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Praise the Spirit in Creation

Scripture References

Confessions and Statements of Faith References

Further Reflections on Confessions and Statements of Faith References

It is difficult to isolate certain confessional themes in each song about the Holy Spirit. Rather, there are several themes that are woven together in nearly all of these songs. The Holy Spirit is identified as one with the Father and the Son in the Holy Trinity; we plead for the coming and indwelling of the Spirit in our lives; the Spirit’s work is evident in creation and in God’s people throughout redemptive history; the Spirit calls and empowers the church for mission; and the Spirit is the source of power, fruit, and hope. These themes are expressed in confessional statements such as these:
  • Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 20, Question and Answer 53 testifies, “…the Spirit, with the Father and the Son, is eternal God.” In addition, the Spirit “makes me share in Christ and all his benefits, comforts me, and will remain with me forever.”
  • Our World Belongs to God has helpful references to these multiple themes of the Spirit’s work and ministry.
    • “Jesus becomes the baptizer, drenching his followers with the Spirit, creating a new community where Father, Son and Spirit make their home” (paragraph 28)
    • “The Spirit renews our hearts and moves us to faith… stands by us in our need and makes our obedience fresh and vibrant” (paragraph 29).
    • “God the Spirit lavishes gifts on the church in astonishing variety…equipping each member to build up the body of Christ and to serve our neighbors.”
    • “The Spirit gathers people from every tongue, tribe and nation into the unity of the body of Christ” (paragraph 30).
    • “Men and women, impelled by the Spirit go next door and far away…pointing to the reign of God with what they do and say” (paragraph 30).  
  •       Our Song of Hope also contributes very clearly regarding the Spirit’s work:
    • “The Holy Spirit speaks through the Scriptures…has inspired Greek and Hebrew words, setting God’s truth in human language, placing God’s teaching in ancient culture, proclaiming the Gospel in the history of the world” (stanza 6).
    •  “The Holy Spirit speaks through the church, measuring its words by the canonical Scriptures…has spoken in the ancient creeds, and in the confessions of the Reformation” (stanza 7).
    • “The Spirit sends [the church] out in ministry to preach good news to the poor, righteousness to the nations, and peace among all people” (stanza 16).
    • “The Holy Spirit builds one church, united in one Lord and one hope, with one ministry around one table” (stanza 17).
    • The Spirit calls all believers in Jesus to respond in worship together, to accept all the gifts from the Spirit, to learn from each other’s traditions, to make unity visible on earth” (stanza 17).
“…The Spirit works at the ends of the world before the church has there spoken a word” (stanza 20).

Tune Information

Name
JULION
Key
F Major or modal
Meter
8.7.8.7.8.7

Hymn Story/Background

David Hurd composed the tune JULION in 1974; it was first published in The David Hurd Hymnary (1983), a collection of Twenty-Nine New Hymntunes with various texts for Congregation, Choir and Organ. The tune there included an organ introduction and conclusion, as well as a choral descant. In the introduction to that volume, he wrote that this was one of the “generic” tunes in the collection, by which he meant that he composed the tune first, and later paired it with a text. He suggested that “This tune is best accompanied with rich foundation tone (8’s and 4’s) with, perhaps, the addition of a touch of reed color in the spirit of Franck’s obblicatory oboe. If not several sopranos, a soprano soloist may sing the descant to good effect.”
 
David Hurd later suggested pairing JULION with “Praise the Spirit in Creation,” written by Michael Hewlitt as a processional hymn for Pentecost Sunday. The combination of this text and tune was included in the Episcopal Hymnal 1982 and in many hymnals since. 
— Emily Brink

Author Information

Michael Edward Hewlett (b. 1916; d. 2000) was ordained in England as an Anglican priest in 1949, and served several parishes as curate, vicar, or parish priest. For most of his career he was vicar in the diocese of Exeter. He was author of about seventy hymn texts and contributed to many hymnals in the UK and North America. 
— Emily Brink

Composer Information

David Hurd (b. Brooklyn, New York, 1950) was a boy soprano at St. Gabriel's Church in Hollis, Long Island, New York. Educated at Oberlin College and the University of North Carolina, he has been professor of church music and organist at General Theological Seminary in New York since 1976. In 1985 he also became director of music for All Saints Episcopal Church, New York. Hurd is an outstanding recitalist and improvisor and a composer of organ, choral, and instrumental music. 
— Bert Polman

In 1987 David Hurd was awarded the degree of Doctor of Music, honoris causa, by the Berkeley Divinity School at Yale. The following year he received honorary doctorates from the Church Divinity School of the Pacific, Berkeley, California, and from Seabury-Western Theological Seminary, Evanston, Illinois. His I Sing As I Arise Today, the collected hymn tunes of David Hurd, was published in 2010.
— Emily Brink
Hymnary.org does not have a score for this hymn.