Breathe on me, Breath of God

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Breathe on me, breath of God

Author: Edwin Hatch (1878)
Prayer Songs
Published in 331 hymnals

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Playable presentation: Lyrics only, lyrics + music
Audio files: MIDI, Recording

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Representative Text

1 Breathe on me, Breath of God,
fill me with life anew,
that I may love the way you love,
and do what you would do.

2 Breathe on me, Breath of God,
until my heart is pure,
until my will is one with yours,
to do and to endure.

3 Breathe on me, Breath of God,
so shall I never die,
but live with you the perfect life
for all eternity.

Psalter Hymnal, 1987

Author: Edwin Hatch

Hatch, Edwin, D.D., was born at Derby, Sep. 4, 1835, and educated at Pembroke College, Oxford, B.A., in honours, in 1857. After holding important appointments in Canada, he returned to England and became Vice-Principal of St. Mary Hall, Oxford, 1867; and Rector of Purleigh, 1883. (See also Crockford). He died Nov. 10, 1889. His hymn-writing was limited. One, and that a very spirited lyric, is in Allon's Congregational Psalmist Hymnal, 1886 "Breathe on me, Breath of God." (Whitsuntide.) Dr. Hatch's hymns were published in his posthumous Towards Fields of Light, London 1890. --John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology, Appendix, Part II (1907)  Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: Breathe on me, breath of God
Title: Breathe on me, Breath of God
Author: Edwin Hatch (1878)
Language: English
Notes: French translation: "Souffle du Dieu vivant" by Suzanne Bidgrain; Spanish translation: See by George Paul Simmonds
Copyright: Public Domain
Liturgical Use: Prayer Songs


Scripture References:
st. 1 = Ezek. 36:27
st. 1-3 = Joel 2:28, John 20:22

The text is a prayer for renewal by God's Spirit (like Ps. 51:10-12), a renewal that is to be expressed in a life of love (st. 1), in purity of heart and will (st. 2), and in an intimacy with God that heralds the perfection of eternal life (st. 3). In both Hebrew and Greek the Word for "spirit" is the same as "wind/air/breath"; thus in this text the Spirit of God is referred to as "Breath of God."

Intended as a hymn for ordination, this text by Edwin Hatch (b. Derby, England, 1835; d. Oxford, England, 1889) was privately printed in 1878 and then published in Henry Allon's The Congregational Psalmist Hymnal in 1886. Hatch evidently had a simple and childlike faith; that description fits this text as well.

Hatch grew up in a Non-conformist home, was educated at Pembroke College, Oxford, England, and ordained in the Church of England in 1859. A teacher of classics and church history, he taught at Trinity College, Toronto, Canada (1859-1862), and at a high school in Quebec City (1862-1867). In 1867 he returned to Oxford, where he served the academic world with great distinction, particularly as a specialist on early Christian history. His few hymn texts were published posthumously in Towards Fields of Light (1890).

Liturgical Use:
Pentecost; as a prayer for renewal; ordination and other commissioning services; profession of faith.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook, 1988



Robert Jackson (b, Oldham, Lancashire, England, 1842; d. Oldham, 1914) originally, composed TRENTHAM as a setting for Henry W. Baker's "O Perfect Life of Love" (380). Named for a village in Staffordshire, England, close to the town in which Jackson was born, the tune was published with the Baker tex…

Go to tune page >



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Instances (1 - 100 of 331)

A Hundred Songs of God and His Kingdom #d8

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A Missionary Hymn Book #5

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A Teaching Hymnal #130

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A. M. E. C. Hymnal #18

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African American Heritage Hymnal #317

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African Methodist Episcopal Church Hymnal #192

Ambassador Hymnal #133

American Student Hymnal #d32


Ancient and Modern #236

Anglican Hymns Old and New (Rev. and Enl.) #87a

Anglican Hymns Old and New (Rev. and Enl.) #87b

At Worship, a hymnal for young churchmen #d32

Ausgewahlte Lieder des Evangeliums (Selected Gospel Songs) #d8

Australian Hymn Book #320

Baptist Hymnal #167

Baptist Hymnal (1975 ed) #317


Baptist Hymnal 1991 #241

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Baptist Hymnal 2008 #334

Bit of Heaven Song Book #d1


Breaking Bread (Vol. 39) #640


Celebrating Grace Hymnal #235


Chalice Hymnal #254

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Christian Hymns #17

Christian Hymnways #d17

Christian Praise #d47

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Christian Praise #156

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Christian Service Songs #155

Christian Worship and Praise #260

Christian Youth at Song #d13

Christian Youth Hymnal #64

Church and University Hymns #d22

Church Family Worship #326

Church Hymnal, Fifth Edition #293

Church Hymnal, Fourth Edition #402

Church Hymnal, Third Edition #418

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Church Hymnary (4th ed.) #596

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Church Service Hymns #154

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Columbia University Hymnal #128

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Common Praise (1998) #649

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Common Praise #174

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Common Praise #248

Complete Anglican Hymns Old and New #84a

Complete Anglican Hymns Old and New #84b

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Complete Mission Praise #67

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CPWI Hymnal #266

Cream of Song #d27

Crusade for Christ Songs #d14

Crusader Hymns #155

Divine Service Book for the Armed Forces #d22

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Exalted Praise #203

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Excellent Songs #92

Favorite Gospel Songs. New ed. #d24

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Favorite Hymns of Praise #3

Favorite Radio Hymns of Edward MacHugh (Rev. and enl.) #15

Fellowship Hymnal, with Worship Material and Services #d22

Gather (3rd ed.) #902


Gather Comprehensive #800

Gather Comprehensive, Second Edition #800

Glorious Praise #d6


Glory and Praise (3rd. ed.) #399

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Glory to God #286

Gospel Hymnal #d40


Gospel Melodies and Evangelistic Hymns #106

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Gospel Melodies #130

Gospel Song Series No. 1 #d6

Great Hymns of the Church, Selected from the Methodist Hymnal #d15

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Great Hymns of the Faith #164

Great Songs of the Church (Revised) #295

Great Songs of the Church #607

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Hymnal Amore Dei #102

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Hymnal and Liturgies of the Moravian Church #230

Hymnal for Christian Worship #d40

Hymnal of the Church of God #137

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Hymnal, Amore Dei #102

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Hymnal, Amore Dei. Rev. ed. #a102

Hymnal #356

Hymnbook for Christian Worship #200

Hymns [of The National Christian Mission] #d6

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Hymns Ancient and Modern (Standard ed.) #671

Hymns Ancient and Modern, New Edition #449

Hymns Ancient and Modern, New Standard Edition #157

Hymns Ancient and Modern, Revised #236

Hymns and Psalms #280a

Hymns and Psalms #280b

Hymns and Songs for Church Schools #d30

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Hymns for a Pilgrim People #227

Hymns for Creative Living #70

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Hymns for Praise and Service #256

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Hymns for the Family of God #161

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Hymns for the Living Age #182

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Hymns for the Living Church #187

Hymns for Today's Church (2nd ed.) #226

Hymns for Worship #198

Hymns of Devotion #d21


Hymns of Faith #80

Hymns of Faith and Life #336

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Hymns of Faith and Praise #49


Exclude 237 pre-1979 instances
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