Come, Holy Ghost

Oh dear, I’m afraid this is my second re-post in one week. But I’ve decided to have grace with myself because this week has been a little less tidy than others. Last night, after a wonderful week in Amarillo with my family, I flew home with the boys and got in late. We are tired from traveling and thankful for Chris and home. I wrote this post almost two years ago but I still hummed the words of this hymn to myself on and off the big airplane full of people who huffed and sighed at the sight of a woman walking on board with two kids in hand. “Be not afraid. Where you go, there I am with you.”  

* * *

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 hath 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.



CLOSE | X

HIDE | X