Holy Spirit Mass

Piano & strings

The Holy Spirit Mass interweaves the familiar Mass texts with English translations of the 9th-century Veni Creator Spiritus (‘Come Creator Spirit’) and Martin Luther’s hymn Come Holy Ghost, God and Lord. The work reflects on the long conflict within the church after the religious upheaval of the 16th century. But it also celebrates what the reformation has given us, as well as the ecumenical development and increasing dialogue between the Christian churches. The work looks forward in hope of a more united future by focusing on what we have in common. In this way, the work is both celebratory and reflective, while The Holy Spirit unites us, and gives comfort, strength, inspiration, and excitement.

The Holy Spirit Mass was commissioned for the National Lutheran Choir, Dr. David Cherwien, Artistic Director, through a gift from Gary Aamodt and Celia Ellingson to commemorate the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation in October 2017. The work was premiered in Washington D. C. in October 2017 and had its European Premiere in Rome, in October 2018 at the opening of the International Festival of Sacred Music and Art.

English translations of the Veni Creator Spiritus (Rhabanus Maurus); Martin Luther's hymn "Come Holy Hody, God and Lord"; and the Ordinary of the Mass, in the translation of the English Language Liturgical Consultation (ELLC), 1988


  • Instrumentation: SATB, piano & strings
  • Duration: 46 minutes
  • Author/lyricist: Ordinary of the Mass, Rhabanus Maurus, Martin Luther
  • Language: English (with sections in Latin)
  • Year: 2017
  • Licensing: Boosey & Hawkes


  1. Creator Spirit (Kyrie)

Creator Spirit, heavenly dove,

descend upon us from above;


  1. Fount of Life (Gloria)

To you, the Comforter, we cry;

to you, the gift of God most high,

true fount of life, the fire of love,

the sweet anointing from above.


Glory to God in the highest,

and peace to God's people on earth.

Lord God, heavenly King,

almighty God and Father,

we worship you,

we give you thanks,

we praise you for your glory.


Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father,

Lord God, Lamb of God,

you take away the sin of the world:

have mercy on us;

you are seated at the right hand of the Father:

receive our prayer.

For you alone are the Holy One,

you alone are the Lord,

you alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ,

with the Holy Spirit,

in the glory of God the Father.



  1. The Spirit's Work (Credo)

Oh, may your grace on us bestow

the Father and the Son to know,

that through the ages all along

your praise may be our endless song.


We believe in the Holy Spirit,

the Lord, the giver of life,

who proceeds from the Father and the Son,

who with the Father and the Son

is worshiped and glorified,

who has spoken through the prophets.


Come Holy Spirit.

You call, enlighten, sanctify and keep us all;


We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic church.

You call, gather, enlighten, and sanctify

the whole Church on earth,

You keep it with Jesus Christ.


We acknowledge one baptism for the

forgiveness of sins,

one faith, one baptism, and one God and

Creator of all.


We look for the resurrection of the dead,

You are the Lord, the giver of Life.

And the life of the world to come.

You are the presence of the living God.



  1. Blessed (Sanctus & Bendictus)

In you, with graces sevenfold,

we God's almighty hand behold;

while you with tongues of fire proclaim

to all the world God's holy name.


Holy, Holy, Holy Lord,

God of power and might,

heaven and earth are full of your glory.

Hosanna in the highest.

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.

Hosanna in the highest.


  1. Peace (Agnus Dei)

Your light to every sense impart,

and shed your love in every heart;

your own unfailing might supply

to strengthen our infirmity.


Keep far from us despair, our foe;

and peace from your own hand bestow.

So, by your ever-gracious call

We fear no threat and live for all.


Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi,

miserere nobis.

Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi,

miserere nobis.

Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi,

dona nobis pacem.


  1. Together in Hope (Hymn)

 Come Holy Ghost, God and Lord,

may all your graces be outpoured

on each believer's mind and heart;

your fervent love to them impart.

Lord, by the brightness of your light

in holy faith your church unite;

from every land and every tongue,

this to your praise, O Lord, our God, be sung:


  1. Alleluia