Hymn for Lent (Day 21): Holy Ghost, my Comforter

This one’s from the Gospel appointed for today’s feast commemorating Gregory of Nyssa. I considered some other hymns, but I settled on this one because I think we Anglicans pay too little heed to the Holy Spirit. Perhaps this will get you thinking about the third person of the Holy Trinity.

Holy Ghost, my Comforter,
Now from highest Heaven appear,
Shed Thy gracious radiance here.

Thou the heart’s most precious Guest,
Thou of comforters the best,
Give to us, o’erladen, rest.

Blessèd Sun of grace, o’er all
Faithful hearts who on Thee call
Let Thy light and solace fall.

What without Thy aid is wrought,
Skillful deed or wisest thought,
God will count but vain and naught.

Cleanse us, Lord, from sinful stain,
On the parchèd spirit rain,
Heal the wounded of its pain.

Bend the stubborn will to Thine,
Melt the cold with fire divine,
Erring hearts to right incline.

Grant us, Lord, who cry to Thee,
Steadfast in the faith to be,
Give Thy gift of charity.

May we live in holiness,
And in death find happiness,
And abide with Thee in bliss!

Words: Possibly by Innocent III (Veni Sancte Spiritus, Et emitte coelitus). Translated from Latin to German by Christian C. J. Bunsen, Versuch eines all gemein en evangelischen Gesang- und Gebetbuchs, 1833; trans­lated from German to English by Catherine Winkworth, Lyra Germanica, second edition, 1856.

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