Come, Holy Ghost

This morning in our worship service, I opened my leaflet and got all giddy for an 9th century hymn we were singing. (Of course, translated into English and given a modern melody in 2005). I’ve only learned of “Come, Holy Ghost” since we began worshiping at City Church, but I can never get enough of it. Its chorus is everything a weak-faithed, self obsessed, anxious mother needs to hear the Lord sing to her on a Sunday morning.

The chorus says: Be not afraid, where you go there I am with you.

It says it over and over so that by the time I’m done singing the haunting melody, I’ve heard God remind me that I’m not alone eight times. That’s almost enough times for me to believe it. Thankfully, the hymn never seems to leave my head all day once we’ve sung it, so I’ve actually been hearing the truth of it all day long. And maybe that means by the time I fall asleep tonight, I’ll be braver and calmer and prayerful.

What I didn’t know until I did a little research this afternoon is that its author, Rabanus Maurus, was a 9th century Benedictine monk. (I knew I loved those guys.)  He lived from 776-856 and the hymn, “Veni, Creator Spirtus,” was written sometime around 800. After he took his vows, he went to study theology, eventually becoming a beloved teacher and then head master a monastic school in Fulda. He later became an abbot. He wrote plenty, mostly commentaries, but some poetry. And this hymn is probably his greatest known poem.

Listen to Bruce Benedict and Ray Mill’s version of the hymn here. (I can’t find an easier link. So you’ll have to click on track 12.)

Come, Holy Ghost

Come, Holy Ghost, Creator blest,
And in our souls take up thy rest;
Come with thy grace and heavenly aid
To fill the hearts which thou has made.

Be not afraid, where you go there I am with you.
Be not afraid, where you go there I am with you
.

O Comforter, to thee we cry,
Thou heavenly gift of God Most High,
Thou fount of life and fire of love,
And sweet anointing from above.

Be not afraid, where you go there I am with you.
Be not afraid, where you go there I am with you.

O Holy Ghost, thorough thee alone,
Know we the Father and the Son;
Be this our firm, unchanging creed,
That thou dost from them both proceed.

Be not afraid, where you go there I am with you.
Be not afraid, where you go there I am with you.

Praise we the Lord, Father and Son,
And Holy Spirit with them one;
And may the Son on us bestow
All gifts that from the Spirit flow,

Be not afraid, where you go there I am with you.
Be not afraid, where you go there I am with you.

  • http://www.cardiphonia.com cardiphonia

    thanks for the link! you can download an mp3 here.
    -
    http://cardiphonia.org/2009/07/23/trinitarian-worship-music/
    -
    bruce
    cardiphonia

  • http://burned-memories.blogspot.com Rachel

    Hello,

    Really old post for you, but I was searching for the lyrics to this song and couldn’t remember the title and Google search lead me here. I think it’s hysterical because you’re post reminded me that the reason it was stuck in my head was from City Church. I go to school in Chicago right now, but I live in SF and was a huge part of YUTES in High School.

    This is getting a tad long, but I looked at some of your other posts and I like your writing style. Feel free to check out my blog, I know I’ll be coming back to read yours. :)

  • Gracie

    Old post, but thank goodness for Google!

    Thank you for posting the words to the song and sharing your research. I love this song! And as you stated, the words and the tune haunt you once you hear it. What a wonderful reminder to us how great our God is. It goes to show also how timeless and much we still need hymns in our lives! Even though this song (as you blogged) started out as a poem, it remains timeless and fills all needs at all times… for the new and searching to the longtime believer! Thank you for your research and for sharing!


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X