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O Breath of Life

Representative Text

1 O Breath of life, come sweeping through us,
revive your church with life and pow'r;
O Breath of Life, come, cleanse, renew us,
and fit your church to meet this hour.

2 O Wind of God, come bend us, break us,
till humbly we confess our need;
then in your tenderness remake us,
revive, restore, for this we plead.

3 O Breath of love, come breathe within us,
renewing thought and will and heart;
come, Love of Christ, afresh to win us,
revive your church in ev'ry part.

4 O Heart of Christ, once broken for us,
'tis there we find our strength and rest;
our broken, contrite hearts now solace,
and let your waiting church be blest.

5 Revive us, Lord! Is zeal abating
while harvest fields are vast and white?
Revive us, Lord, the world is waiting,
equip your church to spread the light.

Source: Trinity Psalter Hymnal #395

Author: Bessie Porter Head

[Elizabeth Ann Porter Head] Head, Elizabeth Ann (`Bessie'; née Porter) b. Belfast: 1850 d. Wimbledon, Surrey: 28 June 1936 She was the youngest daughter of Tobias Porter, manager of John Alexander's flour mill in Belfast. Of her early life nothing is known; but in 1894 she became secretary of the YWCA in Swansea. She then served with the South Africa General Mission from 1897-1907, mostly in Port Elizabeth, Cape Town and Johannesburg, helping to found several branches of the YWCA. With the chairman of the Mission and a fellow missionary she toured North America in 1906-7; her intended return to South Africa in November 1907 was cancelled in favour of marriage, on 17 December, to the chairman, Albert Alfred Head (1844-192… Go to person page >



The name SPIRITUS VITAE derives from the Latin translation of Bessie P. Head's text "O Breath of Life, " for which Mary Jane Hammond (b. England, 1878; d. St. Albans, Hertfordshire, England, 1964) composed the tune around 1914. That text and SPIRITUS VITAE were first published in Heavenly Places and…

Go to tune page >





The Cyber Hymnal #4704
  • Adobe Acrobat image (PDF)
  • Noteworthy Composer score (NWC)
  • XML score (XML)
Worship and Rejoice #328


Instances (1 - 31 of 31)
TextPage Scan

Chalice Hymnal #250

Church Family Worship #464

Church Hymnal, Fifth Edition #305


Church Hymnary (4th ed.) #595


Complete Anglican Hymns Old and New #476

Complete Mission Praise #488

Hymns and Psalms #777


Hymns for Today's Church (2nd ed.) #237


Hymns of Glory, Songs of Praise #595

Hymns Old and New #356


Praise! Our Songs and Hymns #88


Sing Joyfully #152

Singing the Faith #391


Small Church Music #7027

The Book of Praise #384

The Christian Life Hymnal #339

The Covenant Hymnal #599


The Cyber Hymnal #4704

TextPage Scan

The Hymnal for Worship and Celebration #291

The Irish Presbyterian Hymbook #475a


The Irish Presbyterian Hymbook #475b


The United Methodist Hymnal #543

The United Methodist Hymnal Music Supplement #44


The Worshiping Church #299


Together in Song #409

TextPage Scan

Trinity Hymnal (Rev. ed.) #341

TextPage Scan

Trinity Psalter Hymnal #395


Voices United #202

TextScoreAudioPage Scan

Worship and Rejoice #328


Worship and Service Hymnal #92


Worship and Song #3146

Include 12 pre-1979 instances
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