“Holy Spirit, Wind and Flame”Mark Alan Filbert, Hymnology Consultant
This month we continue our Hymn of the Month series in which one or more hymns drawn from collections published by Leupold Editions will be posted on the opening page of the website for consideration by pastors and musicians who may wish to introduce the hymn to their congregations the following month. The Hymn of the Month will often be thematically appropriate for a particular season of the church year or it may be related to a more general theme about the church’s mission in contemporary society. Thus, pastors and/or musicians may wish to have the choir introduce the hymn on the first Sunday of the month or season and then invite the congregation to join with the choir in singing the hymn on each of the remaining Sundays. Additional hymns will occasionally be suggested for a particular Sunday in the church year or for annual commemorations, such as the liturgies of Holy Week; such hymns may only be appropriate on the designated day, or they might be used as a Hymn of the Month in anticipation of or in response to the particular day observed on the church calendar.
The Hymn of the Month for June 2022, Holy Spirit, Wind and Flame, by R. Frederick Crider, Jr. (b. 1942), serves well not only as a Hymn for the Day of Pentecost with its invocation of the Holy Spirit (“Holy Spirit, in our day come in God’s amazing way . . .”) and its references to the Acts reading for the day (“Pour your Spirit out on all—sons and daughters, hear the call.”), but also as a hymn of commission and sending (“Energizing Wind and Flame, send us out in Jesus’ name.”) appropriate for the remainder of the month as we enter the green season of Ordinary Time. The suggested nineteenth-century tune, HENDON, is familiar to many for its association with an equally familiar text, Take My Life and Let It Be.
Crider is a retired United Methodist pastor who holds degrees from Lebanon Valley College (BA) in Annville, Pennsylvania; United Theological Seminary (MDiv) in Dayton, Ohio; and Wesley Theological Seminary (D. Min.) in Washington, DC. He has long been writing occasional hymn texts for use in congregations he served, usually to accompany a certain biblical text or preaching theme. Retirement has given him more time to devote to what he believes is a “second calling.” His first collection of hymn texts, Extravagance Instead, was published by Wayne Leupold Editions, Inc., in 2013