The Feast of Pentecost (06/09)

Within the liturgy for each Lord’s day, we receive the Word of God through uniquely appointed readings, psalms, hymns, and prayers. This week we will pray the Divine Service Setting One (audio of this liturgy). The following guide will help you to prepare to hear and sing the Propers, i.e. the varied texts and hymns for this week.

The Holy Spirit Gives Peace Following the flood, Noah’s descendants failed to spread out and fill the earth as God had spoken. Rather, they exalted themselves; with “one language and the same words” (Gen. 11:1) they spoke proudly and arrogantly. The Lord humbled them by confusing “the language of all the earth,” dividing and dispersing the people (Gen. 11:9). That dispersal was reversed on Pentecost Day (the fiftieth day of Easter), when God caused the one Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ to be preached in a multitude of languages. “At this sound, the multitude came together” (Acts 2:6), for the preaching of Christ is the primary work of the Holy Spirit, whereby He gathers people from all nations into one Church. The Holy Spirit teaches and brings to our remembrance the words of Jesus, which are the words of the Father who sent Him. These words bestow forgiveness and peace to those who keep and hold on to them in love for Jesus. “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” (John 14:27).  

Collect of the Day: O God, on this day You once taught the hearts of Your faithful people by sending them the light of Your Holy Spirit. Grant us in our day by the same Spirit to have a right understanding in all things and evermore to rejoice in His holy consolation; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  


Old Testament: Gen. 11:1-9
Epistle: Acts 2:1-13
Holy Gospel: John 14:23-31  


500Creator Spirit, by whose aidAll Ehr und LobVideo

Poet John Dryden published this hymn translation in 1693. It is actually a paraphrase; he rendered the medieval Latin hymn Veni Creator Spiritus (“Come, Creator Spirit”) in his characteristic style of rhyming couplets. The Latin hymn was popular and often translated. In fact, LSB includes three other paraphrases of the text: hymns 497, 498 and 499.  

497Come, Holy Ghost, God and LordKomm, Heiliger Geist, Herre GottVideo

The hymn “Come, Holy Ghost, God and Lord” was original- ly a Latin chant from the 11th century used at the Vespers of the Vigil of Pentecost. Martin Luther was familiar witha German version of it and was so moved by its content and tune that he remarked that the hymn must have been writ- ten by the Spirit Himself. Luther added two stanzas to the one of the chant, the total of which made for a core hymn of the Reformation.  

874O splendor of God’s glory brightPutnamVideo

“O Splendor of God’s Glory Bright,” also known as “O Splendor of the Father’s light,” is the English translation of Ambrose’s “Splendor paternae gloriae.” The translation is by physician Robert Bridges (1844-1930), one of many hymns proposed by Bridges and several of his contemporaries as an alternative to what they considered unsatisfactory hymnody of the late Victorian period in England. Faced with the challenge of supplying adequate English translations of these old metrical psalms, chorales, and Latin tunes, Bridges “found he had to make new translations or create completely new texts” (Eskew and McElrath, 161).  

913O Holy Spirit, enter inWie schon leuchtetVideo

Schirmer had many domestic and personal afflictions to bear. His wife and his two children predeceased him. The early part of his life in Berlin was spent amid the distress caused by the Thirty Years War, during which Brandenburg, and Berlin itself, suffered greatly from pestilence and poverty. In 1644 a deep melancholy fell upon him, which lasted for five years; and something of the same kind seems to have returned to him for a time, after his wife’s death, in Feb. 1667. The only compositions by him which have come into use as hymns, are those which he contributed to J. Crüger’s Newes vollkömliches Gesang-Buch, Berlin, 1640; and to Crüger’s Praxis pietatis melica, Berlin, 1648, &c. These, have in all, passed into many German hymnbooks of the 17th century, and most of them are still in use. They were reprinted by Dr. Bachmann …together with various selections irom his other poetical compositions. They are practical, clear, objective, churchly hymns, somewhat related to those of Gerhardt; and still more closely to those of Johann Heermann, from whom indeed Schirmer borrows a few expressions.  

503O day full of graceDen signede dagVideoHymn Study

The grace of God is theme of the Danish folk hymn for Pentecost, “O Day Full of Grace” (ELH 401, LSB 503, LW 162). Versions of this hymn were sung throughout Scandinavia prior to the Reformation. The earliest manuscript dates to about 1450 and is in the library of the University of Uppsala, and the first Protestant hymnal to include it was Den danske Psalmebog in 1569. In 1826, as part of the commemoration of the thousandth anniversary of Christianity being brought to Denmark, Nikolai Grundtvig recast the hymn. Lutheran hymnals of the late 19th century and early 20th century in North America name Gruntvig as the hymn writer. Because a number of Grundtvig’s hymns are in praise of the Holy Spirit, he is known as the Poet of Whitsuntide.  

768To God the Holy Spirit, let us prayNun bitten wirVideo

The anonymous first stanza of today’s hymn is a Pentecost carol from the 13th century. This stanza was mentioned twice in a sermon by Berthold of Regensburg (c. 1210–72) in which he encouraged his hearers to sing this hymn in the service on Pentecost. This encouragement is remarkable since congregational singing was rarely allowed (except for Easter/Christmas carols) in Roman Catholic congregations. The singing of this stanza remained popular in German lands. Martin Luther (1483–1546) loved this stanza and encouraged its frequent singing. In 1524, Luther was in the midst of theological conflicts with many who believed that the Spirit guided people directly — apart from, and in contradiction to, God’s revealed Word.  

501Come down, O Love divineDown AmpneyVideo

Bianco da Siena, who lived in Venice, wrote ninety-two hymns during the early 1400s, publishing them in a book entitled Spiritual Hymns.  Four centuries later (1867), an English priest, Richard Littledale, discovered da Siena’s hymns, translated a number of them into English, and included them in a hymnal entitled The People’s Hymnal.  

834O God, O Lord of heav’n and earthWittenberg NewVideo

Martin H. Franzmann (1907–1976) was called in 1946 to teach at Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri. In 1955, he joined the department of Exegetical Theology there. He was known for his traditional stance on biblical inerrancy and inspiration over against historical criticism, as well as his commentaries on Romans and Revelation. Five of his original hymns and one of his translations are found in Lutheran Service Book. Today’s hymn was written for the 450th anniversary of the Reformation in 1967.