #d334


The United Methodist Hymnal #543

The United Methodist Hymnal Music Supplement #44

TextPage Scan

The Worshiping Church #299


Together in Song: Australian hymn book II #409

TextPage Scan

Trinity Hymnal (Rev. ed.) #341


Voices United: The Hymn and Worship Book of The United Church of Canada #202

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Worship and Rejoice #328


Worship and Service Hymnal: For Church, School, and Home #92


Worship and Song #3146

Exclude 13 pre-1979 instances
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