Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from Heaven and filled the whole house. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak with other tongues.@Acts 2:2-4

John A. Dalles, 1983.

The text was written in 1983 for a worship service of the Wabash Valley Presbytery (Northern Indiana). At that time, I was serving on a Worship Task Force of the Presbytery. Other members of the Task Force were not satisfied with the selection of Pentecost hymns available to them. So, David Eicher (later, president of the Presbyterian Association of Musicians) and Rev. Carol McDonald said to me, John, you like to work with words; why don’t you write a new hymn text for Pentecost for us? Like the bumblebee that did not know he was not supposed to fly, I agreed, went home, and did just that. I wrote the text with Sir Arthur Sullivan’s hymn tune ST KEVIN in my head, because I am a long time admirer of his musical genius. Come O Spirit is opus one—my first hymn text.

St. Kevin Arthur S. Sullivan, 1872 (🔊 pdf nwc).

portrait
Arthur S. Sullivan (1842-1900)

Come, O Spirit, with Your sound
Like a wind, quick rushing;
Come from heaven and stir our hearts,
Each disciple touching!
Mold our actions to Your will,
You our service giving;
Move within our fellowship,
Transform now our living!

Come, O Spirit, with Your flame,
Leaping tongues of fire;
Come, and with Your glorious light
All our thoughts inspire!
Rest upon each servant’s head
Till each one is speaking
Of our Christ, the Holy One
All the earth is seeking.

Come, O Spirit, fill Your church,
Making strong our mission;
Fill Your daughters and your sons
With a mighty vision,
Till the great and glorious day
When the whole creation
Sings Your praise as Lord and King,
Giver of salvation!