Scripture Verse

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


Words: John A. Dalles, 1983.

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

Alternate Tune:

  • Boundless Mer­cy, folk hymn, in the Un­ion Har­mo­ny or Un­i­ver­sal Col­lec­tion of Sac­red Mu­sic, by Ol­iv­er Hol­den (Bos­ton, Mas­sa­chu­setts: 1793) (🔊 pdf nwc)
Arthur S. Sullivan

Origin of the Hymn

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.

John Dalles


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!