Come Down, O Love Divine

Pentecost has always been one of my favorite church holidays. Perhaps it’s the time in the church year when I was baptized and confirmed. Perhaps it’s because I have a a deep admiration and respect for the Holy Spirit. Perhaps it’s hymns like Bianco da Siena’s majestic “Come Down, O Love Divine” set to Ralph Vaughn Williams brilliantly powerful “Down Ampney”. I find the words to this hymn powerful, and it never fails to make me cry.

Come down, O love divine,
seek thou this soul of mine,
and visit it with thine own ardor glowing;
O Comforter, draw near,
within my heart appear,
and kindle it, thy holy flame bestowing.

O let it freely burn,
till earthly passions turn
to dust and ashes in its heat consuming;
and let thy glorious light
shine ever on my sight,
and clothe me round, the while my path illuming.

Let holy charity
mine outward vesture be,
and lowliness become mine inner clothing;
true lowliness of heart,
which takes the humbler part,
and o’er its own shortcomings weeps with loathing.

And so the yearning strong,
with which the soul will long,
shall far outpass the power of human telling;
for none can guess its grace,
till Love create a place
wherein the Holy Spirit makes a dwelling.

Please enjoy this glorious recording of Come Down, O Love Divine from the Choir of King’s College, Cambridge and have a wonderful Pentecost!

 

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