Come, Holy Spirit, Dove Divine

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It was one of those accidents where you find something useful when you’re looking for something else. While reading on the nature of worship, a particular blog article ended with Adoniram Judson’s early 19th Century baptismal poem, “Come Holy Spirit, Dove Divine.” The flowing text called out (at least to me!) for a musical setting. Accordingly, some melodic and harmonic ideas began to percolate in my thoughts. However, before getting very far along in writing a tune, there were two surprises in store. First many others had already set the text to music before (with a multitude of tunes) going back to at least 1833. Second, despite being a Baptist for over forty years, I discovered that this hymn has been in the Baptist Hymnal since 1956 yet I have no recollection of ever singing it! Well, chagrined at my ignorance, I carried on writing a new melody and harmony for this deserving text. I sought to make it friendly to congregational singers while still containing rich and sing-able harmonies and so aimed for a four-part hymn-style form. However, as I suspect my ignorance of the hymn is a common condition, a fresh and modern tune which would be at home in varied musical styles and have popular appeal was also pursued. The result is a delightful and uplifting tune, easy to sing, with an optimistic and forward momentum, commensurate with the meaning of believers’ baptism, “Buried with Him in baptism; raised to walk in new life.” The music is flexible in application to many church music styles: praise team and band, choir and organ, congregation and piano, or mix and match to fit your needs. May you find Come, Holy Spirit, Dove Divine, singing a much needed text, a means for your congregation to joyfully join with new believers in celebration of their baptism!

For your convenience I haven’t set a minimum order quantity for this piece. If you’re singing sacred music I want to believe I can trust you so I’m using the honor system. In return I ask that you purchase just the number of copies you need. If you want a perusal copy, then buy just one. If your choir has six members then order eight: one for you, one for your pianist, and six for your singers. If you have eighty singers then please order eighty-two. Makes sense, right? What about lost copies or added singers? Feel free to buy additional copies if you like but, if your initial purchase was made in good faith, I don’t mind if you print replacement/expansion copies.


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