Spirit of Mercy, Truth, and Love (An Anthem for Pentecost for SATB chorus, divisi, a cappella) was composed in 2011 as a part of a series of short anthems celebrating various Seasons of the liturgical year. Using the first words of the poem as its title, my Spirit of Mercy, Truth, and Love is based on an anonymous Pentecost hymn text that first appeared in the 1774 collection, Psalms, Hymns and Anthems, as published by the Foundling Hospital in London.
In my setting of this text the tonal center of each stanza moves downward, thereby symbolizing the descent of the Holy Spirit to Christ’s disciples following the resurrection of Jesus.
Duration : ca. 3’ 30”
Spirit of mercy, truth, and love,
O shed Thine influence from above;
And still from age to age convey
The wonders of this sacred day.
In every clime, by every tongue,
Be God’s surpassing glory sung:
Let all the listening earth be taught
The wonders by our Saviour wrought.
Unfailing Comfort, heavenly Guide,
Still o’er Thy holy Church preside;
O shed thine influence from above,
Spirit of mercy, truth, and love.
Anonymous, from Psalms, Hymns and Anthems, 1774, alt.